FC Montreal suffer heavy loss away to Philadelphia in MLS but where was Wanyama?

CF Montreal al midfielder Victor Wanyama (2) drives the ball during the first half of the Orlando City vs CF Montreal soccer match at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, FL on September 15, 2021.

STARS ABROAD FC Montreal suffer heavy loss away to Philadelphia in MLS but where was Wanyama?

Joel Omotto 15:30 - 04.06.2023

The former Kenya captain was among those rested ahead of Wednesday’s Canadian Championship final and Montreal paid the price for fielding a weakened side

Victor Wanyama was among the players rested as FC Montreal lost 3-0 away to Philadelphia Union in an MLS clash on Sunday morning.

With an eye on Wednesday’s Canadian Championship final against Vancouver Whitecaps, Montreal coach Hernan Losada made eight changes from the squad that started in Thursday’s 2-2 draw at Wayne Rooney-coached DC United.

Captain Wanyama was among those missing and the Canadian side paid the price for fielding a weakened side as Philadelphia run riot.

Julian Carranza scored his team-leading eighth and ninth goals of the season while Mikael Uhre added his sixth of the campaign as Philadelphia won a fourth straight match and extended their league unbeaten run to nine matches.

With Daniel Gazdag also with seven goals, Philadelphia are the only MLS team to have three players who have scored six or more times in the league this season. Andre Blake made two saves to keep his second consecutive clean sheet and sixth overall this season.

Even with the many changes, Montreal still came to Philadelphia with attacking ambitions although their forays forward allowed the home side to do what they do best; find spots to attack in transition.

Carranza's opener was a moment of individual brilliance, coming in the 12th minute. With the ball on the left near the edge of the penalty area and Bryce Duke defending, the Argentine feigned like he was going to try to make a pass into the box.

Instead, he cut to the right, then unleashed a bending right-footed effort that curled beyond the dive of Montreal goalkeeper James Pantemis and just inside the far-right post.

Uhre scored an opportunistic second goal on an opportunity Carranza helped create when he received a pass on the right side of the area and drove a low shot toward Pantemis' goal from a tight angle.

Pantemis saved but couldn't hold it, and Uhre popped up to flick the rebound home from close range in the 36th minute.

It was 3-0, 16 minutes after halftime and Carranza's second, after he benefitted from a pair of deflections on its way over Pantemis.

It is hardly the preparations Montreal needed for Wednesday’s final as they seek to reclaim the trophy they last won in 2021.

Defeat leaves Montreal in 10th spot on the 15-team Eastern Conference table on 19 points from 16 matches, while Philadelphia are up to third on 30 points, nine behind leaders Cincinnati.

Wanyama will likely be back in the starting XI for Wednesday’s highly-billed final where he has a chance to make it two Canadian Championship titles in three years.