Hackworth, technical staff carefully prepping for weekend clash against Montreal

The roster shuffle continues.

As the Philadelphia Union prepare to play their second-to-last regular season game Saturday at Montreal (2 p.m., Comcast SportsNet), manager John Hackworth is once again facing some difficult choices.

Defenders Fabinho and Sheanon Williams are back after missing last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at D.C. United.

Midfielder Michael Farfan (yellow card accumulation) is out against the Impact. Sebastien Le Toux, who is battling plantar fasciitis, is questionable. The same goes for midfielder Michael Lahoud.

Expect some changes for this huge match at Montreal.

Let’s start with Le Toux.

“He’s still feeling it and we hope to have him back for Saturday,” Hackworth said. “But our medical staff has done a ton of treatment with him right now. If he can go on Saturday – we’ll try to make that determination in the next couple of days – to be fair, it doesn’t look great. But with this injury, if you can manage it right, there’s a chance he can play.”

Matt Kassel stepped up in Le Toux’s absence and played 57 solid minutes against D.C. United.

Kassel had only played in four league matches all season before that.

“The good news is that guys that are training hard are contributing,” Hackworth said. “Matt Kassel’s performance in DC is probably going to go under the radar screen a little bit, but he deserves a ton of credit because he was so important to us battling back in that game. He played at right back in the first half and played a left back, left midfield hybrid in the second half. He got us to a point where we could put Jack (McInerney) on the field and get a result.

“Guys like Matt and other guys are really valuable. It’s just good to see them taking their opportunities at this time. We may have the same situation this weekend.”

How about Lahoud?

“We hope that Michael is 100 percent healthy, but he’s still questionable at the moment,” Hackworth said. “We would be a little more hopeful if he was 100 percent in training right now.”

Meanwhile, Farfan has been one of the Union’s most consistent players in recent matches. Losing him for such a key match is not easy.

“It’s going to be tough to lose him,” Hackworth said. “I’ve been really pleased with Michael over the past three games. It hasn’t been the easiest of years for him so to see him come back to really good form and see him play some huge minutes for us to be so important for what we’re doing. I’m pleased for him personally knowing that as a player he has that capability. He’s contributed in a big way to our success over these last three games.

“He is going to be again one of those guys that we have to fill that void this weekend. We’re hopeful whoever that is will rise to the occasion and that Michael will come back and continue to form. He certainly continues to look really good in training.”

What do you think about who the Union have available for selection vs. Montreal? Leave a comment below.

Contact Union writer Andy Jasner at andy.jasner@yahoo.com


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