Philadelphia Union: Previewing upcoming matchup against Montreal Impact

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

To help prepare for Saturday’s game against the Montreal Impact, let’s take a look at some keys surrounding the Philadelphia Union.

Coming off two straight road losses, the Philadelphia Union head to Montreal to face the Impact in the final game of their road trip. With both sides starting off the season on a low note, this could launch either of them forward through the season.

The Ins and Outs

Philadelphia Union (2-2-5) @ Montreal Impact(3-0-7)

When: Saturday at 3 PM Eastern – Stade Saputo (Montreal, Quebec)

Where to Watch: PHL17

PRO Referees: Head- Kevin Stott, AR1- Brian Dunn, AR2- Jeremy Kieso, 4th– Silviu Petrescu, VAR: Younes Marrakchi

Coaches: Jim Curtin (Philadelphia Union) – Remi Garde (Montreal Impact)

Change the Narrative

The running narrative for the Philadelphia Union this season is that they cannot score. They also definitely cannot win games on the road. When you consider their last 10 road victories include a team that no longer exists, it has been an unsuccessful run for the side. With almost a year since their last road victory in DC, it seems unlikely this weekend will be any different as they head to Montreal.

The Lineups

There are two likely changes in the Union lineup for this weekend. Fabinho injured himself in his first game back, and will likely not be tested. CJ Sapong also seems to have a strong injury that could see him miss his first start of the season. With those two in mind, it seems likely Cory Burke will get the start up front if Sapong does not reach full fitness. Ray Gaddis seems likely to start at Left Back, especially if Fabinho is only good enough for a bench role. With Mathew Real headed to the United States Under 20 camp, Olivier Mbaizo may make his first Union squad appearance of the season.

Jim Curtin suggested that he could make other changes and that leads to some speculation. The biggest option is on the wings where David Accam has been far from effective. Ilsinho looked fresh in his first minutes but has not kept up his performance. This makes it likely that Fafa Picault returns to the lineup this weekend at either wing. Another option involves a rest for one of the center backs, especially with their youth possibly seeing Mark McKenzie getting a second start. Another option is a defensive shield in Warren Creavalle to get a single point on this road trip.

Keys to the Game

The key to the game for the Union will be limiting defensive mistakes. While the defense has been strong their youth has led to lapses. While not every lapse has led to a goal, many have. With the offense being relatively ineffective the defense needs to be more effective. The goals will come, but part of winning is not letting the opponent score on you.

Next: Previewing upcoming matchup against Columbus Crew

Player to Watch: Andre Blake

With the continued youth of the defense, the team really lets in a strong amount of chances. Andre Blake continues to be one of the bright spots on the team, but he will have to keep that up if the side has any chance of winning games.