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Philadelphia Union have faced CF Montreal four times in history – in competition and outside – and won twice. They have never lost to the Canadian side and will be looking to keep that run going.
The two sides first met back in August 2021, when it ended in a 1-1 draw. The reverse fixture in the same season also ended in a draw after Ibrahim Sunusi scored a 95th-minute equalizer for Montreal.
Philadelphia finally got their win over Montreal in a preseason game earlier this year. Paxten Aaronson scored in extra time after both sides agreed to extend the game that was poised at 1-0 in normal time.
It was a similar scoreline when the two sides met earlier this season in March as well. Lassi Lappalainen handed Montreal an unlikely lead before Alejandro Bedoya and Dániel Gazdag scored within 3 minutes of each other to turn the game around. Julián Carranza was sent off for Philadelphia on that occasion but is expected to be back in the starting XI for this weekend’s clash.
At the moment, Philadelphia Union are the best team in the Eastern Conference and have a two-point lead at the top of the table, aside from being second overall in the league through their Supporters’ Shield Standing. We think they will continue to bring that kind of dominance into thsi fixture at home and come out with three points.
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Philadelphia Union went unbeaten in the preseason but managed just one win in their three games. Coincidentally, that win came over this weekend’s opponents – CF Montreal.
They started off the MLS season in a similar fashion and were on a stunning unbeaten run. They started off with a 1-1 draw against Minnesota United thanks to Cory Burke’s equalizer after Robin Lod’s opener.
They were up against CF Montreal in the next game week and pulled off a come-from-behind win. Lassi Lappalainen gave the home side a shock lead in the first half, and Djordje Mihailovic thought he had made it 2-0 before VAR ruled it out. The overturning of that decision saw Philadelphia regain some confidence, and they bounced back well. Three minutes after the goal was ruled out, Alejandro Bedoya equalized for the away side, and Dániel Gazdag completed the comeback with another in the 56th minute. Carranza was sent off in the 71st minute for a second bookable offense, but his side managed to hold on to the lead and pick up all three points.
Jim Curtin’s side eased past San Jose Earthquakes, and it was the same goalscorers again. Cory Burke opened the scoring in the 23rd minute before Dániel Gazdag sealed the win with a second in the game just before the hour mark. They did not enjoy a lot of possession, but they did manage to leave the stadium with all three points.
The winning run continued as Philadelphia managed to beat New York City FC away from home. Alejandro Bedoya and Dániel Gazdag were once again on the scoresheet, and the two first-half goals were enough to get the win. The Union were once again largely behind the ball – they kept the ball for just 27 percent of the game – but their clinical finishing helped them seal the three points.
It was the same story once again, but this time against newcomers Charlotte FC. Julián Carranza and Dániel Gazdag scored early in both halves to stun the away side’s defense and help the Union pick up three points again.
While none of Union’s players were able to get on the scoresheet against Columbus Crew, they still managed to pick up the win. Eloy Room’s own goal in the second minute of the game was enough to get them the win with yet another clean sheet.
The stunning run finally came to an end last weekend when they faced Toronto FC. The Canadian side came from behind to beat Union 2-1 and end their 5-match winning streak. But the Union aren’t looking bent out of shape by any means and we back them to bounce right back this weekend.
CF Montreal made the worst possible start to the MLS season with three losses in their opening three games. The old curse of the continental qualification seemed to be playing on their minds, as being in the CONCACAF Champions League demanded a lot of their focus, and contributed to them sitting rock bottom in the league as a result.
They had started with a 2-0 loss to Orlando City SC on the opening weekend of the season. Romell Quioto was also sent off for them after Alexandre Pato, and Benji Michel made it 2-0 to the home team.
A 2-1 loss to Philadelphia Union followed, and then it was a 4-1 defeat at New York City FC. Alexander Callens and Santiago Rodríguez handed the home team a 2-0 lead in the first 20 minutes before Zachary Brault Guillard pulled one back for Montreal at the start of the second half. Talles Magno ended all their hopes of a comeback into the game with a strike just after the hour mark. Thiago Andrade made things worse for Montreal by getting City’s fourth goal in the 83rd minute.
Wilfried Nancy’s side were just not able to get things going and were knocked out of the CONCACAF Champions League by Cruz Azul. Incidentally, it was at that juncture that their domestic form began to change. The loss came as a blessing in disguise.
Montreal went from 1-0 down to 3-1 up against Atlanta United in the first half but was unable to keep the lead in the first match after that ouster. Thiago Almada and Brooks Lennon scored in the final minutes of the game to end it 3-3.
Nonetheless, the confidence was back for the Canadian side and that has helped them. They are now on a three-match winning streak after beating FC Cincinnati 4-3, New York Red Bulls 2-1, and Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1.
Montreal are still chasing their first clean sheet of the season, but might have to wait a bit longer, or work a whole lot harder than usual, as they are up against Philadelphia this weekend – a side that has been doing well on both ends of the pitch.
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|Philadelphia Union vs CF Montreal Information|
|Teams||Philadelphia Union vs CF Montreal|
|Location||Dignity Health Sports Park|
|Time||Saturday, April 23 at 3pm EST|
|How to watch||CTV, TSN1, TVA Sports, MLS LIVE on ESPN+, PHL17, TSN|
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Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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