MONTREAL – With a win in its back pocket, the Montreal Impact (3-13-5) looks to ride the momentum from Champions League as it heads to Philadelphia to take on the Union (5-8-9) at PPL Park this Saturday night, at 7pm EDT (TVA Sports, TSNRadio690).
“The win at home was big,” said forward Jack McInerney. “It’s definitely a big game on Saturday and we need to go there with the attitude that we need the three points. There are still a lot of games that need to be played where we can get results and build our reputation.”
And for Jack Mac, there will be little added motivation for Saturday as he will face his former team for the first time in Philadelphia.
“It’s definitely exciting,” added McInerney. “I don’t think there would be any better feeling than scoring against them.”
Philly has made a number of changes since McInerney came over to Montreal in April, with Andrew Wenger going the other way.
“Bringing (Maurice) Edu back as a central defender has brought dividends,” said Impact assistant coach Mauro Biello. “Swapping him with Amobi Okugo in the midfield has helped get them some results.”
The Union has been playing well as of late, going undefeated in its last five games and is still in the hunt for the final playoff berth in the East.
“They are going to come out and high press us,” explained goalkeeper Troy Perkins, who has a lost only once in nine career starts against Philadelphia. “We need to match that fight and then let our quality take over. Both teams need the three points, so we have to match their will and physicality.”
In addition to the adjustments made on the pitch, the Union brought in two new players prior to the end of the transfer window: former Philly-man Carlos Valdes returns following a loan spell and a successful stint with the Colombian national team at the World Cup, while management signed another World Cup standout, Algerian goalkeeper Rais Mbohli, who could make his MLS debut on Saturday.
While the Union has added some players to its roster, IMFC hopes to see a few injured players return to the pitch.
“It’s important to manage the roster well,” explained Biello. “We have a lot of players that have played a lot of minutes recently, so we need to balance that to ensure that we have fresh legs in our upcoming games.”
- This is the third and final meeting between these teams in 2014. In the first game, they tied 1-1 on March 29 at PPL Park. The Impact then shut out the Union 1-0 on April 26 at Stade Saputo on a goal from Felipe.
- Striker Marco Di Vaio has scored five career goals in MLS against Philadelphia, including a hat trick on May 25, 2013.
- Following his eighth caution, defender Hassoun Camara will serve an automatic one-game suspension next Saturday at Philadelphia.
- Union defender Maurice Edu returns from a midweek appearance in the MLS All-Star game against Bayern Munich.
- Philly also has a busy schedule coming up, with a U.S. Open Cup semifinal game against FC Dallas next Tuesday.