Philadelphia Union Preview: The French-Canadian Connection Comes to Chester

It finally happened everyone… the Union lost a game this season. A tough 2-1 loss against Toronto breaks the team’s five-game winning streak. But as is the case with the way the schedule works, the Union is back at it again, taking on CF Montreal on Saturday, this time at Suburu Park. While the Union is coming off a tough 2-1 loss, Montreal is coming off a very hard-fought 2-1 win at home against Vancouver.

Union
MONTREAL, QC – MARCH 05: Philadelphia Union defender Kai Wagner (27) plays the ball during the Philadelphia Union versus the CF Montreal game on March 05, 2022, at Montreal Olympic Stadium in Montreal, QC (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire)

Union vs CFMTL Preview

The last time these two teams faced each other, the Union came away with a come from behind 2-1 win at the Olympique Stadium. Let us take an updated look at how Montreal is doing this year, who to watch out for, and the prediction of Saturday’s match.

2022 MLS Season

Montreal got off to an early start this year as they were one of the four MLS teams in Concacaf Champions League (CCL) due to their win in the Canadian championship last season. They got off to a very tough start in their CCL matchup against Liga MX side Santos Laguna, losing the first leg 1-0. However, they were able to recover from the poor first leg to come home and throttle Santos 3-0 to take the matchup 3-1 on aggregate. 

Unfortunately for Montreal, they ran into a tough Cruz Azul side and crashed out of the quarterfinals of CCL. After a tough string of results in MLS play to start the season, Montreal has bounced back a bit to go undefeated in their last four games, with three straight wins and a draw dating back over the last month. This Montreal team is a bit more confident than they were to start the season and it could prove to be an interesting matchup the second time around.

X-Factor

The player that is always the x-factor for Montreal in this writer’s opinion is none other than their young dynamic American attacking midfielder Djordje Mihailovic. Djordje’s second season with Montreal has absolutely been a productive one to this point in the season. So far in eleven games in all competitions this season, Mihailovic has five goals goal and four assists. Mihailovic shook off the CCL woes and has been a man possessed during the team’s four-game unbeaten streak, providing four goals and two assists to help drive the team’s good form. 

The biggest thing that he has done to spark the offense is to get more involved with the attack. The Montreal attack seems to go as far as Djordje does, which is why his name has started to get mentioned for USMNT considerations in both the Nations League and even a spot on the 2022 World Cup roster. If the Union is going to get at least a point out of this game, they are absolutely going to need to stop Mihailovic from putting his stamp on the game and pulling the strings on the Montreal attack.

Prediction

Despite all the praise I have heaped on Montreal, I do believe that the Union will be able to shake off the tough loss in Toronto. The positive that fans should be taking away from the prior game is that Mikael Uhre is starting to get his legs under him. He assisted on the goal from Julian Carranza and created several chances himself. He will absolutely get on the scoresheet soon and when he does, the rest of the league should be concerned. 

I see no reason why Jim Curtin would change the roster from the last game, especially considering the attack was certainly the most dangerous part of the game against Toronto. Montreal will certainly be a team coming in on good form and the team will give them the respect that they are due. However, it is tough to pick against the Union at home. Therefore I see the Union grinding out a 2-1 result this Saturday afternoon. Kickoff for this weekend’s matchup against Montreal is Saturday at 3 pm. Let’s go Union!

Be sure to come back to Philly Sports Network for more Philadelphia Union and other soccer content!

Follow our Union team on Twitter:

Tim Lovenguth | Justin Friedberg | El Parcero Philly
Zach LoBasso | Steve Beavon | Liam Jenkins

Doop on Union fans!

Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire

More from our Sister Sites