Union-Montreal lineups and prematch thoughts: Jack Mac's back
- The Union waste no time inserting Carlos Valdes back into the lineup after inking him to a new deal Monday. The Colombian’s return to fitness was relatively simple, as he mentioned Monday that he’d been training for 10 days after a two-week post-World Cup hiatus. Who he’d be paired with seemed the bigger mystery as the week progressed, but Ethan White gets the nod with Austin Berry not making the 18. He's pretty far down the depth chart.
One of the other big decisions was whether Maurice Edu, after 45 minutes in Wednesday’s All-Star Game followed by a cross country flight, would get the nod. Perhaps that's why he's in a more attacking position, with Brian Carroll to do the dirty work of holding. I suspect Carroll is preferred to Michael Lahoud given the latter's lengthy international ordeal this week.
- Interestingly, the odd-man out, even with Cristian Maidana still nursing a hamstring injury that rules him out completely, is Amobi Okugo. The last time Okugo didn't start an MLS game when not suspended, Peter Nowak was the Union's manager.
- The debut of Rais M’Bolhi will have to wait another week as he’s not in the 18. Chalk up another start for Zac MacMath as he nears 100 league games.
- Expect Brian Brown to play a role in this one. Danny Cruz has been less than convincing than late, and if the Union are up after 60 minutes, Jim Curtin may want to get a break for Conor Casey with the Dallas U.S. Open Cup semi looming just 72 hours away.
- Frank Klopas has vacillated between using one striker or two in his preferred formation. This week, he’s settled on one away from home, making the decision between fired-up former Union player Jack McInerney and Union killer Marco Di Vaio. Di Vaio got the nod in the midweek CONCCAF Champions League game going 90, so McInerney gets his homecoming start. While the McInerney nod isn’t a shock, no Di Vaio in the 18 is a bit.
- All things considered, that’s a fairly attack-minded midfield from Klopas with Andres Romero, Felipe and Justin Mapp marauding forward.