Philadelphia Union look for answers versus the Montreal Impact

Apr 8, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Union midfielder Ilsinho (25) in action against the Portland Timbers during the first half at Talen Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Union midfielder Ilsinho (25) in action against the Portland Timbers during the first half at Talen Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

The losses continue for the Philadelphia Union as they are now the only winless team in MLS.

The Ins and Outs

Philadelphia Union (0-2-4) vs Montreal Impact (1-3-2)

When: Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time – Talen Energy Stadium (Chester, PA)

Where to watch:  6abc, TVAS

Streaming: MLS Live

PRO Referees: Nima Saghafi, Eric Weisbrod (AR1), Jason White (AR2), Mark Geiger (AR4).

Coaches: Jim Curtin (Philadelphia Union) – Mauro Biello (Montreal Impact)

What now?:

This homestand was supposed to be the chance for the Philadelphia Union to turn things around. Instead, they’ve been outscored 5-1 in back to back losses and are now the only team without a win. The game this weekend against the Montreal Impact is the most winnable game this month and if the Philadelphia Union don’t pick up a W Curtin’s seat could begin to sizzle. He has skated through this homestand on Earnie Stewart’s endorsement and while axing Curtin wouldn’t solve everything, it’s reaching the point where a head needs to roll.

More from Philadelphia Union

Looking beyond the numbers of goals scored and allowed, the Philadelphia Union should be a middle of the road team. But thanks to poor finishing, that isn’t the case. Part of it is that everyone is pressing to make plays but that isn’t going to change until they finally win a game. Hopefully, things will turn around against the struggling impact, but only time will tell.

To get a view from the Montreal side of things, let’s join Nick Sabetti of Impact this week and

Opposition corner:

Chuck: With Montreal finally getting the monkey off of their back, do you think that there is a possibility that they’ll slip up in a visit to Philadelphia?

Nick: It’s been a sluggish start for the Impact. They did finally manage to win their first game of the season against Atlanta last weekend, but it did arrive with a lot of help from referee Alan Kelly. The Philadelphia Union haven’t won a game yet, but I think this is a winnable game for them. I’d expect a strong start from the Union in the first 20-25 minutes. But if the Impact can defend well in the first half I think they can come away with a positive result, especially with the Union under a lot of pressure.

Chuck: Who are your players to watch in this one (both for Montreal and Philly) and why?

Nick: Ignacio Piatti is the Impact’s biggest threat going forward. If the Union can keep the Argentine at bay they’ll have a great chance of getting three points. C.J Sapong has had a good start to the season for Philadelphia and I think his size advantage versus the Impact’s center backs and the Impact’s difficulties defending crosses and set pieces could see the striker getting a goal in this one.

Chuck: Match prediction and goal scorers.

Nick: I’m going to go with a 1-1 draw. Goals from Sapong and Piatti.

Possible lineups:

There are no new updates for Joshua Yaro but Jim Curtin has noted that he is “itching to get back”. Edu’s rehab has been described as a “tough situation” which can be interpreted how you would like. Alberg will likely see time at the 10 leaving the biggest question to be Gooch vs Jack Elliott. Besides being beaten by David Villa at the end of the NYCFC game, Elliott had a great shift and deserves to start again. Worth noting is that Ray Gaddis trained with the first team this week over Keegan Rosenberry.

Keys to the game:

Contain Ignacio Piatti: Ignacio Piatti is the engine that drives the Impact. As shown by their performance while he was out with an injury, if the Philadelphia Union are able to shut him down, they’ll have a chance in this one. While the Union will also have to keep a lookout for Matteo Mancosu and Dominic Oduro, everything that Montreal does will flow through Piatti.

Get going early: Since the impact just got their first win of the season last week, they haven’t had a chance to get into a rhythm. If the Philadelphia Union nab a goal in the first 25 minutes, doubt may begin to creep into the minds of the impact giving Philadelphia the early advantage.

Next: The ole onionbag (mailbag) week five

Throw it all forward: At this point of the losing streak, it is clear that coordinated attacks aren’t working. Because of that, the Philadelphia Union need to take a route one approach. There’s no harm in throwing balls forward to see what will happen if nothing else is working at the time. Maybe they’ll get lucky and draw an undeserved penalty.