Philly Sports Network’s Union Crew Preview: Can the Union make an impact at Montreal?

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The Philadelphia Union are in danger of becoming irrelevant in MLS play after only playing nine games. Losing at Toronto and Columbus in six days time, coupled with only 10 shots combine over those two matches leaves the Union needing something from their match against Montreal. This match seems like the most winnable out of their three road games in nine days stint, however the Union have never failed well in Montreal. Can the Union make an Impact at Montreal and end this poor streak?  Matt and Tim answer that question in our latest Philly Sports Network’s Union Crew Preview!

Matt McClain:

Philadelphia Union finish off the most difficult stretch of their season to date as they face Montreal Impact away from home. The match completes a stretch of three straight away matches in just nine days. The first two have resulted in losses and zero goals scored. Head coach Jim Curtin spoke to the media Thursday afternoon and sounded a bit deflated after witnessing his team struggle yet again to finish the chances they create. Curtin suffered through another road performance without a result to hold up in honor. Another loss away from Chester has taken its toll on the coach perhaps.
His team will feature at least four changes in the starting XI. Expect to see the Jamaican Cory Burke in the number 9 position as CJ Sapong receives some much needed rest whether from the hard knock he took Wednesday night or the amount of minutes he’s been asked to play so far; he could use a breather. You can also expect to see fresh faces out on the wings. A very interesting decision rests in Curtin’s hands: sub out the new superstar David Accam who hasn’t shown flashes of offensive brilliance yet or allow him to continue playing in hopes of him finding a way to shake off his goalless streak.
It would be nice to see Marcus Epps receive a start as he has shown a consistent ability to impact games whether at the USL level with Bethlehem Steel FC or the brief minutes he earns with Philadelphia. Epps’ speed and comfort on the ball could provide a great blend of patience and creativity while adding a pair of fresh eyes to the teams final third approach.
No matter who Curtin decides to rest Friday night, they NEED a win. Perhaps more than ever before, the club needs a W. So very desperately.
Cory Burke scores almost every time he starts at forward and it’s his motto: every time he sets foot on the pitch, he tries to score goals. That’s what the game is all about. The Jamaican will score twice this afternoon and a sense of brief relief will end the road trip.

Union man of the match: Cory Burke

Score prediction: 2-0 Union

Tim Lovenguth:

With the early struggles of this season, The Union owner, front office, sporting director, coach, and entire first team have received some well deserved scrutiny. It’s no secret the team has a lot to answer for, so why not prove that they can play like a competent team against a Montreal side that has had some issues early on in the season as well.

This game is going to feature more of the young guns mixed in with the veterans who have been pulling their weight. I will look to see if Alejandro Bedoya is pushed wide to create some change. If he does move back to his more natural position. It will allow more players like Medunjanin, Creavalle, or Fontana the ability to operate in the middle of the field. Bedoya could easily dictate the floe of this game should he b e moved out wide right.

As it has been stated already, this game is one where players who have yet to see a lot of playing time, will find themselves in a position to help right some wrongs of late. Look for Burke, Fontana and Epps to step up and try to leave their mark on the game. These young guns will provide a much needed spark!

Union man of the match: Alejandro Bedoya

Score prediction: 1-0 Union

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Tim Lovenguth

Matt McClain

Jeff Green

Peace out Union fans!

Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

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