Philadelphia Union vs. Montreal Impact | MLS Match Preview

PHILADELPHIA UNION vs MONTREAL IMPACT
PPL PARK, Chester, Pa.
Aug. 9, 2014 (WEEK 22, MLS Game #203)
7 p.m. ET (CSN-Phi; TVA)

A couple of clubs in real need of points to climb up the Eastern Conference standings meet on Saturday evening when Philadelphia Union entertain the Montreal Impact on Saturday evening at PPL Park. Union come into the game three points out of the final playoff position in the division, with the Impact a further 10 points back. Union stretched their undefeated run to four games last time out, a 1-1 draw on the road with Sporting Kansas City, while the Impact saw their league losing streak extended to six games in a 2-0 home loss to Toronto FC.

REFEREE: Fotis Bazakos. AR1 (bench): Joe Fletcher; AR2 (opposite): Felisha Mariscal; 4th: Robert Sibiga
MLS Career: 30 games; FC/gm: 25.8; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 6; pens: 10

SUSPENDED: MTL: Hassoun Camara (caution accumulation; through August 10)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: MTL: Matteo Ferrari, Karl Ouimette
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: PHI: Maurice Edu, Fabinho, Raymon Gaddis | MTL: Hernan Bernardello, Felipe Martins, Andres Romero, Dilly Duka, Krzysztof Krol
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (7 meetings): Union 1 win, 7 goals | Impact 4 wins, 12 goals | Ties 2
AT PHILADELPHIA (3 meetings): Union 1 win, 3 goals | Impact 0 wins, 2 goals | Ties 2

2014 (MLS)
3/29: PHI 1, MTL 1 (Nogueira 35 - Di Vaio 80)
4/26: MTL 1, PHI 0 (Felipe 15)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Felipe scored the game's lone goal to give the Impact a 1-0 win April 26 at Stade Saputo. Marco Di Vaio's goal 10 minutes from time canceled out a first-half strike by Philadelphia's Vincent Nogueira to leave the teams in a 1-1 draw in the first meeting, March 29 at PPL Park.
  • The Impact are undefeated in their last six meetings with Union, including victories in all four encounters in Montreal. Since a 2-1 Union win in the first meeting ever between the clubs, July 14, 2012 at PPL Park, Montreal is 4-0-2 in the series.
  • Coaches record: Frank Klopas vs. PHI: P9 W4 L3 D2 | Jim Curtin vs. MTL: first game

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • The only goal of the game came in the 15th minute. Impact captain Patrice Bernier intercepted Sheanon Williams' pass in midfield and continued forward before firing a powerful shot that Zac MacMath failed to control. The ball fell for the onrushing Felipe, who blasted it home from close range.
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Troy Perkins - Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Karl Ouimette, Jeb Brovsky - Collen Warner (Calum Mallace 56), Patrice Bernier - Justin Mapp, Felipe Martins (Eric Miller 89), Jack McInerney - Marco Di Vaio (Maxim Tissot 78).
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams (Conor Casey 81), Aaron Wheeler, Amobi Okugo, Raymon Gaddis - Maurice Edu, Brian Carroll - Danny Cruz (Cristian Maidana 66), Vincent Nogueira, Fabinho (Antoine Hoppenot 61) - Andrew Wenger.

PHILADELPHIA UNION
Philadelphia Union stretched their undefeated run to four matches, reaching a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City on Friday evening at Sporting Park. Union are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 24 points from 22 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The hosts took the lead early in the second half. Toni Dovale found himself 1-v-1 with Union defender Maurice Edu near the top of the area, and Dovale tapped a pass past him to a streaking Graham Zusi, who finished inside the left post for the 53rd-minute opener.
  • But Union found a late equalizer. Raymon Gaddis sent in a cross from the left flank, and substitute Brian Brown got behind his marker to head it into the lower left corner to salvage a point.
  • Union interim manager Jim Curtin made one change to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Brian Carroll came into the team, in place of Michael Lahoud.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Ethan White, Maurice Edu, Raymon Gaddis - Brian Carroll, Amobi Okugo - Sebastien Le Toux, Vincent Nogueira (Fred 87), Danny Cruz (Andrew Wenger 67) - Conor Casey (Brian Brown 69).

