Preseason not a match report: Union 1, Montreal 0

Photo: Paul Rudderow

The “final score” of Wednesday night’s preseason match was Philadelphia Union 1, Montreal Impact 0.

First, this link led to a replay of the live stream as of 6-9 AM Thursday morning. It is unknown how long it will be there, and one has to be within the Philly or Montreal areas to see it.

The camera does not catch up to the ball on fast breaks, particularly in corners when the mass of players remain in the center of the pitch. It seems to follow the highest concentration of bodies available.

Shape: 4-1-2-1-2, aka 4-4-2 diamond, until the 61st minute substitutions when it became a 4-2-3-1.

Lineup and Subs: What appears to be the “A” lineup — minus Jamiro Monteiro and Kai Wagner — played until the 61st minute except for Matej Oravec and Joe Bendik who came off at halftime. The Cole Turner-for-Sergio Santos substitution signifies the shape change. (L-R): Bendik (Freese HT); Real (Mbaizo, 61′), McKenzie, Glesnes (Collin, 61′), Gaddis; Oravec (Martinez, 45′); Fontana, Bedoya (De Vries 61′); Aaronson; Santos (Turner, 61′), Przybylko, (Ngalina 61′).

Four touches to score! In the 57th minute, Jakob Glesnes headed a long, high Montreal right-hand box delivery directly to Alejandro Bedoya, who one-touched Santos flashing towards the right corner, who one-touch crossed to Kacper Przybylko running on from the left unmarked to one touch it from left of the penalty spot to score. Glesnes deserves a tertiary assist, in addition to Bedoya’s secondary one. It should have brought a smile to Ernst Tanner’s face as it epitomized his hope for lightning counterattacks.

Other observations:

Montreal did not pressure the Union’s back four virtually at all. Future opposing coaches are unlikely to continue doing that as the back four started attacks unimpeded.

Oravec’s first appearance since Delaware showed an extremely aggressive and anticipatory approach to getting up the field. Montreal’s counterattacks had some speed in the right channel that threatened the back four and the keeper when they turned the ball over. “El Brujo” (substitute Jose Martinez) was quite aggressive, but did not seem as much so as the Slovakian midfielder, while he was in the diamond for the first 15 minutes of the second half. After halftime Montreal seemed to put more pressure on the defensive midfielder position. It may have been a point of emphasis for them at halftime, and would explain  the difference.

For the first half an hour, the pace of the game was fairly crisp and the Union seemed to control possession, except for Montreal’s takeaway-and-counterattack pattern. Nacho Piatti would have made a difference for Montreal but he was not on the pitch (in advance of a possible transfer).

Both sides made bulk substitutions at roughly the 60th minute.

Neither Monteiro nor Wagner were recognized as present on the bench. Nor were Andre Blake. Andrew Wooten, Ilsinho, and Jack Elliott. Wooten was seen on the far sideline rehabbing his quadriceps under supervision. Opportunities to observe the bench were not comprehensive.

Brenden Aaronson took all the corners and the free kicks in the offensive third, when the camera happened to show those single individuals.

The Union appeared the more coordinated, better conditioned soccer team until the five substitutions in the 61st minute, noteworthy given that it was Oravec’s first Florida public appearance. The starting group was smooth, and remained so after halftime. It did not remain so after the subs at the 61st minute.

Ray Gaddis and three homegrowns — McKenzie, Fontana and Aaronson — played the full 90. Matt Real did not play 90 for the first time this preseason. And Michee Ngalina was seen publicly for the first time this preseason.  No Philadelphia Union II players were noticed as present.


  1. #SexyPreSZN
    I noticed a lot of direct play in this game. Both Glesnes and McKenzie hit a lot of long balls up the field. Gaddis hit a few more than he usually does as well. I don’t know if that is because of Oravec or not yet. We’ll see.
    The few times we tried to play it out from the keeper looked sketchy too, so we’ll have to see if that continues or not. If Blake is in goal my guess is not.

  2. Thanks as always Tim. I tried to watch the replay of the stream last night. I’d get about 5-10 minutes in and the stream would time out and it would start over from the beginning. I gave up after a few tries. Good luck if anyone wants to try and watch it.

  3. Thank you for the detailed reporting, Tim!

  4. Where is Montiero? Signing a DP and then having the DP miss pre-season is not adding value. We lined up the team early this year and may end up getting the same early season product because the team wasn’t together enough. No Elliot, no Montiero, no Wagner. That is 3 games down with key players absent.

  5. Apologies for confusion about who was and was not there. Errors of omission by me due to haste.
    When I watch the replay this morning on a 27″ monitor instead of live yesterday evening on a 15″ laptop, I am confident I recognized Jack Elliott dressed on the bench. There was a report somewhere yesterday that he was flying in overnight.
    Elliott has an unmistakeable proportion and shape among his neck, his chest and his shoulders, and there is a distinctive shape to his head and face. The shot was quite late in the match. I had no doubt.

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