Match preview: Union out to make an impact against Montreal
Philadelphia Union vs. Montreal Impact
When: Saturday, 7 p.m.; Where: Stade Saputo, Montreal, Canada
TV: The Comcast Network with play-by-play announcer JP Dellacamera and color analyst Alejandro Moreno
Radio: None; Online: Streaming webcast on MLSSoccer.com/live
Referees: Juan Guzman (main), Corey Rockwell, Mark Cahen; Mathieu Bourdeau (fourth)
It’s one thing to win on the road.
It’s quite another thing to win on the road consistently during a marathon MLS season.
The Philadelphia Union have been extremely impressive thus far away from PPL Park. They have posted victories in places such as Colorado, Chicago and at D.C. United. Through six road matches, the Union are 3-2-1.
Their toughest test awaits on Saturday with a trek to Canada to face the ultra-talented Montreal Impact.
The Impact (6-2-2, 20 points) are tied for third place in the Eastern Conference.
But the Union (5-4-3, 18 points) are right behind them in fourth place, just two points behind.
“They are all tough, it’s tough to go in anyone’s park and play,” Union technical director Rob Vartughian said. “They are a good team and an experienced team. In terms of where it ranks, I don’t know if I can put a ranking on it but our approach has been the same for all the road games. We’re not going to waver or do anything different.”
By the way, the Impact are 4-0-1 at Stade Saputo.
Marco Di Vaio leads the way for Montreal with six goals. The Impact have performed at an extremely high level in virtually every facet.
And the Union realize they’ll have to meet that challenge.
“They have some really good pieces that are dangerous,” Vartughian said. “We’re familiar with them, we’ve watched them a ton on film. They have a guy in Di Vaio who has six goals up top and they have experience all through the field. (Alessandro Nesta, Felipe Martins), who is a very good player. Justin Mapp, who we’re all familiar with, he’s a very good player. They have good pieces, so we started that preparation right after Chicago and we’ll be ready to go once the game rolls around.”
Once the game rolls around, Union forward Jack McInerney will walk on the pitch with a league-leading eight goals.
He has been a constant from start to finish since the season began, reveling in every challenge along the way.
“We have played very well on the road and we’re looking for that consistency away and at home,” McInerney said. “We’re looking for 90 minutes of consistency every game. We’ve done a very good job on the road and I hope it continues. I think the more we play together, the better off we’ll be. I think we’re looking forward to all the challenges and we’ve done a good job on the road.
“I think winning on the road is tough in this league. I think we’ve gained confidence with how we’ve done early in this season. What we need to do is keep it going.”
Contact Union writer Andy Jasner at email@example.com