After a 2-0 loss in Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, the Philadelphia Union will have a month to prepare for their next Champions League bout against Club América.
Between the Champions League matches, the Union will have four MLS matches, as the domestic season heats up in the back half. For the Union, this will be arguably one of their most difficult stretches of the season, with three of the four teams in competition currently in playoff spots, and Montreal just one point below the red line in the Eastern Conference.
This won’t allow many opportunities for the rotation that the Union will need. With a tight Eastern Conference race coming in the weeks ahead, the Union will want to give their more senior players as much time on the field as possible.
Union head coach Jim Curtin and his technical staff will be forced to decide: accept the fate of falling out of the Champions League in September or try to advance, and risk losing points in MLS and facing defeat to Club América anyway.
After going down 2-0 away, the Union will need to win 2-0 at home on September 15 and advance on penalty kicks, or win by three or more goals, a difficult feat even against a side much weaker than Club América.
The Union will have to play their absolute best game for the next few weeks, and while that might be difficult given their recent run of form, the Union has looked stronger as of late, and with the addition of Matheus Davo, Philly’s attack might be that much stronger.
Only time will tell.