Union / Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 0-3 Montreal Impact

Blerim Dzemaili scored twice and drew a penalty kick that Ignacio Piatti slammed home as the Montreal Impact defeated Philadelphia Union 3-0 in Chester.

Dzemaili gave the impact the lead with his 5th goal of the season in the 69th minute. He then drew a penalty when John McCarthy took out the midfielder’s legs in the 89th minute, giving Piatti a chance to score from the spot. Dzemaili grabbed a second on the night with a fine curling shot deep into second half stoppage time.

Jim Curtin made one change to the team that defeated Dallas last Saturday, with Josh Yaro starting in place of Oguchi Onyewu, who missed out with a minor groin injury.

The Union would have a great chance to take the lead in the 5th minute. C.J. Sapong latched onto a misplaced backpass from the Impact defense and raced into the Montreal box. Sapong was able to skip around a retreating defender but Evan Bush did well to save with his feet from close range.

The rest of the first half played out with few chances for either side, Montreal shading the better possessions.

The Union would come close to taking the lead in the 66th minute. Ilsinho did well to pick out Haris Medunjanin on the overlap coming down the right side and the Bosnian squared a great pass into the penalty area. Giliano Wijnaldum met the ball and fired a shot off the right post from 8 yards out.

Montreal would go in front in the 69th minute. The ball was played deep down the right side of the Union’s defense for Daniel Lovitz. Lovitz’ first time cross was deflected off of Josh Yaro and fell right into the path of Dzemaili, who was unmarked and blasted a shot past John McCarthy.

Montreal would add a second with a penalty from Piatti in the 90th minute. Dzemaili again was the danger man, getting a chance one on one with McCarthy 16 yards out. When Dzemaili cut back, the Union goalkeeper swiped for the ball but was only take out the midfielder’s legs. Piatti stepped up and sent McCarthy the wrong way.

The Impact would add gloss the scoreline in the 4th minute of stoppage time. It was again Dzemaili, curling home a beautiful shot from the top of the box past the outstretched hands of McCarthy.

The Union are next in action when they travel to San Jose to take on the Earthquakes next Saturday (10:30 p.m. EST).


Philadelphia Union

John McCarthy, Giliano Wijnaldum, Josh Yaro, Jack Elliott (Jay Simpson 85′), Ray Gaddis, Chris Pontius (Marcus Epps 67′), Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya, Ilsinho (Roland Alberg 75′), Fafa Picault, C.J. Sapong
Unused Subs: Jake McGuire, Warren Creavalle, Jay Simpson, Richie Marquez, Fabinho

Montreal Impact

Evan Bush, Victor Cabrera, Laurent Ciman, Daniel Lovitz, Chris Duvall, Patrice Bernier (Louis Beland-Goyette 80′), Samuel Piette, Blerim Dzemaili, Dominic Oduro (Michael Salazar 67′), Ignacio Piatti, Matteo Mancosu (Kyle Fisher 87′)
Unused subs:
 Maxime Crepeau, David Choiniere, Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Shaun Francis

Scoring summary

MON: Blerim Dzemaili- 69′
MON: Ignacio Piatti — 90+1′ (PK)
MON: Blerim Dzemaili – 90+4′ (Ignacio Piatti)

Disciplinary summary

MON: Chris Duvall  — 48′ (unsporting behavior)
MON: Samuel Piette — 84′ (unsporting behavior)

Philadelphia Union Montreal Impact
 10 Shots  9
 2 Shots on Target 7
 4 Shots off Target 2
 4 Blocked Shots  0
 8 Corner Kicks  4
 14 Crosses 14
 3 Offsides 0
10 Fouls 11
 0 Yellow Cards  2
 0 Red Cards 0
 398 Total Passes 428
 81% Passing Accuracy  80%
 48.6% Possession  51.4%
 53 Duels Won  62
 46% Duels Won %  54%
8 Tackles Won  19
 4 Saves 2
15 Clearances 22


  1. The game was fine until they stopped playing Touch of Grey and the ref blew the opening whistle.
    I’m pretty sure most of the players on the Union realized that the trade deadline has passed so they don’t need to worry about their jobs for the next 5 months. In that case, why bother to try?

  2. Man of the match for me was the guy who saved his red shirted friend in the river deck from driving home annihilated. He stopped by initially did a nice move where he tasted his friends beer to get the beer out of his hand. When he realized that was a lost cause he escorted him away. True friend as it didn’t appear they came together.

