After last Friday's 4-1 victory against Bury, the Toffees have traveled stateside for their two game tour of the U.S. First up on this tour is a match against the Philadelphia Union at 7 pm ET. The Union are a fairly new side to Major League Soccer (MLS) with this being their second year of existence, and for more information about them we encourage you to visit their site here on SB Nation, the Brotherly Game and their preview of the match can be found here. With this being a little bit of a dog and pony show, do not be surprised to see different stars playing in slightly extended minutes, but Tim Howard will not be taking part in tomorrows game having just arrived stateside following his delayed summer break due to the CONCACAF Gold Cup
With Louis Saha the only absence from injury as well as Yobo and Yakubu both remaining back at Finch Farm, Moyes is fortunate to have his full first-team at his disposal. In addition youngster Ross Barkley is with the team as he continues his rehab. It will be interesting to see what lineup Moyes puts out tomorrow evening .with a quick turnaround to Saturdays game against D.C. United. Expect to see a similar lineup to the Bury game in terms of mixing regular starters with some of the younger players in the senior side. With Jack Rodwell just returning to training this week it seems a little bit of a stretch to see the youngster getting any playing time, but one never knows with Moyes.
On the other side of the pitch, the Philadelphia Union are in fine form in MLS and are well on their way to securing a playoff spot. After last year's dismal inaugural season, the Union have done well to turn things around with a stout defense and solid goalkeeping having allowed only 16 goals in 19 matches. Although the side does not seem to have miuch in terms of attacking firepower, they are still a threat to score, and the Everton backline should welcome this challenge.
Historically friendlies against MLS teams tend to play out in a similar fashion. The first half should be a fairly even contest, with both teams going level into the break, although Everton should have the upper hand. In the second half is when MLS teams tend to fall apart as both sides bring in other players, most of whom on the MLS side are a distinct drop in talent from the starters. In the end it is probably best to judge Everton's performance on the first 45 minutes of play, rather than anything that happens later on.
As for me, I hope to continue to see Everton's ability to score, especially against a team they should dominate. Although preseason games do not mean much as last campaign showed, any time the squad is playing well, especially in areas where they are weak, it is a good thing. Everton should win this one handily by a score of 3-1 I say, with Gueye, Cahill, and Osman all getting goals. The Union manage to nick one back towards the beginning of the second half, but overall it will be a good victory for the Toffees as they continue their preparations for the upcoming season.
Tomorrows game can be seen on the local station Comcast SportsNet at 7:30 pm ET 12:30 am BST, and the game will also be shown live on EvertonTV. Leave your thoughts about tomorrow's match below including what you want to see from Everton, until next time COYB!