It wasn't even 3 seasons ago the Philadelphia Union were the new kid of the block playing every MLS franchise for the first time. Tonight, they'll do battle with the most recent MLS expansion side, Montreal Impact, for the first time. Game starts at 7pm at PPL Park and can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet.
In what is surely a sign of just how poor the Union have been this season, the expansion Impact lead Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference by 4 points. A win tonight can close that gap to 1 and edge the Union ever close to a potential playoff berth.
The two sides have seen a reversal of form in recent weeks. The Impact has struggled with just one win from their last 4 games, while the Union have won two straight in league play. The surge in form by Philadelphia has been fueled by an offense that's finally started to click under interim coach John Hackworth. They've scored 15 goals in their last 7 games, while Montreal has conceded 12 over their last 5.
The Union's offensive explosion has coincided with Hackworth's decision to start striker Jack McInerney. In his last four MLS appearances, he's scored 3 goals and notched two assists, while being involved in 5 of 6 goals the Union have scored while he's been on the field.
Finally, while Montreal may be a brand new team, there will be some familiar faces in their lineup tonight. Likely starters include former Union players Justin Mapp and Shavar Thomas.
For more on the Union and to discuss the game with fans, check out The Brotherly Game.