  3. *sigh*
    At least the Euro leagues are here to distract us from this mess. Regroup and see what paper mache model of a real team is created for 2018.

  4. It’s ok, we have a Chief Tattoo Officer and a 60 year plan.\

    Oh, and 50k of Allocation Money!

  5. When Simpson came on for Elliott, did formation change? Defensively, anyway, the team seemed lost. I wonder if they’ve ever practiced any other formation?

  6. Yep. We definitely didn’t need any help in the transfer window. None at all…
    Sugarman. Stewart. Curtain. I hate them all.
    I hate that we have no real money to sign players like so many other MLS teams are.
    I hate that we blow the little bit of money that we do have by GROSSLY overpaying for substandard talent.
    I hate that the plan seems to be “let’s tank for 3-5 years” but then we’ll have an academy and then MAYBE be able to make the playoffs most years…until we sell those players and MAYBE get fair value for them…but ONLY if MLS would later decide to change the transfer rules.
    I hate that we continue to play the same formation that doesn’t work, and that we don’t have the players to run, and that we don’t make real changes until late, late into the game.
    Sorry. Just had to vent tonight. How do I get to that cliff again?

    • Wow, Dude my thoughts exactly…we are kindred spirits in our hatred

    • +1 I haven’t given them a red cent in 3 years and know so many who have also
      given up their tickets. Considering you can clearly read ‘UNION’ in the stands most weeks… it’s clear many who bought tickets don’t even bother going anymore

      • UnitedPenn13 says:

        I am a Founding member and had 4 tickets in 117 for the first season and then in 107 for 6 seasons. Last year I decided not to renew. I don’t regret that decision. It’s very frustrating watching this team. They don’t seem to have a clue as to what to do to fix this mess. Is there a curse on Philadelphia sports teams?

    • It was all explained in the Town Hall meeting…

      See Comments on Jim O’Leary’s recap on the Montreal match.

      JUST RIDICULOUS…………………..

  7. After witnessing that shit show that was no higher level than a high school jv team, I have no words except… As a founding member, I now am SERIOUSLY considering opting OUT for next year. DO YOU HEAR ME M/O? No I don’t think so…

  8. SOS MLS

  9. Hey guys it’s ok we have a 13 year old in the Academy who is super duper awesome and totally won’t be on the first plane to a German academy the minute he turns 16.

  10. Why did I go to this tonight? By the time I see them in Atlanta this team will be so irrelevant. See ya next season, talen.

  11. This problem is at the TOP. We need a Coach! Please don’t look for any new players, WE NEED A COACH!!!!!

  12. 4 of the next 5 games are on the road where the union are just completely inept..long story short, season over..time to get your tix for next year’s failed season

  13. ThisisPhil says:

    Play the kids, rest the vets that you don’t want injured. See you in 2018.

  14. How can this team look so good one week, and so completely inept the next. It boggles the mind. I keep wondering why I even bother to watch. Thank god EPL is back.

    • It was all explained in the Town Hall meeting…

      See Comments on Jim O’Leary’s recap on the Montreal match.

      JUST RIDICULOUS…………………..

    • Well All4U, for one, they pressure our team right away. They didn’t allow ilsinho to have any space at all in the middle. When the Union are pressured we get closed down since we’re a team that doesn’t move at all. I believe it was Samuel Piette who was playing at the CB position. He was a key factor for Montreal bc he would push up all the way to midfield and pick out forwards, playing through balls and finding seems, quickly pushing their offense high up the pitch. I was shocked to see how much room Piette had going forward w the ball. It also showed that montreals coach had no fear of the Unions offense considering when Piette pushed forward it left Montreal with only 2 defenders in the back …only 2!!! Curtin should have picked up on this and added some offensive power….putting 2 forwards up top. But of course Curtin is too stubborn to change formation when needed. Basically, Curtin was out coached.

  15. Jim says a critical road trip? If we knew how to win on the road, then there’d be a point in caring. Bottom of the barrel again. Thanks ownership! Stick your season package up you know where!

  16. Not just the amount of losses, but the play in those losses has been so hard to watch. I can count four games this season when i sat on my couch and didnt move or say a word because there wasnt a solitary thing to cheer about. Every other game lately is almost impossible to watch, unenjoyable and a waste of two hours.

