Philadelphia Union head to Montreal looking for road victory

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 12: C.J. Sapong
COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 12: C.J. Sapong /

The Philadelphia Union return to MLS action with a road match against the Montreal Impact on Wednesday evening.

The ins and outs of the next Philadelphia Union

Montreal Impact (5-6-6) vs. Philadelphia Union (6-5-7)

When: Wednesday 7:30 p.m. ET – Saputo Stadium (Montreal, Quebec)

Where to Watch: The Comcast Network (TCN)

Streaming: MLS Live

PRO Referees: Alan Kelly, Brian Dunn (AR1), Matthew Nelson (AR2), Mark Kadlecik (AR4).

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

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The Philadelphia Union return to MLS action on Wednesday, looking to add to a current three match unbeaten run. The worrying news for Jim Curtin’s side is they have three road matches out of their next four fixtures. Wednesday’s trip to Montreal will start a four-game in ten days stretch, which could be very important if the Union want to climb up the Eastern Conference standings.

In their last fixture, the Union drew in Kansas City 1-1, against a KC side who were missing three important starters. A 69th-minute penalty kick goal from Roland Alberg salvaged a point at Children’s Mercy Park. The Union recently played out a 2-2 friendly draw against EPL outfit, Swansea City on July 15th. Despite losing an early lead, Curtin’s side dug deep and netted an equalizer at home.

As for the Impact, they are coming off a 3-1 road defeat in Houston back on July 5th. The Impact have only lost two league matches at home all season, and currently are two points behind the Union in the table. Mauro Biello’s side are still missing the quality of midfielder Ignacio Piatti in their line-up, who continues to sit with a groin injury.

Striker Anthony Hamel-Jackson and midfielder Patrice Bernier are also missing for Wednesday’s clash due to international duty. Striker Matteo Mancosu (three goals, three assists) and midfielder Blerim Dzemaili (three goals, four assists) are two players that will be counted on for production with several key starters out.

Possible Lineups/Injury Report:
The Union are still without goalkeeper Andre Blake and midfielder Chris Pontius due to the Gold Cup. Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya was released from Gold Cup duty, but will unavailable due to his wife expecting their second child in the coming days. Fabian Herbers joins Maurice Edu as the long-term absentees after the German underwent sports hernia surgery on Tuesday morning. Richie Marquez (tendinitis), Jack Elliott (left tibia contusion), Brian Carroll (lumbar disc herniation), and Warren Creavalle (right hamstring strain) are all questionable.

Keys to the Game:

  • Impact cannot be taken lightly.

Despite missing several starters, the Impact cannot be taken lightly one bit by Philadelphia. The Impact have taken 13 of 21 points this season at Saputo Stadium, while the Union have only six road points which is the second fewest in the Eastern Conference. Dominic Oduro provides pace and creativity to the Impact line-up, while Dzemaili will be counted on to provide chances in Piatti’s absence.

Matteo Mancosu may only have three goals in 15 appearances, but the 32-year-old is a physical handful for any opposing centerback. The Union will need to limit Montreal’s chances, while also proving a strong counter attack themselves. The Alberg-Ilsinho-Picault connection in midfield provides a different look, which could very well cause the Impact problems defensively.

Next: Herbers receives Green card

  • Player to Watch – Derrick Jones.

With Alejandro Bedoya still missing, Derrick Jones will continue to start next to Haris Medunjanin. The 20-year-old has shined in his 11 appearances, despite a sending off in June against the Red Bulls. The insertion of Jones into the line-up clearly means Medunjanin will press forward in an attacking role. Jones has been a stone wall in midfield, and his services will be needed against a creative Impact side.