There are a lot of reasons to watch the Union take on Montreal Impact this weekend, but the four biggest have to be the points that separate these two clubs in the standings. With a win, the Impact could pull within one point of Philadelphia Union in the Eastern Conference standings, setting up both clubs for a dash to the finish as the season rolls through its final six weeks.
However, if the Union come out on top, they could very well find themselves in a tie with Columbus Crew for the fourth spot in the standings; the Crew travel to Dallas to face the top team in the west this weekend.
Piatti pacing the visitors
Even if you ignore the big picture, it is always worth watching Nacho Piatti play soccer. The left wing doesn’t look fast, but he is. He doesn’t look strong, but, again, he definitely is. Controlling Piatti will largely fall on the shoulders of Keegan Rosenberry and likely right wing starter CJ Sapong. Look for these two players to try and keep the Argentine’s head down when he’s on the ball and make him beat them with his feet. Given that Piatti is one of the better dribblers in MLS, this might happen a few times. If it does, the key will be to foul far from goal so the Impact can’t send their big guys forward for dead balls.
Who starts in the center?
Another huge reason to watch this match is to find out whether Borek Dockal makes the first eleven or the bench. After Cristian Higuita’s tackle twisted the Czech playmaker’s ankle in Orlando, Jim Curtin indicated the club will be in a race to get Dockal healthy for this weekend’s match. If Dockal can’t go, Derrick Jones, who stepped in against Orlando, looks likely to get the nod. This move changes the Union midfield significantly, and it will be very intriguing to see whether Philly retains a heavily right-sided attack with Ale Bedoya pushed higher and Jones alongside Haris Medunjanin.
Of course, Curtin could also elect to start Adam Najem in the attacking midfield role with Bedoya staying deep. Anthony Fontana is coming off an injury but could also get a look-in as he rejoins full training ahead of Saturday’s showdown.
- READ: Know Your Enemy
Bounce back from a late goal
The Union were moments away from a win in Orlando when the home side evened the scoreline. Although the draw was still an important road point, that type of finish can be deflating.
One consistent feature of this season’s Philly squad, though, has been their ability to keep an even keel when things are going poorly and when they’re going well. That mental fortitude will get a huge test with the Impact coming in confident off a big win over New York Red Bulls.
Check out all the action on Saturday, September 15th at 7:30PM EST at Talen Energy Stadium.
RE-DOOP TODAY! To find out more about 2019 Seasons Tickets, please click here!