MONTREAL — The best part about this week for the Philadelphia Union? It's finally over.
Playing their third game in seven days, the Union were dealt a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Montreal Impact as MLS All-Stars Didier Drogba and Ignacio Piatti torched them for a combined four goals and two assists.
“Tonight we were beat by stars,” head coach Jim Curtin said. “Drogba and Piatti were unstoppable tonight.”
It was Philly’s worst loss of the season and a demoralizing way to head into the All-Star break. At the same time, it’s a game they plan to quickly forget.
“We'll just tear up the tape and move on,” Curtin said. “It's disappointing.”
Four days after a shootout loss to the New England Revolution in the US Open Cup, the Union struggled for much of Saturday’s contest, generating only one shot in the first half before finishing the night with nine. Chris Pontius broke the shutout with a 72nd-minute header that sailed over the head of Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush, but that only came after Philly dug themselves into a 3-0 hole.
“It doesn’t feel very good,” rookie right back Keegan Rosenberry said of the team's performance. “We didn’t do the things we set out to do tonight and the objectives we set for ourselves. It also doesn’t help anybody to focus on this long afterwards, so we move past it and we’ll train hard as a team.”
Rosenberry now departs for San Jose to play in Thursday’s AT&T MLS All-Star Game along with Andre Blake, who did make a very impressive initial save on Piatti before Drogba pounced on the rebound to score Montreal’s second goal.
When they return, they’ll join their teammates for a home game vs. Real Salt Lake as Philly gets to go back to the friendly confines of Talen Energy Stadium, where they own a 7-1-3 record. That’s far better than their road record, which dipped to 1-6-3 after Saturday’s rough loss in Montreal.
"We've learned how to be a strong team at home,” Curtin said, “but we're still learning to be a strong team on the road.”