MLS Match Preview: Montreal Impact vs. New York Red Bulls
MONTREAL IMPACT vs NEW YORK RED BULLS
OLYMPIC STADIUM, Montreal, Que.
March 23, 2013 (WEEK 4, MLS Game #29)
4:30 p.m. ET (TVA; MSG)
The hottest team in Major League Soccer looks to keep its perfect record intact when the Montreal Impact welcome the New York Red Bulls to Olympic Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Impact have taken nine points from three games following their 2-1 Rivarly Week win against Toronto FC last weekend. The Red Bulls are still looking for a first victory of the new season, reaching a scoreless draw with D.C. United last weekend in their home opener.
REFEREE: Chris Penso. SAR (bench): Joe Fletcher; JAR (opposite): Matthew Kreitzer; 4th: Silviu Petrescu
MLS Career: 33 games; FC/gm: 22.6; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 7; pens: 12
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: MTL: Sanna Nyassi (The Gambia; vs. CÙte díIvoire) Ö Roy Miller (Costa Rica; vs. USA); Tim Cahill (Australia; vs. Oman)
ALL-TIME (3 meetings): Impact 1 win, 6 goals Ö Red Bulls 2 wins, 8 goals Ö Ties 0
AT MONTREAL (2 meetings): Impact 1 win, 4 goals Ö Red Bulls 1 win, 3 goals Ö Ties 0
RETURN MATCHES: 5/8: New York Red Bulls vs. Montreal Impact, 7:30 p.m. ET; 7/13: New York Red Bulls vs. Montreal Impact, 7 p.m. ET (TSN2, RDS)
LAST YEAR (MLS):
3/31: NY 5, MTL 2 (Henry 28, 56, 89; Cooper 48+; Ballouchy 72 -- Nyassi 18; Mapp 38)
5/19: MTL 1, NY 2 (Corradi 22 -- Cooper 37; Richards 67)
7/28: MTL 3, NY 1 (Di Vaio 48; Arnaud 50; Nyassi 74 -- Henry 57)
- The teams played to three high-scoring affairs in Montreal's inaugural MLS season, with 14 goals between the games. The Red Bulls won 5-2 at home and 2-1 at Olympic Stadium; the Impact won 3-1 at Stade Saputo.
- Coaches record: Mike Petke vs. MTL: first game | Marco Schallibaum vs. NY: first game
The Montreal Impact made it a perfect three wins from three matches to start their second MLS season, defeating arch-rival Toronto FC 2-1 on Saturday afternoon at Olympic Stadium.
- The Impact took the lead in the 34th minute. Andres Romero was into space on the right side of the area, and after he and TFC fullback Ashtone Morgan, the assistant referee flagged for a foul. Patrice Bernier converted the resulting penalty.
- Montreal doubled their lead in first-half stoppage time. Davy Arnaud sent a through ball for Marco Di Vaio, and he put home a composed finish from an angle on the right side of the box after rounding TFC goalkeeper Joe Bendik.
- TFC were given a lifeline in the 67th minute as Impact left back Dennis Iapichino was whistled for an off-the-ball foul in the penalty area on Toronto's Terry Dunfield. For the second consecutive week, Robert Earnshaw coolly slotted the penalty kick home, but the visitors could draw no closer.
- Impact head coach Marco Schallibaum made one change to the team that defeated the Portland Timbers 2-1 at Jeld-Wen Field. Andres Romero came into the side in place of Sanna Nyassi.
- MONTREAL IMPACT (4-1-4-1): Troy Perkins - Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Alessandro Nesta (Dennis Iapichino 12), Jeb Brovsky - Patrice Bernier - Andrea Pisanu (Collen Warner 72), Davy Arnaud, Felipe Martins, Andres Romero (Sanna Nyassi 85) - Marco Di Vaio.
WATCH: Impact improve to 3-0 with win over TFC
- The Impact are the only team with maximum points from the first three matches, sitting alone atop the Eastern Conference for the first time in the clubís MLS history.
- "We all felt a little disappointed coming into the locker room," Montreal defender Hassoun Camara said. "We've got three points, and defending well is a virtue, but I think we could have done a lot better in the second half. We should have kept playing and not concentrated on defending. Yet I feel that itís positive that we do have a lot to work on and that we're first with nine points. Maybe we would have lost that game, last year."
- Said captain Davy Arnaud: "If we're honest with ourselves, that was our worst half of the year. But we still come out with three points, and in MLS, you have to grind out results sometimes."
- There was a forced change early in the match when Alessandro Nesta had to come off after taking a knock after just 12 minutes.
- "Its natural that we had to adjust. Nesta has a lot of experience and he has the trust of his teammates. Then we had to make quite a few changes, with Jeb (Brovksy) moving to the right side, Hassoun (Camara) playing central and Dennis (Iapichino) coming on for Nesta, they needed some time to get equated with each other," said Impact head coach Marco Schallibaum.
