Another tough night on the road for the Philadelphia Union as they traveled to Montreal to play the Impact. Even though the Union would win the possession battle (64%) and having more shots against Montreal, they would loose in the stat that matters most.
Montreal came out with an aggressive game plan to use the holes in the back line of The Philadelphia Union and transition play to counter attack against Philadelphia. It appears that during the match the Philadelphia Union full backs, Matt Real and Ray Gaddis were playing with an offensive mind set and were pushed up the field a good amount. Montreal exploited this. Real got his first start of the season Saturday night as Kai Wagner was suspended for yellow card accumulation.
While the full backs were pushed up, center backs Auston Trusty and Jack Elliot pressed players from Montreal coming up the wings and would end up leaving the middle of the field exposed in the Union’s defensive half. There were many mistakes that Montreal benefitted from in the first half and was able to go up 2 goals. Jim Curtin came out with a more offensive strategy in the second half and pushed his team up leaving them even more exposed in the back, giving the opportunity to Montreal to just put the game away and out of reach for any come back as they would score a third goal within the 46th minute of the game.
Montreal benefited from the fact that Jamiro Monteiro was still out with an ankle injury. The Philadelphia Unions ball winning mid field player is key in the the game to disrupt opponents transition play. Jim Curtin relied on the young Brenden Aaronson and veterans, Marco Fabian, Alejandro Bedoya and Harris Medjunanin to hold the mid field and create offensive opportunities to the forwards up front.
It was another tough game for The Union and hopefully they are able to bounce back this week as they prepare to focus to play D.C. United on Sunday evening. Hopefully they don't burn these tapes and figure out what is going on with the defensive back line.
Rate the individual performance of the Philadelphia Union and Head coach Jim Curtin below.