1- How big was the Maurice Edu acquisition for the Union? Is the club already reaping the fruits of its labor to acquire the US International?
Maurice Edu has been huge for the club. Last season, the Union's midfield was in complete disarray. Edu has come in and turned a former weakness into a strength. He has an assist over the three matches the Union have played, but more importantly he forces the opposition to respect him and the midfield instead of leaving someone unaccounted for to double-team Jack McInerney.
2- Hackworth seems to be juggling with his back line. The club made a big splash when it acquired Austin Berry from the Chicago Fire. Is the Philly back line its weakest link?
Hack has had to juggle the back line a bit with Austin Berry going down to injury in the home opener against New England. Aaron Wheeler has come in and has been serviceable, but he is a converted forward so there are plenty of questions about his ability. There have also been questions as to why the club is starting Wheeler over Ethan White, who is center back by trade and came over in the deal that sent Jeff Parke to D.C. United.
I think the back line as it is right now might be the weakest link. I say that because we're missing Berry as well as Sheanon Williams, who I think could be a dark horse for an All-Star nod if he can get healthy. Now while Aaron Wheeler has been serviceable and Ray Gaddis has been very good for the injured Williams, a healthy back line of Fabinho, Amobi Okugo, Austin Berry, and Sheanon Williams will be a force.
3- How does the Union score goals? Is Jack McInerney still the go to guy and can he be consistent in 2014?
John Hackworth said very early on this year that the Union would play a 4-3-3, and while it's morphed more into a 4-5-1 or 4-2-3-1, the fact is that Jack is all alone up top. Last season he could play off of the physicality of Conor Casey, however he won't have the luxury of that this season. He will have to be the go-to goalscorer if Hackworth's scheme is going to work. If he can't, look for Casey to possibly work his way back into a starting job.
That all being said I think Jack can be consistent, especially with the midfield the Union has providing him service. Much was made of Jack's scoring drought last season, but not much was made of the Union midfield's inability to provide him good balls to work with. That should not be an issue this season with newcomers Vincent Noguiera and Cristian Maidana joining Brian Carroll, Sebastien Le Toux, and Maurice Edu in the midfield.
Union Starting XI:
GK - Zac MacMath
LB - Fabinho
CB - Amobi Okugo
CB - Aaron Wheeler
RB - Ray Gaddis
CDM - Brian Carroll
CDM - Maurice Edu
LW - Vincent Noguiera
MF - Cristian Maidana
RW - Sebastien Le Toux
FW - Jack McInerney
Conor Casey (probable), Sheanon Williams (doubtful), Austin Berry (doubtful)
The Union have never matched up well with Montreal and while the Impact look to be floundering, I think they steal a point in the pouring rain. 1-1 tie.