After an extremely tough start to the season, the Philadelphia Union has managed four of its five wins in its last seven games, including a 1-0 victory over Seattle on Wednesday. There are a couple of interesting storylines going into Saturday’s matchup at 7pm (TVA Sports, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690).
Andrew Wenger versus Jack McInerney
The two young forwards will forever be linked as they swapped clubs back on April 4, 2014. Since then, if you look simply at production numbers, the Impact has the edge in the deal.
The Impact’s former number one overall SuperDraft pick has scored six goals and six assists in 46 MLS appearances for Philly, adding another two goals in U.S. Open Cup play, but in Wenger’s defence, he’s had to adjust to a new position, playing on the wing in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Jack Mac has amassed 10 goals and one assist in 39 MLS appearances, while helping the Impact win a Canadian Cup with his four goals scored in the tournament, and finding two more markers on route to the CONCACAF Champions League finals.
While Evan Bush is shining in front of the Impact’s goal, the Union has used three different keepers this season, a carousel that started after Philly brought in the much heralded Algerian national team goalkeeper Rais M’bohli, who excelled at last summer’s FIFA World Cup.
M’bohli was making a lot of money, and the decision to bring him in during last summer’s transfer window raised questions as the Union had two young, solid goalkeepers in the fold in Zac MacMath and Andre Blake.
Then during the offseason, MacMath was loaned to Colorado and Blake was injured to start the season, while M’bohli was released by the club after a short, ineffective stint. As a result, the Union was forced to go with little known John McCarthy from the USL and later, acquire Brian Sylvestre on loan from the Carolina RailHawks of the NASL.
All of this has contributed to the team’s league worst 30 goals against in 18 games played, six more than the next worst team in MLS.