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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Union-Impact: Lineups and prematch observations

UNION (4-2-3-1) 
Bench: McGuire, Onyewu, Rosenberry, Jones, Picault, Herbers, Simpson

Impact (4-2-3-1) 
Bench: Crepeau, Fisher, Lovitz, Mallace, Jackson-Hamel, Arregui, Tabla 

- Jim Curtin makes a big defensive change – Keegan Rosenberry hits the bench for Ray Gaddis. It’s the first time Rosenberry has failed to start a game in his pro career, a string of 41 straight games. Gaddis’ last MLS game was July 23, 2016. The Union have struggled mightily on defense, and Gaddis is a defense-first guy.

- Montreal’s strength is as much in its dynamic wingers as the solidity up the middle that makes it work. Marco Donadel returns from suspension to pair with Hernan Bernardello, and Patrice Bernier in the No. 10 role makes for a triangle capable of adapting to a great deal of the looks the Union can throw at them. It also allows the Impact to sit deep, absorb pressure and spring those wingers.

- Among the many matchups to look for, it’s been a beleaguered few games for the Union fullbacks. Gaddis is in, and Fabinho has been uncharacteristically error prone. With the Union struggling to score, Curtin will want to see them leap into the attack more, but doing so could leave them vulnerable to the runs of Dominic Oduro and Ignacio Piatti. Perhaps pinning those two wingers back is a case of offense being the best defense.

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