Toronto FC spent most of the season dreaming of winning Supporters' Shield, and until the very end of the regular season, had their sights set on a first round bye. Ultimately, they came up short, and will now have to march towards MLS Cup the hard way. On Wednesday, they host the Philadelphia Union in a first round knockout game.
The Union have been a pleasant surprise for most of this season, spending the entirety of this year among the playoff spots. However, they've lost their last three games in a row, and haven't win since August 27. Their punishment for faltering over the last two months of the season is a first round matchup in which almost no one is picking them to win.
Between these two teams, TFC is the one with all-stars, and the one that has felt like MLS Cup was a reachable goal from the start of the season. With Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco all fit and in solid form, and TFC at home, they're huge favorites to progress. For that reason, the questions about this game are all about what the Union is capable of.
Key player: Keegan Rosenberry
The MLS Rookie of the Year voting is likely to be dominated by attackers like Jordan Morris and Jack Harrison, but it's possible that Rosenberry is the rookie that's had the biggest impact on his team this season. As part of a team with a below-average defense -- Josh Yaro and Maurice Edu's injuries were backbreakers -- and very few true wide players, Rosenberry has to be everything at once down the right flank for the Union, who will be depending on him to have a great game.
Key matchup: Philly's forwards vs. Toronto's CBs
After years of boasting an extremely disappointing defense, TFC finally found the right combination of coach and players to put together a formidable back line. Their 39 goals allowed is tied for second-best in the league. Philly, meanwhile, has struggled to score recently, partially due to injuries and top players being rested ahead of the playoffs. If C.J. Sapong and Chris Pontius aren't close to 100 percent, it's tough to see where Philly's goals are coming from. They might need big performances from USMNT midfielder Alejandro Bedoya and rookie Fabian Herbers.
Toronto FC injuries and suspensions
Out: None. In doubt: Ashtone Morgan (foot), Will Johnson (knee).
Philadelphia Union injuries and suspensions
Out: Josh Yaro (knee), Maurice Edu (leg). In doubt: Tranquillo Barnetta (knee), Ilsinho (foot), Chris Pontius (hamstring), Chris Pontius (concussion).
Match date/time: Wednesday, October 26, 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario
TV: ESPN2 (U.S. -- English), UniMas (U.S. -- Spanish), TSN2 (Canada)
How to watch online: In the United States, you have a few options. For most, the easiest will be WatchESPN. You can also catch the game in Spanish on Univision Deportes en vivo. If you don't have access to either of those, you can watch on paid streaming services like Fubo and Sling.