Match previews / Union

Match preview: CF Montreal vs Philadelphia Union

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

Who: Philadelphia Union (12-7-9, 45 points – 3rd in East) vs CF Montreal (11-10-7, 40 points – 7th in East)

What: MLS Regular Season

Where: Stade Saputo, Montreal, Quebec

When: Saturday, October 16th, 1:00pm

Watch: PHL17, ESPN+

Whistle: Not available at time of publication

Each game between Eastern Conference foes now has major playoff implications, as only 5 points separate 3rd from 7th. Philadelphia will be looking to widen that distance between one particular foe and build on their road performance in Cincinnati last weekend. Montreal meanwhile will be pushing for a win to climb as high as possible above the playoff line.

Scouting Report: CF Montreal 

Montreal has found a good run of form since returning to Stade Saputo, posting a record of 5-2-1 in their 8 games at home. They have struggled recently against this Philadelphia side and are winless in their last 3 matchups. Montreal will be boosted for this match, as they did take a point in Philadelphia the last time out, a 1-1 draw.

Usually leading the attack for Montreal is Romell Quioto, who bagged 2 goals in the team’s last outing against Atlanta. How large a role Quioto will play is up in the air after he featured for Honduras in the international break and Canada continues to have restrictive COVID travel regulations. Young American Djordje Mihailovic has also provided a spark to the Montreal attack this season, setting up Quioto and springing attacks.

In the midfield Montreal sports former Tottenham Hotspur Victor Wanyama, with captain Samuel Piette alongside him. On the wings are Zachary Brault-Guillard and young Canadian Mathieu Choinière.

In the back organizing the defense is Rudy Camacho with Joel Waterman on his right side and Kamal Miller on the left. In goal is James Pantemis, another young player looking to make his mark.

Injury Report: Out – Robert Thorkelsson, Mason Toye, Jean Aniel Assi, Ahmed Hamdi; Questionable – Lassi Lappalainen

Suspension Report:  None

Scouting report: Union

Since their Champions League exit, Philadelphia has seen a big turn in league form: they are currently on a 5 game unbeaten streak, winning 4 and collecting 1 draw. The Union have also showed off their depth of late, using many younger players in a win against Cincinnati due to the international break.

Speaking of the international break, several Union starters could be question marks in the starting lineup. Olivier Mbazio, Jamiro Montiero and Alvas Powell all returned on Wednesday, while Andre Blake and Daniel Gazdag rejoined the team Thursday. Jose Martinez will not play a role after featuring for Venezuela Thrusday evening.

Up front look for Kacper Przybylko to continue his run of form – he’s scored twice in his last 4 matches. Both Sergio Santos and Cory Burke are dealing with slight injuries and likely will not start the match or play a large role, which means fans might get a glimpse of Quinn Sullivan or Paxton Aaronsen.

In the back, Philadelphia will be bringing out their strong center back pairing of Jack Elliott and Jacob Glesnes, two players who have barely missed a minute this season. The good guys will also be glad to see Kai Wagner back on the left after serving a red card suspension last match. Olivier Mbazio picked up an injury while playing for Cameroon but is expected to be fit for the match. Andre Blake is also a question mark in goal, as it appeared he picked up an injury with Jamaica and was not taking goal kicks in his last match.

Injury Report: OUT – Ilsinho, Cory Burke, Alvas Powell, Sergio Santos

Suspension Report:  None

Key Matchup Attacking width

Both sides in this matchup like to spread the ball wide and get their fullbacks up into the attack. Will they be able to keep defensive shape after each attack? Good service and fitness will dictate who controls the play Saturday.

Player to Watch: Kacper Przybylko

Philadelphia has needed a consistent goal threat all season, and it appears as though Przybylko is heating up at the right time. Maybe a goal against Cincinnati has spurred him into form.

Prediction:  Montreal 1-1 Philadelphia 

Much like the reverse fixture, this match will end in a 1-1 draw. Both teams will settle for a point in what should be a fierce match.

Philadelphia = +230
Montreal = +125
Draw = +260


  1. Jose Martinez played Thursday night in Santhiago, Chile. Jim Curtin has said that he must return to the United States to get a visa to travel into Canada.
    Google says commercial air travel between Santiago and Philly take a day and 13 hours.
    Even if there is a private non-stop jet, Santiago to Philly is 5,048 miles, perhaps 10 hours depending on wind direction.
    Best case scenario is Martinez arrived in Philly early Friday morning. More likely it was later.
    Do not be surprised if he is not available for the Montreal game. Consider it good fortune if he is.
    He played 65 or so minutes Thursday night.

    • Chris Gibbons says:

      I’ve made that flight before. There’s no way he’s playing today.

    • Even if the game was in Philly I wouldn’t expect him to be able to play today given playing 68 minutes less than 48 hours earlier combined with a transcontinental flight.
      Not sure why COMNEBAL had their games on Thursday rather than Wednesday.

  2. Here are the refs for today.
    CF Montréal vs Philadelphia Union
    Stade Saputo (1PM ET)
    REF: Pierre-Luc Lauziere
    AR1: Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho
    AR2: Matthew Nelson
    4TH: Jon Freemon
    VAR: Geoff Gamble
    AVAR: Robert Schaap

  3. Just saw the lineup and Blake and Martinez are both not available. Freese, normal back 4, Flach, Monteiro, Bedoya, Aaronson, Sullivan, and Kacper.
    Bench is Bendik, Harriel, Real, Findley, Bueno, McGlynn, Gazdag, Fontana, Davo.

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