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Is This a Must Win Game?

JC Escobar looks at the upcoming match against the Montreal Impact and wonders if it's the 2014 Union's first "must win" match and it's implications on the rest of the season

Are you crazy? This is only the fourth game of the season.
Are you crazy? This is only the fourth game of the season.

I'm sitting here trying to contain my excitement about the upcoming game. After all, this is my home opener (I missed the home opener against New England). You see, I was at the happiest place on earth but it turns out PPL was really the place to be. A win against the New England Revolution after such a great performance in Portland had everyone talking playoffs - I even heard talk about cups and shields and such. Then here comes last week's clunker against the Columbus Crew, it is clearly evident to me that all of last year's problems are still here. The lack of scoring, the set piece issues, and the complete lack of knowledge on how to use a substitution. All of these issues point straight to a lack of proper coaching, but that's a story for another day.

This article is all about this Saturday's game against the Montreal Impact.

I realize what I'm about to say might sound a little ridiculous to some of you. I know it's still too early in the season for such a statement, but I really feel this is a must win game for the Philadelphia Union. We all know what happened last year when the club lost points - they missed the playoffs. It already happened against Portland, that's already 2 missed points. Dropping points against a listless, punch-less, point-less, and in turmoil Impact team would be disastrous.

I've spoken with a few die-hard Montreal Impact fans. They've pointed out to me that this team has been on a downward spiral since the end of last year. A team who led the East for most of the year that collapsed towards the end of the season, losing six out of their last eight games. That downward spiral has continued this year despite changing head coaches during the off-season. So far this year they have zero wins and three losses, they've been outscored 6-2 with their two goals coming from their first game against Dallas. They've been shut out by both Houston and Seattle in their last two games.

After reading those facts you say "No way the Union drop points to this team" and I completely agree. The Union should really have two wins, last week there was plenty of scoring opportunities, the Union perhaps should have come away with a tie. If that was the case, I wouldn't be writing this article. As fans, we would be gloating and perhaps not getting all three points on Saturday would be acceptable. But that's not the situation we find ourselves in - we need a win. We need a win not only for morale (ours and the players'), but the Union need a win because in seven of their next eight games they will face a team that made the playoffs last year. The will and resolve of the Union will be tested. The Union can't afford to lose points this Saturday. It simply must take advantage of every chance it gets.