- Nesta could be available for the New York match, but still faces a fitness challenge. "Maybe it's not that bad. Maybe heíll even be able to play [against New York]. But we still have enough quality in the squad that we'll make the necessary changes," Schallibaum said. Said Nesta: "I don't know. I trained for one month on turf. I played two games on turf. I don't know."
- Patrice Bernier converted a penalty kick for his first goal of the season; Bernier is now 7-for-7 from the penalty spot for his MLS career.
- "We showed a lot of character and to hold the lead. But today we suffered a little. Maybe we came out at halftime a little too comfortable, which was dangerous against a good side like Toronto," said Bernier. "But with the win, we now have three victories and even in games where we might not have a full 90 minutes, we find a way."
- Andres Romero made his first MLS start, coming into a wide midfield role and playing 85 minutes. "I thought he did well. He created the penalty shot when he penetrated the box. He is versatile, as you saw we used him on both sides. When he is 100 percent in shape, heíll be even better," Schallibaum said.
NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls are still searching for their first win of 2013, making their home debut with a scoreless draw with D.C. United on Saturday afternoon at Red Bull Arena.
- The Red Bulls outshot United 24-5 on the day. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid was called upon to make seven saves, several of them superb, while Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles made two saves.
- The key moment in the match came in stoppage time when Red Bulls fullback Brandon Barklage sent a deflected header from a corner kick that seemed at first glance to cross the goal line. Hamid was there to pull off an incredible one-handed swat; replays were inconclusive as to whether the ball did in fact clear the line.
- Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke made one change to the team that fell 2-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium. Markus Holgersson came into the team in place of Roy Miller.
- NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-3-2): Luis Robles - Brandon Barklage, Jamison Olave, Markus Holgersson, Heath Pearce - Dax McCarty - Eric Alexander (Connor Lade 89), Tim Cahill, Jonny Steele (Juninho 68) - Fabian Espindola, Thierry Henry (Armando Moreno 90).
WATCH: Red Bulls battle to draw with D.C. United
- The Red Bulls were kept off the scoresheet for the first time this season in their home debut, after netting four goals in two games on the road to start the campaign.
- "I think we created a lot. I think maybe in the first half there were moments where we couldíve pulled the trigger a little earlier especially with the slick surface and maybe test [Bill] Hamid a little more," said Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke. "In the second half I felt like we got forward very well and created opportunities. There were a couple at the end and with Henry right there, how did the ball not go in?"
- After not featuring in the San Jose match, Juninho Pernambucano came on for the final quarter of the D.C. game, and created an attacking trio along with Fabian Espindola and Thierry Henry
- "They pretty much switched it to a 4-3-3 on their own. In a perfect world, I would like a very attacking style. Whatever you want to call it: 4-3-3, 4-5-1, 4-2-3-1 whatever you want to call it. I enjoy a more attacking type of soccer. I think they sniffed it out that we had them on the ropes and they started stepping up individually and organizing things. Juninho came on with his ability, with his vision, and he passed the ball. I think guys started feeling very comfortable stepping on and he would find them."
- Center back Markus Holgersson made his first start, with Heath Pearce shifting to left back with Roy Miller out of the team. But Petke said Miller was not dropped.
- "Roy Miller had an unfortunate game in San Jose. Heís part of the team and no oneís pointing fingers at him. Itís a situation that I spoke with him. He was very upset about a lot of things, but heís a team player at the end of the day," said Petke. "I know he was leaving for Costa Rica and I just thought it would be unfair for me to put him out, even in the 18, with the reaction that has happened from all the supporters, from the media, from the way things have been written."
- Miller will miss the Montreal match while on international duty, meaning the Red Bulls back four will likely look the same.
- "Communication was perfect," said Holgersson. "We help each other out. We know he's really strong and I try to pick up the pieces and then if I donít he helps me. It was good, it was good to play with Heath and Brandon [Barklage] also. They are smart players who can read the game, so it was a good effort back there."
- The Red Bulls will be without Thierry Henry for the Montreal match, with the match being held at Olympic Stadium and its artificial surface.
- "It was one of those things that I was very seriously leaning towards not even bringing him to Montreal, but no decision was final yet because we had a week from the D.C. game to the next game," said Petke. "But this is very ideal for me not to have him play on turf with his Achilles tendon. Itís not ideal how it worked out, but it did work out."
- The match could provide an opportunity for former Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon striker Peguy Luyindula, who was officially signed during the week.
- "Hopefully, Peguy will be back with his visa," said Petke. "We have a young guy like Amando Moreno, who while he is young has shown glimpses here and there. Josue Martinez has been doing well in training, so we do have a couple of options up there. Depends on how we want to play."