Impact hope to turn things around against Union
Chester, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Montreal Impact bring a six-game losing streak in MLS play into PPL Park to face the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.
Montreal enters the contest firmly entrenched on the bottom of the Eastern Conference thanks to its losing skid and the fact that the club has only managed to win three games in league play this season.
The latest setback came last weekend in a 2-0 home defeat to Canadian rivals Toronto FC, which got goals from Gilberto and Luke Moore in the victory.
Impact midfielder Patrice Bernier was obviously disappointed in the result, but he also felt the effort from his team wasn't there, which has to be even more frustrating.
"I don't want to make any excuses for today," said Bernier after the defeat to TFC. "This was a derby game against Toronto. I understand that not everyone understands the rivalry, but we should have been more up for this one. We didn't answer the bell tonight."
But three days later, Montreal did manage to get a win, albeit in the CONCACAF Champions League against CD FAS of El Salvador.
Marco Di Vaio netted the lone goal in the 1-0 victory and the team managed to survive the final 25 minutes with 10 men after Hassoun Camara was sent off.
The win doesn't change anything in the East standings for Montreal, but it may be what the team needs in order to begin to turn things around in the league.
"We've been waiting for this win for a long time, so it definitely helped our confidence," midfielder Maxim Tissot said after Tuesday's win. "It took off a bit of the pressure we had, so hopefully we can bring this win to our regular season games and help us in our next CONCACAF game. We grinded the game out, with one man down at the end of the game and that's what's important."
The Union also find themselves outside the playoff picture in the East at the moment, but the team is within three points of a spot in the postseason after putting together a four-game unbeaten run.
Three of those results are draws, however, and the team will need to find a way to turn some of those into wins if it wants to return to the playoffs after a two-year absence.
Philadelphia's last outing saw the club come from a goal down in the second half to earn a 1-1 draw at Eastern Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City, which encouraged interim head coach Jim Curtin.
"We are confident that we can get results," said Curtin after last Friday's match. "We are coming down the stretch now and the majority of our games are at home. We have the tough part of the season behind us now and we're a team that's going to be in the hunt for a playoff spot. Now we go back to PPL [Park] our home and look for the home field advantage, the same type of advantage like [Sporting Kansas City] has here [at Sporting Park]."
Of the club's last 12 games, eight will come at home, including Saturday's match against Montreal, which the Union must view as a game to take three points.
Substitute Brian Brown netted the equalizer for the Union last match, his first goal for the club since joining this summer, and Curtin will be pleased to welcome back a familiar face in defender Carlos Valdes, who returns to the club after an 18-month loan stint.
Valdes, who was an MLS All-Star selection in 2012, signed a multi-year contract to return to the Union earlier this week, and he will be available for selection on Saturday, which will provide a big boost to a somewhat unstable defense.
08/08 22:08:09 ET