  17. It was all explained in the Town Hall meeting…

    See Comments on Jim O’Leary’s recap on the Montreal match.

    JUST RIDICULOUS…………………..

  18. Sorry… it was the comments on Jim O’Leary’s PREVIEW, not REVIEW, article. (Either way we lost, again, with a complete lackluster performance when we needed it most).

    Article title: Match preview: Philadelphia Union vs. Montreal Impact Posted by Jim O’Leary on August 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm

  19. How has Jim Curtin been the coach for 4 years? Mind boggling.
    Was there any doubt of the Lineup?
    Was there any doubt of who and when the subs would be?
    Watch after the goal, it was obvious that the plan was to lump it forward. Everyone started moving into positions that made it clear that’s what they were told to do.
    I like Sapong, but look at the difference between him and a really skilled forward in a similar situation. He needs another forward to play off of, or vice versa. Also, wow isn’t it nice to watch a real #10. Good thing I read that article about how great it was we didn’t get one.

    • You started your post with 3 questions. First question, you answered. Second and Third questions…please answer those, and tell me what you would have done differently than Curtin and how it would have affected the outcome of the game.

      • I would probably have started with a similar lineup because the team played well the last game and there’s a given stipulation of never being able to change formation or tactic. However my point really was that we are so overly basic and consistent that everyone knows what’s coming every game for the most part. You think the other coaches and teams don’t know that? It’s not a coincidence that CJ was on the ground 20 times. That’s all that’s needed to completely destroy the offense.
        It is a very weak argument if your only defense of Curtin is “well what else is he supposed to Do?”

  20. The fact that Curtain did not change anything after the first 45, shows how out of his league he is. This loss is solely on him. He is completely lost when it comes to tactics, and is so easy to stop, because his is so predictable. Completely dominated in the midfield. Hate to say it but that game needed D. Jones and Fabino. They needed a destroyer type in mf, and a lb more positionally sound. Subbing Epps for Pontius was completely the wrong move. Probably should of started Marquez instead of Yaro also. Waiting till the 85th min to put in Simpson, are you kidding me?

    If ES can’t see how terrible this club is coached then hes as clueless as Curtain.

    Two things have to happen to get me to FOLLOW this club next year.
    1.) A real proven manager with experience, that is not hired within the club.
    2.) Spend more than the rumored 2mil of TAM from the league, 200k (missing playoffs),and whatever GAM is lying around.
    If those things don’t happen I’m done! Guess what, the rest of the league get 2 mil in TAM also, so expect more of the same. So sick of hearing about all the cap space, you have to pay money to aquire talented players, then you pay their salaries. As the MLS continues to grow the UNION will be left further behind, unless Sugarman spends his own money to get players.
    If that doesn’t happen, it proves he only wants our wallets, and doesn’t give a damn about winning.

    • It would have been interesting if Curtin had subbed in D. Jones considering he wasn’t in the 18 last night.

      • Guess I should have clarified. I know Jones wasn’t in the 18. It goes back to Curtain’s predicably, he doesn’t change his lineup based on the opponent. He ONLY changes if he loses the previous match.
        I would have said to start Rosenberry also, if he wasn’t supposedly hurt.

    • They were both hurt. Even if Keegan wasn’t hurt, his 1st game in 4 months is going to be against Dzemaili, Piatti, and Lovitz overlapping them? With Yaro next to him who also hasn’t played? They would have gotten TORCHED. Don’t forget, the game was 0-0 in 65′ when we hit the post.

      I guess my point to all the anti-Curtin posters on here is what do you want him to do? He can only use the players that he has available. I broke it down 3 games ago after we lost to Columbus on the road. Go thru Montreal’s lineup and the Union’s lineup man for man. It’s not even close. Out of the 11 players on the field, we had 2, maybe 3 players who would have started for them. And Montreal is an 8th place team in the East. Go look at lineup comparisons when we play any of the playoff teams. His best 3 sub options last night were Simpson, Alberg, and Epps. If it wasn’t so sad, it’s kind of comical.

      Talent wins in the pros. A world-class or horrendous coach can make a difference, but most of them don’t really move the needle too much, especially in soccer. The Union has below average talent in the starting 11 and zero depth. So, if a guy like Gooch is hurt (think about that…Gooch came in as a favor in the pre-season and now he’s the unquestioned anchor of the Back 4), it’s potential for disaster immediately. Add to it that 5 of our regular 10 field starters are 30+…there’s no chance to be a good team over a 34 game haul. No coach is winning consistently with this roster…I’m sorry, but that’s just the truth.

