Game: Philadelphia Union vs. Montreal Impact
Date: Wednesday February 22nd
Time: 7:30 PM Eastern, 4:30 PM Pacific, 12:30 AM UTC
Venue: Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex (Clearwater, Fla.)
Streaming: Philadelphia Union's YouTube Page
All-time record: Montreal leads 5-3-5 (W-L-D)
What Montreal will look like:
The Impact opened their Suncoast Invitational with a 4-2 win over D.C. United. Four different goalscorers powered Montreal to an impressive win on Saturday, and the bleu-blanc-noir will look to continue that fine form. The Impact aren't much different than their 2016 counterparts. It’s largely the same players making the same plays, but that's nothing to sneeze at. This was an Eastern Conference finalist last season, and played in one of the most memorable playoff games in recent years.
Look for the Impact to play a lot of their new homegrown player signings as well as their SuperDraft picks. We'll also keep our eye out to see how many minutes the old guard of Montreal plays given the aging lineup may not make it to October.
What Philadelphia will look like:
The Union have been mysterious this offseason. A lot of new faces, but not a whole lot of insight on those new faces. With closed door scrimmages being Jay Simpson's bread and butter, it would be great to see him rolled out against the Impact. The Union will continue to play the youngsters as they have, but I'd like to see maybe at least 45 minutes of a majority first team. Knowing the Union's hush-hush MO, I wouldn't be surprised to see another hodgepodge lineup like we did against Tampa Bay.
The things that interest the most are the performance of the young kids. Adam Najem, Jack Elliot, and Marcus Epps being the players to watch specifically. Give the kids these moments to play and we'll see what their made of. First impressions have been good, and hopefully that's a sign to come.
What to expect:
Expect experiments. That's really all you can expect. Sloppy passes and awkward moments. That's what preseason is all about. An appetizer for the season that'll be here in just over a week.