TEAM NEWS

  • Union extended their undefeated streak to four games, drawing their second consecutive match on the road. They have lost just once in six league games with Jim Curtin as interim manager.
  • "Things are looking in a good direction," said midfielder Brian Carroll. "We need to stay together, stay unified as a group and support one another through thick and thin no matter who's out there. When your number's called, you need to be ready to step up and get the job done. We were able to pull out a point tonight and now we're ready to go back home and get some more points."
  • Making his second MLS appearance, both as a substitute, Brian Brown scored his goal for the club.
  • "The first thing that came to my mind was to go to the bench and salute my coach for believing in me and putting me out there when we were down," Brown said. "He had the confidence in me to get something for the team."
  • Said Curtin: "I'm extremely happy for Brian. He's a quiet, humble kid and for him to come in and give us a goal like that in a big spot is huge. He's a kid that's shown us in training every day he only needs one chance. He only needs one look. And tonight was a night he proved our team right."
  • Raymon Gaddis contributed his second assist of the season, both over the last four matches.
  • "We are on a good run, but we need to get some more wins. We want to finish in the top three by the end of the regular season. We need to get wins in our home games, and when we go on the road we need to get points like tonight," said Brown. "To get a point for us here is good, but we need to stick to what our coach has been telling us. We will continue to play hard, score goals, defend and hopefully get some wins."
  • Union announced defender Carlos Valdes will return to the club, after playing for Colombia in the FIFA World Cup. Valdes had been on loan with Colombia's Santa Fe in 2013 and Argentina's San Lorenzo earlier this year.
  • "The good thing is that it's a seamless transition," Union interim manager Jim Curtin said. "He knows what it looks like in Houston when it's 120 degrees and you have to fly back to Philadelphia and you're on the road again to Dallas. All the challenges in the league, it's very smooth for him because he's familiar with not only the locker room but also the way the league works and the competitive nature of the league where every game is kind of like a playoff game."

MONTREAL IMPACT
The Montreal Impact had their league losing streak extended to six games, falling 2-0 to Toronto FC on Saturday evening at Stade Saputo. The Impact are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points from 21 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Toronto FC opened the scoring in the 11th minute. On the ball in front of the Montreal box, Michael Bradley picked out Dominic Oduro on the right, and he cut the ball back to Gilberto, who blasted his first-time effort on frame. The shot hit Montreal goalkeeper Troy Perkins and bounced off the underside of the bar before landing on the turf just over the line.
  • TFC hit for the second in the in the 54th minute. With a magnificent long service, Bradley found Oduro sprinting behind the Montreal line on the right. Oduro carried the ball into the box, bouncing a cross off a defender and into the path of an onrushing Luke Moore, who tapped in from close range.
  • Impact head coach Frank Klopas made three changes to the team that lost 3-2 to the Portland Timbers at Stade Saputo. Matteo Ferrari, Eric Miller and Marco Di Vaio came into the team, in place of Marco Di Vaio, Felipe Martins and Maxim Tissot.
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-4-2): Troy Perkins - Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Mamadou Danso (Felipe Martins 51), Krzysztof Krol - Justin Mapp (Dilly Duka 74), Eric Miller, Patrice Bernier, Andres Romero - Marco Di Vaio, Jack McInerney (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 65).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Impact lost their sixth consecutive league game, their longest losing slide since coming into MLS. Their last league win came June 29.
  • "It's always hard when we lose, but I did feel like this was different from an energy standpoint. It's hard staying motivated, but when you're playing at home, especially against a rival team it has to be there," said Impact head coach Frank Klopas. "It wasn't there the first half but it definitely came out in some guys in the second half which was a positive for sure."
  • Said defender Hassoun Camara: "They wanted it more than us in the first half. They came in with a lot of desire, which we didn't have. That's what we have to realize, and we absolutely have to question ourselves. Not the staff, not the front office, not the president. The players. If we're here, it's thanks of them, and today, we're not owning up our role."
  • The Impact also conceded multiple goals in a game for a fifth consecutive match, having allowed 13 goals in the last five games.
  • "I'm not going to make any excuses for what happened," said Patrice Bernier. "We had a game today, a league game, against a rival and we started this game back to zero. It was humid today but it was humid for both teams and unfortunately we never reciprocated after the first T.O. goal."
  • Just days after signing as a Homegrown Player with the club, Anthony Jackson-Hamel made his MLS and full Impact debut, coming on for the final 25 minutes.
  • "I was very impressed by Jackson today, he was able to be dangerous in the box and move well and I think the academy is one way we have to look, because we get them very young and we're able to develop them and we have been. That's definitely a positive to see these young guys come out and play," said Klopas.
  • Eric Miller made his first start since June 29, playing in a central midfield role. Each of his first eight league starts this year had been at fullback.
  • Troy Perkins made his first start in four matches, since July 12, coming in between the posts in place of Evan Bush.
  • On Tuesday, the Impact got their CONCACAF Champions League campaign started off on the right foot, defeating El Salvador's CD F.A.S. 1-0 at Stade Saputo. Marco Di Vaio scored the game's lone goal in the 21st minute.
  • Here's the Impact team: Evan Bush; Karl W. Ouimette, Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Krzysztof Krol; Gorka Larrea, Felipe (Wandrille Lefevre 78'), Andres Romero, Dilly Duka (Patrice Bernier 63'), Justin Mapp (Maxim Tissot 69'); Marco Di Vaio