Union expect Impact to have "revenge on their mind"

Club hopes momentum from home wins continues in away match

Keon vs. MTL

Photo Credit: 
Greg Carroccio

It’s never easy to defeat the same club twice in a three-week span.

But that’s exactly the challenge awaiting the Philadelphia Union as they face the Montreal Impact Saturday night at Stade Saputo.

On July 14, the Union came up with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Impact at PPL Park.

The scene shifts this time where the Impact are 7-3-2 at home and 5-2-0 at Stade Saputo since the stadium made its debut in June.

“Playing Montreal twice in such a short time frame, it’s going to be tough,” Union interim manager John Hackworth said. “The fact that we won that game in the fashion that we won it makes this a huge challenge for us. They’ve been a good team all year at home and with [Alessandro] Nesta coming into the team, it changes them a little bit. It’s a huge challenge in front of us.”

The Union have won four of their last five league matches, including a record four straight at PPL Park.

Philadelphia is expecting a determined Montreal side, especially after what transpired three weeks ago.

“We’re playing a team that has revenge on their mind,” Hackworth said. “They are going to have a very sour taste in their mouth from the game here, where they feel like we stole three points from them. We have to understand that, acknowledge it and go out and manage the game the right way.”

The Union plan to take the momentum they’ve built at home into their gameplan on the road. They’re a much more confident club than they were earlier this season. And they’re going to fight to come up with three huge points.

“I think we’re more confident, sure, with the results we’ve been getting at home,” midfielder Brian Carroll told philadelphiaunion.com after last Sunday’s 2-1 win over the New England Revolution. “The playoffs are our goal, and we need to keep getting results. We’re back in it and we have a good opportunity here. But we need to stick together, continue to play as a unit and continue compiling points. Really, nothing changes going on the road.

“We just have to keep playing our brand of soccer and fighting for everything.”

The Union earned three points against the Revolution when Jack McInerney headed home a cross by Sheanon Williams in the 90th minute. That’s Philadelphia’s mantra – keeping playing, fighting and scrapping until the final whistle.

Expect the same spirit on Saturday night.

“The players realize there’s a reason we’re breaking down teams over a course of 90 minutes,” Hackworth said. “I believe that’s how soccer should be played. It’s a chess match. You try to weaken your opponent as you go, and when you can do that enough, opportunities arise for someone to execute in front of goal. They are good signs.”