Union match reports

Match preview: Philadelphia Union vs Montreal Impact

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

Who: Philadelphia Union (2020: 9-3-2, 31 points, 2nd place in the East) vs.Montreal Impact (6-2-8, 20 points, 8th place in the East)
What: 2020 regular season; Week 17
Where: Subaru Park, Chester, PA
When: Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. (Eastern)
Watch: PHL 17
Whistle: Not available at time of publication

Once more unto the breach!

After a relatively calm 3-0 win on Wednesday against Cincinnati, the Union jump right back into action against the Montreal Impact on Sunday. The compressed schedule is now part of the new normal and will be in effect through the remainder of the season. Montreal, despite being dominated on the field, pulled off a big win against Columbus Wednesday so they will be coming into Subaru Park feeling confident.

That confidence will most certainly be subdued as Subaru Park will have fans for the first time this season. And while the size will be reduced, they will surely be loud beyond their numbers.

The last time these two teams met, the Union, after a shaky start, dispensed of the Impact with an overwhelming 4-1 victory featuring a Kacper Przybylko brace. The win was made easier due to a Montreal red card – a specialty of theirs- earning four in the month of September alone. Montreal has avoided being a man down in their last two matches and will be looking at taking down another top tier conference team and perhaps moving their way up the table. As a side note, Romell Quito was suspended for an additional game as punishment for inserting his elbow into McKenzie’s face.

Scouting Report: Montreal Impact

Before their win against Columbus, Montreal had 4 losses and 1 draw in their previous 5 games. At 1.25 points per game they scream mediocrity. They have a respectable 24 goals-for but a conference worst 30 goals-against.

When they last met, any game plan that Montreal manager Thierry Henry had cooked up was quickly scrapped as he had to contend with yet another early red card. Henry has changed tactics through the season trying to find some magic formula. He came out in a 4-2-3-1 to face the Union’s 4-4-2 but that will probably change due to injuries and a possible change in the Union’s alignment. Their starting striker and leading scorer Romell Quito missed the last game with a thigh injury and forward Lassi Lappalainen, who scored twice against the Union in his debut last year, won’t play – either due to an injury suffered at Columbus or being called up to the Finnish National Team. In addition midfielder Saphir Taider will probably be unavailable.

The Impact favor a possession oriented game using former Tottenham Hotspurs midfielder Victor Wanyama as a pivot working with fellow mids Samuel Piette and Saphir Tadir or Amar Sejdic. The wingbacks Zachary Brault-Guillard and Jorge Corrales keep the width and are not afraid to come forward. With leading scorer Quito most likely out Montreal may turn to Mason Toye who they recently acquired from Minnesota to fill a forward position along with Bojan, a Spanish DP who has not lived up to expectations but did make it to the most recent MLS team of the week.

Defensively, the Impact generally employ a mid press and try to maintain two compact lines of four. They close interior space and try to force any attacks to the outside.

Injury Report: Official Injury report not updated as of this writing but Romell Quito (f), Lassi Lappalanen(f), Orji Okwonko (f) and Saphir Taider(m) are all questionable to Out.

Suspended: None

Scouting report: Union

When defensive midfielder Martinez skipped out of town on a last minute flight to Venezuela on Wednesday to join his national team, it left the Union in a bit of a lurch. With Warren Crevealle coming off an injury and Matej Oravec not ready for primetime, who would fill Martinez’s role?  Jim Curtin changed the formation to a 4-2-3-1 which allowed for a more offensive minded starting eleven and giving Anthony Fontana a much deserved start. With Martinez still gone it would not be unexpected to see the same starting lineup and formation. Any thoughts of moving up Jack Elliott to the #6 are thwarted as it appears Jakob Glesnes will miss the game due to concussion protocol following a collision on Wednesday.

The formation change had some positive effects that could be repeated. Jameiro Monteiro, sitting back as a defensive midfielder, was aggressive and confident in his play having perhaps his best game of the season. Anthony Fontana, while kept off the scoring, sheet had several good chances and coming off the bench, Ilsinho looked like his old self scoring a goal and igniting the whole team.

As mentioned earlier, Montreal has given up 30 goals so the Union will do well by fiercely attacking their suspect back line. The quickness of Santos and Aaronson will be a weapon as the Montreal center backs — anchored by 38 year old Rod Fanni — are not known for their speed. The Union’s wingbacks also may have the opportunity to exploit the Impact’s wingbacks coming too far forward. Note that it appears Ray Gaddis will be back on the twenty.

To succeed on Sunday the Union will have to do three things:

  1. Don’t give up an early goal. Montreal is down a number of their attacking pieces so this game should be another clean sheet for Blake. An early, cheap goal can only give the Impact confidence.
  2. Work the ball over the top. Give Sergio Santos et al the opportunity to run past the Impact backline.
  3. The Union have seven games over the next four weeks. Allowing the players the opportunity to rest is paramount.

Injury Report: Official Injury report not updated as of this writing, but we expect Jakob Glenses to be out.

Suspension Report: None

Key Matchup: Union forwards vs Montreal Center backs
The Union have a clear advantage here so they need to exploit it. Some early goals will allow players to sit down and take much need rest..

Player to Watch: Jamiro Monteiro

Monteiro had a good game last time out. Let’s see if he can build upon it and be a force as the team heads into the home stretch.

Prediction: Philadelphia 3-0 Montreal

Moneyline:

Philadelphia Union: -210
Montreal Impact: +510
Draw: +350

For you degenerate gamblers… Finally, respect!

8 Comments

  1. Might be a good night to give Bedoya a half off.

  2. Will be a wet night but looking forward to being back in the Park!

  3. WEll I sure hope we win 3-0 too!

  4. Gruncle Bob says:

    For what it’s worth, Montreal is 6 8 2 (8th) and Quito is Quioto.

    Gruncle Bob will be in the house. Doop!

  5. Also going to the game. It will be weird to be in a different section (128 rather than 127) and further back (Row L rather than Row C) than normal.
    .
    Unfortunately, MLS.com has Monkey’s Unkel with the whistle so who knows what will happen there.
    .
    According to MLS’s preview of the game, you are correct and Glesnes is listed as out (as is Gaddis). Montreal has 7 players listed as either out or on international duty. Quito and Taider are not on the injury/international duty list, but Saba, Choiniere, Jackson-Hamel, Maciel, and Raitala all are.

    • Andy Muenz is usually right.
      .
      If Freese, Turner, and de Vries are all still in quarantine required by their return from exposure to Philadelphia Union II, the Union will have 19 players available. Burke is in quarantine. Martinez is in South America. Add Glesnes and Gaddis and that is seven unavailable out of the 26 total.
      .

  6. Vince Devine says:

    Montreal is not in 3rd place.

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