Chester, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of Eastern Conference rivals will
tangle on Saturday as the Philadelphia Union return home to host the Montreal
Impact at PPL Park.
After earning their first win of the season on March 15, the Union hit the
road last weekend to face an up-and-coming Columbus side and were done in at
Crew Stadium by a poor first-half showing and a brace from Crew midfielder
The teams went toe-to-toe for the first 20 minutes but Columbus drew first
blood in the 24th minute when Anor got free on a corner kick and nodded home
Federico Higuain's cross with ease to give the hosts the lead.
The Crew then snagged a two-goal margin in first-half stoppage time as Anor
collected a loose pass from Philadelphia in the final third and launched a 35-
yard strike that beat Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath to the near post.
Philadelphia pulled one back in the 62nd minute when substitute Leo Fernandes
scored his first goal in MLS, but the Union couldn't find an equalizer and
fell for the first time this season.
"I am very happy that I got my first goal in MLS, but I'm very disappointed in
the result," said Fernandes. "I thought we should have at least tied the game
up and we had plenty of opportunities to do so in the second half, but
sometimes that's just soccer."
Philadelphia could have some reinforcements coming back into the lineup on
Saturday as defenders Sheanon Williams and Austin Berry returned to training,
while forward Conor Casey is also back at practice after not seeing the field
in any of the club's first three matches.
Montreal, meanwhile, is off to its worst start in franchise history after last
weekend's 2-0 loss to Seattle Sounders FC dropped the club to 0-3-0 to start
Seattle was credited with the opening marker off of an own goal early in the
first half. In the eighth minute, midfielder Gonzalo Pineda played a free kick
into the box that found fellow mid Lamar Neagle. The former Impact player
flicked a header over Troy Perkins, back to goal. The ball rebounded off of
the crossbar, hit the Impact goalkeeper and ended up in the net.
Sounders FC doubled its lead in the 58th minute when forward Kenny Cooper ran
down a deep ball near the touchline inside the box. He played the ball to the
opposite corner of the six yard line, where fellow striker Obafemi Martins
leapt to head the ball past Perkins.
"We are home and we gave up an early goal," said head coach Frank Klopas. "If
we look at the game, our overall possession, quality crosses, ability to get
in good spots and to then come away with nothing, it just seems like we're not
getting any little breaks. Although, the guys pushed all the way to the end
and worked extremely hard so we have to keep going forward."
Montreal will also get some major help on Saturday as forward Marco Di Vaio
will make his return to the lineup after a three-game suspension stemming from
an incident in last season's playoff match against the Houston Dynamo.