The Montreal Impact welcome the team from the city of Brotherly Love and have only one thing in mind: REVENGE! Our boys in blue want the Union to know that their 2-1 late win on July 14th was a fluke and won't happen again.
What's different this time around? Plenty!
For starters, unfortunately, Marco Di Vaio will not be available. He is currently in Italy dealing with legal matters.
Andrew Wenger goes from watching the game at a local bar with fans and into the starting lineup.
Patrice Bernier will be in the starting lineup.
The biggest difference, however, is that the big 3 is healthy and ready to dominate. That's right Impact fans, for the first time this season, Alessandro Nesta, Matteo Ferrari and Nelson Rivas will be on the field AT THE SAME TIME!!
The Impact are coming off a monster 3-1 win over the Eastern conference leading Red Bulls and will look to continue their great play as they fight to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Although the official lineup will show that it is a 4-2-3-1 formation, what you will see is a hybrid version of the much talked about 3-5-2.
The starting lineup should look something like this:
Hassoun Camara - Alessandro Nesta - Nelson Rivas - Matteo Ferrari
Patrice Bernier - Collen Warner
Davy Arnaud Justin Mapp
I know what you are thinking: How does this become a 3-5-2? Simple.
What you will see is Davy Arnaud moving up alongside Andrew Wenger in a support striker role and Hassoun Camara will be allowed to carry up the ball for the whole game provided that he is efficient in his passing.
More after the jump
Therefore, this is what you will see:
Alessandro Nesta - Nelson Rivas - Matteo Ferrari
Patrice Bernier - Collen Warner
Hassoun Camara Justin Mapp
Davy Arnaud - Andrew Wenger
Finally, to help us get to know our opponents a little better, our friends at ‘Brotherly Game' have answered a few questions for your reading pleasure. Here we go!
Question 1: After a rough start to the season under Peter Nowak, the Union made a change and handed the responsibility of turning the team's season around to John Hackworth. Can you give us some insight on how this coaching change has affected the team? Do you still believe in the team's playoff chances?
In reality, Hackworth has done little to change the Union in terms of formation, but he has changed them somewhat tactically. The biggest change he made was giving players confidence. Hackworth is a players' coach. He creates a foundation that players build off of for success.
The player who had the largest benefit from the move from Nowak to Hackworth has been Jack McInerney, who has started all but one game since the interim tag was placed on the former under-17 youth national team head coach.
Hackworth shows his faith in players that are in good form by giving them the opportunity to continually prove that they can keep up their successes. Players like McInerney, who was almost tossed away by Nowak for no reason,
As for the team's playoff chances, they have grown brighter, but the Union are still not in the playoff race. Yet. If they manage to pick up maximum points from their upcoming games, then I'll be more on board with trumpeting the playoffs.
Question 2: Freddy Adu was available in the expansion draft. Many fans questioned the Impact front office for not selecting him. There were rumors that he was getting ready to leave the MLS again. What kind of season is he having? What is his role within the team?
It's up and down. I'll ask your readers to reference http://www.brotherlygame.com/2012/3/27/2905311/freddy-adu-umsnt-under-23-philadelphia-union-form-mls for what my thoughts were near the beginning of the season. At this point, I just don't know what's going on with him. He's looked exceptional in a few games this year, but in the rest of the matches he's been either unnoticeable or just plain bad.
His role is still as a winger, but questions about whether or not he should return to his former position of a natural no. 10. As I said in the aforementioned article, "Success with Adu can be had, but only if Nowak puts his players in a position to play positively. Farfan was superb on the outside of the midfield in 2011, playing well enough to garner a Rookie of the Year nomination... A lack of width has stifled the Union offensively and too often forces them onto their heals defensively during opposing counter attacks. Even if Adu had the game of his life it'd be wasted in the current state of Nowak's tactical decisions. Without a change tactically it will be much of the same for Adu outside of the international soccer world."
Question 3: It seems that the Union fans were not happy with many of Peter Nowak's decisions this year. Some questionable roster moves were done including the trade of fan favorite Sebastian Le Toux. If you could go back in time, what would you have changed to ensure a more successful start to the season?
Firing Nowak. Is that an option?
In a more serious comment, the move that most hampered the Union was the departure of Le Toux, simply because this team could not produce without him for a good deal of the start of the 2012 season. McInerney was sidelined with little reason, Mwanga was given his chance but he and Lionard Pajoy were too much alike to succeed, while Chandler Hoffman waited for his turn, and finally got it on the outside.
Putting that altogether, perhaps Le Toux was the best answer to this question. I don't think he'd make the team any better given what's happened since his trade to the Vancouver Whitecaps.
BONUS: Whenever we read references to the Union on Twitter and other social medias, we often see the hash tag #DOOP. My question is... what is a #DOOP?
#DOOP refers to DOOP, which comes from the Union's goal song. It's originally from the song "Maria (I Like It Loud)" by Scooter, which former head coach Peter Nowak knew from its popularity with the crowds at Borussia Mochengladbach. The former Polish international discussed the usage of it with the Sons of Ben and they chose to adopt it as the goal song. It has become synonymous with the Union because of the team's decision to market it as part of the franchise's image.
Underrated player to watch and why:
Does Michael Farfan still count? If not, Antoine Hoppenot. To keep this short and simple, he's fast, agile and changes the pace of the game for the opposing defense the second he enters the field of play. Hoppenot got his first start in MLS last game, but it didn't appear to work out well for him, so one would think he'll return to his super-sub role.
Predicted formation and final score: (r-l) Zac MacMath, Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes, Amobi Okugo, Gabriel Farfan; Brian Carroll, Michael Lahoud, M. Farfan; Adu, McInerney, Pajoy; 1-0