      • Guess D. Jones miraculously healed to start today for the Steel.

        I know about the lack of talent on this club. I have 1 question, if they spend real money this winter to acquire talent, are you confident that Curtain would get the most out of the team to make us contenders? I sure as hell don’t. He would run guys into the ground (Medujanin + others), as he always done. Definition of insanity, doing exactly the same and expecting different results.

      • I want Curtain to NOT give the opposition any hope that they can steal 3 points on the road by the 65th min. Just in the hope that the Union will score a late winner, that’s what he was playing for. It’s absurd. Why let it get to that point? He should not be coaching at this level PERIOD!

  21. Pitiful. No attempt to improve the team at before trade deadline. Only hope for this team at this level is change in ownership and new coach. Same pattern of never doing enough in obtaining quality players and coaches year after year. MLS should stop granting franchises to new teams unless they can prove they have money and partnes to improve the first team. Equivalent of subprime mortgages granted to those who should never received them.

  22. How about Huddersfield Town, though?

  23. There is no way Curtin can have a job next year. Rosenberry riding the pine practically all season is all the reason you need to understand this guy hasn’t got a fucking clue. He only knows 1 way and if that doesn’t work….well it’s the same shit in and the same shit out.

    I have brought this theory up many times here and I will state this again. Jay Sugarman is a Realestate investor, and that’s the key here. He’s built a stadium, training complex, training pitches, has an Academy, and now Bethlehem Steel. He has made his team worth a lot Through infrastructure. Why does this matter? Because he will sell the club once the club worth hits his “magic number” and when it does, he’s going to sell this team to the highest bidder plain and simple. Makes a profitable return on a franchise which 7 years ago was cheaper than a new franchise is now.

    • Oh I’d expect at least two more years of Curtin. Stewart likes him. Plain and simple. Stewart also realizes the roster limitations he saddled Jim with. So this off-season they will retool and spend all that cash that’s been freed up. Jim will get next season to show what he can to with even more “talent”. As long as he doesn’t screw that up too badly, he’ll get the next year to make a run in the playoff’s. I guarantee this happens.

  24. So I thought I might chill a bit after this embarrassing performance… but then listening to the coach’s press conference I am firmly convinced Curtin has set up safe places for the players, filled with teddy bears and pacifiers and positive thoughts written on puffy white clouds that adorn their locker stalls. Post game he gathers them together for group hugs and ‘PARTICIPATION TROPHYS’ get awarded to all. Correct me if I’m wrong, has Curtin EVER called out any player EVER? You don’t have to be a fire and brimstone breathing dragon of a personality every week to be a successful professional coach, but would someone/anyone tell this coach that mulligans are given out when you sign up for a charitable golf outing and usually cost $10.00 per with all proceeds going to the charity being sponsored. What a disgraceful, un-professional embarrassing performance I witnessed Saturday night, “I” should have been PAID to sit in the stadium to watch that shit show… How long can this continue????????????????? RRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!

  25. The thing that pushed me over the top was his comment, “silly goals allowed at the end” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? SILLY???? WTF SILLY???? Sad is what it is, Fuckin’ SAD! Great job coach !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Montreal had already played us multiple times this year. They know if you just throw 2 guys at Ilsinho when he gets the ball we’re screwed because we don’t throw enough guys forward in the attack. I had to watch him dribble sideways 25 yards with 2 guys chasing him because there was 0 support. People also know that you can just bang on CJ and it will not get called more often then it does get called. Gaddis doesn’t get forward much, Pontius might as well be a wing back in a 3-5-2 since he seems to like to defend more than attack. It’s also very easy to get the ball to the wing against the way we set up defensively. It’s not going to change this year. I’m all for a “5 year plan” or whatever you want to call it but you can’t just hope that you start to be good in year 5. If we are going to play the moneyball game, academy game or whatever you want to call it then guys like Keegan, Jones, Epps & Najem should be on the field for the rest of this season and in the offseason spend money on YOUNG (25 & under talent) like a Miguel Almiron and not 30/31 year old players. Improving needed to start this season but it hasn’t so it better start next season or by year 5 there won’t be any fans left.

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