Union face difficult test against Impact

The Philadelphia Union go in search of a potential season-defining victory on Saturday when the club heads north of the boarder to battle the Montreal Impact at Saputo Stadium.

Philadelphia concluded a busy stretch that saw them play three matches in eight nights with a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire at PPL Park last Saturday.

Jack McInerney scored his league-leading eighth goal of the season in the third minute courtesy of some excellent service from Sebastien Le Toux and the Union were able to hold on for just their second win at home this season.

"(That was) a big win for our club tonight," Union head coach John Hackworth said. "It's extremely difficult to beat a team in our conference twice in eight days."

The Union have collected 18 points from their first 12 matches and sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, but each of their five victories this season have come against clubs below them in the standings.

Saturday's clash offers Philadelphia an opportunity to put in a good performance against a quality opponent while also continuing to climb up the Eastern Conference table.

The Union will also get some defensive reinforcements back as central defender Jeff Parke appears ready to return to the pitch after missing the past three matches due to a hamstring injury.

Montreal, meanwhile, is coming off an impressive 3-2 victory over Real Salt Lake on May 11.

Things started poorly for Montreal when RSL got on the board in the seventh minute after a shot from distance deflected off Matteo Ferrari and past Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins.

But the Impact scored the equalizer in the 39th minute as Justin Mapp sent in a low cross from right flank for Felipe, who slid and beat defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe to the ball before hooking it in.

Real Salt Lake went back in front through Kyle Beckerman in the 77th minute, but Marco Di Vaio netted an equalizer for Montreal three minutes later.

Ferrari atoned for his earlier mistake by scoring the match-winner in stoppage time to give the Impact three points.

"Today we played against a very good team," said head coach Marco Schallibaum. "Despite a difficult schedule over the last few weeks, we showed a desire to win.

"We have shown that we can play with quality, but we also have shown that we can play with character. We had a bit of luck to score in the last minute, but we earned it as we didn't give up until the end. I love how this team has developed the desire to win games and play with character."

The clubs have met twice all-time with each side winning at home last season.