Union aim to send Impact to fifth straight loss
The Montreal Impact will attempt to snap a four-game losing streak when they host the first-place Philadelphia Union on Saturday.
Montreal (9-11-3, 30 points) is tied for sixth place in the Eastern Conference despite last notching points on June 26 with a win over the Portland Timbers.
Since then, the Impact have been outscored 9-4, including last Saturday’s 2-1 road loss to the Columbus Crew.
“Every team goes through slumps like this, and it’s all about how you come out,” defender Daniel Lovitz told reporters. “In no way are we content with this, but there’s no reason to throw everything out the window. We’re in the driver’s seat and we can change everything. We just need to stop making the same mistakes.”
Montreal misses three-time All-Star midfielder Ignacio Piatti, who has been sidelined since May 24 due to a right knee injury.
Also, midfielder Samuel Piette (intercostal) will miss his second straight game, and defender Bacary Sagna will miss the contest due to a red-card suspension. In addition, leading goal-scorer Saphir Taider (seven) has failed to score in five straight matches.
Philadelphia (11-6-6, 39 points) will also have some key absences with midfielder Jamiro Monteiro (sprained left ankle) expected to miss his fourth straight game and defender Kai Wagner suspended for yellow-card accumulation.
Monteiro is tied for second on the club with four goals. Forward Kacper Przybylko leads the Union with nine.
Philadelphia is coming off a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire, but it was just the team’s second victory in six games.
Union coach Jim Curtin knows the other contenders in the East are taking aim at his club.
“As a team in first place, we’re going to get everybody’s best punch,” Curtin said this week during a media availability session. “It is a challenge to stay where we are in the table. … We have a target on our back, and I think our players have embraced that.”
Curtin views the Impact as a dangerous foe despite their current skid.
“They have lost four in a row, but we also recognize they have a lot of firepower,” Curtin said.
The Union posted a 3-0 home win over the Impact on April 20 in the first meeting of the season.
REUTERS/Field Level Media