Toronto FC will be looking to extend their unbeaten streak to 10 when they visit the rising Philadelphia Union on Saturday at Chester, Penn.
Toronto FC (12-2-5, 41 points) can extend their lead over the second-place Union (11-3-5, 38 points) in the Eastern Conference with a draw or a victory.
In their last game, Toronto FC ousted Atlanta United 1-0 despite being without injured Jozy Altidore.
"I'm not surprised. I have a ton of confidence in this group," Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney said. "Especially right now there's just so much resiliency, you feel it every single day."
Altidore (hamstring) is expected to be out again against the Union. But ultra-talented defender Michael Bradley returned from an MCL strain after missing nine games and solidified the back line against Atlanta United.
"Every day counts, every game counts," Bradley said. "I pushed as hard as I could. I feel good. I'm excited. I'm fresh and ready to go for this important stretch."
Toronto FC defeated the Union 2-1 on Oct. 3.
The Union can pull even with Toronto FC for first place with a win.
Last Monday, the Union eked out a 2-1 victory on the road against the New England Revolution to move further up the standings. It wasn't the prettiest win, but it added up to three more points.
"Our players bent but didn't break," Union head coach Jim Curtin said. "There were some close calls there for sure, but this is what games that have a playoff feel to them look like and feel like. They're not going to be easy. Some will say we got a little lucky."
He added, "I'm a big believer that you create your own luck through the course of a season and that we're in a good spot because we're a good team."
The Union will receive a boost of confidence with the return of captain Alejandro Bedoya, who missed Monday's win because of yellow card accumulation. Right back Ray Gaddis also returned from an ankle injury and is expected to play against Toronto FC.
Both the Union and Toronto FC have allowed only 17 goals this season.
--Field Level Media
Toronto FC visit Union in Eastern showdown