The Montreal Impact are looking to get back on track and win their first game at Stade Saputo this season versus the Philadelphia Union, Saturday evening. Last weekend the Impact managed to rescue a point from the Columbus Crew in a wild 4-4 draw.
Although it is still early in the season, this game features the top two teams in the Eastern Conference standings. The Union are a rejuvenated group after finishing in 9th place in the Eastern Conference in 2015. Only the Chicago Fire were below them in the East at the end of 2015. As fellow MRS writer, Benjamin Languay highlighted earlier this week, an injection of youth has really helped the Union find consistency in 2016.
Mount Royal Soccer has turned towards our friends at the Brotherly Game in order to get some perspective on the Union's season up to this point:
1) With the Union coming off the game on Wednesday night against the Galaxy, will we see any changes to the usual starting lineup?
I think it's a certainty. Look for Warren Creavalle to replace Brian Carroll at defensive midfielder - that's been a 1-1a situation all year and while Carroll did well against the LA Galaxy, 90 minutes just three days before an away match is a tough ask when you're 24 let alone 34 like Carroll. You may also see center back Ken Tribbett return to the lineup in favor of Josh Yaro as well as Roland Alberg in for Chris Pontius, Sebastien Le Toux, or Tranquillo Barnetta just to get some fresh legs into the rotation.
Another one to watch is Fabinho and Ray Gaddis at left back. Fabinho has played well, but he too is on the far side of 30 and may be given a night to rest for the more defensive minded Gaddis.
The tough part about any of those substitutions is that the Union have been playing very well individually and as a unit, so tinkering too much may backfire. It's a delicate balance for sure.