PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- For just the second time in franchise history, the Philadelphia Union are headed to the playoffs.
Jim Curtin's squad will make its first postseason appearance since 2011 on Wednesday night, when Philadelphia visits Toronto FC in the knockout round.
The Union took an interesting route to the playoffs. They went 11-14-9 and actually finished the regular season on a seven-game winless streak (0-5-2). But all that matters now is that the Union are one of 12 teams still alive in the chase for the MLS Cup.
"It's exciting," Union midfielder Chris Pontius tells KYW Newsradio. "We've put a lot of work into the season. Had some ups and downs, but all you ask for at the end of the year is to give yourself a shot to go win an MLS Cup. We've done that. It's going to be a difficult road. Obviously, we've got to go on the road to a tough place to play in, but there's no easy games in the playoffs. So you're going to have to win the tough ones at one point, so we are looking forward to the challenge."
Listen to the entire interview with Union midfielder Chris Pontius:
Pontius led the Union this season with 12 goals. The veteran also is one of the few players on the roster with MLS playoff experience. He talks about the advice he gives the younger players on the team about the post-season.
"First thing that I tell them is enjoy it," Pontius says. "After that, you've just got to be able to step up to the plate. These are big boy games, people are going to get pretty chippy at times. You've got to be able to keep your cool. It's just about performing under pressure now."
Philadelphia went 0-1-1 against Toronto FC during the regular season. On August 20th, the Union lost 3-1 in Chester and then on September 24th, the teams played to a 1-1 draw in Toronto. Toronto went 14-9-11 during the regular season and Pontius says its not hard to see why they've had success.
"You've got (forwards Sebastian) Giovinco, (Jozy) Altidore, offensively," Pontius says. "Those two are as good as any in the league. Always have to keep track of them. Their playmaker is (midfielder Michael) Bradley from the deep midfield. So those are the big three for them. But they do have other pieces."
The winner on Wednesday night will advance to the conference semifinals.
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