Montreal Impact vs. Columbus Crew: MLS match preview

Montreal Impact vs. Columbus Crew - April 13, 2013 (IMAGE)

Photo Credit: 
Gabriel de los Rios / MLSsoccer.com

MONTREAL IMPACT vs COLUMBUS CREW
STADE SAPUTO, Montreal, Que.
April 14, 2013 (WEEK 7, MLS Game #52)
Noon ET (TSN2/RDS2; FS-OH)

The Montréal Impact make their Stade Saputo bow for 2013 when they return to action against the Columbus Crew on Sunday — the match was moved from its originally scheduled kickoff due to inclement weather in Quebec. The Impact saw their perfect start to the new season come to an end in their last match, a 2-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City. The Crew have not lost in three matches, coming off a 1-1 home draw with Philadelphia Union last weekend.

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REFEREE: Mark Geiger. SAR (bench): Joe Fletcher; JAR (opposite): Matthew Nelson; 4th: Jose Carlos Rivero
MLS Career: 107 games; FC/gm: 26.4; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 26; pens: 36

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: MTL -- Marco Schällibaum (head coach; through April 14)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD ALL-TIME (3 meetings): Impact 1 win, 3 goals ... Crew 2 wins, 5 goals ... Ties 0
AT MONTREAL (1 meeting): Impact 1 win, 2 goals ... Crew 0 wins, 1 goal ... Ties 0
RETURN MATCHES: 6/15 -- Columbus Crew vs. Montreal Impact, 7:30 p.m. ET ... 9/14 -- Montreal Impact vs. Columbus Crew, 2 p.m. ET

LAST YEAR (MLS):
3/24: CLB 2, MTL 0 (Mirosevic 30; Vargas 66)
7/8: MTL 2, CLB 1 (Valentin 78; Bernier 89 – Mirosevic 64)
9/1: CLB 2, MTL 1 (Marshall 80; Renteria 93+ -- Di Vaio 73)

  • Each team held serve at home in Montréal’s first MLS season a year ago. The Crew won twice, both in Columbus, while the Impact won their lone home game, a 2-1 win July 8 at Stade Saputo.
  • Coaches record: Robert Warzycha vs. MTL: P3 W2 L1 T0 ... Marco Schallibaum vs. CLB: first game

READ: Key on-field matchups between Impact and Crew

MONTREAL IMPACT
The Montreal Impact return to action after a week off, seeing their perfect start to the season ended last time out in a 2- 0 defeat by Sporting Kansas City on March 30 at Sporting Park. The Impact sit atop the Eastern Conference with 12 points.

LAST MATCH

Highlights: Sporting KC 2, Montreal 0

  • Sporting opened the scoring after just five minutes. Benny Feilhaber latched onto the ball at midfield and sent in a through ball for Claudio Bieler, who cut the ball away from Matteo Ferrari at the top of the box then buried his low shot inside the right post.
  • The home side finally sealed the outcome in the 80th minute. This time Feilhaber filtered a through ball for Graham Zusi, and he fought off a challenge from Impact center back Karl Ouimette in the area before burying a shot past Troy Perkins with his left foot.
  • Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum made one change to the team that claimed a 1-0 victory against the New York Red Bulls at Olympic Stadium. Justin Mapp came back into the team in place of Andrea Pisanu.
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-1-4-1): Troy Perkins - Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Karl Ouimette, Jeb Brovsky - Patrice Bernier - Andres Romero (Sanna Nyassi 63), Davy Arnaud, Felipe Martins (Andrew Wenger 62), Justin Mapp - Marco Di Vaio (Blake Smith 79)

READ: Five reasons not to miss 2013 Stade Saputo opener

TEAM NEWS 

WATCH: Stade Saputo with Patrice Bernier

  • The Impact were not only shut out on the attacking end for the first time this season, they also allowed the opening goal for the first time, and conceded before halftime for the first time.
  • “Of course when you lose it's disappointing. I think starting like we did and giving up a goal after five minutes from a mistake on our part is very difficult especially here in Kansas City,” said Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum. “It wasn't bad because our possession was much better. If you see all of the game, Kansas City was the better team and that's why they won.”
  • After being sent off late in the match after squirting some water at the fourth official from the technical area, Schällibaum will not be allowed on the touchline for the Stade Saputo opener.
  • “We will always work the game in the same way,” said Impact assistant coach Mauro Biello. “Without Marco (Schällibaum) on the sidelines, I’ll be there with Philippe (Eullaffroy), Youssef (Dahha) and Paolo (Pacione) to organize the bench and the game just as we’ve done before. The approach and preparation remains the same for us.”
  • Homegrown Player Karl W. Ouimette slotted into central defense for a second consecutive match, with Alessandro Nesta still sidelined.
  • Patrice Bernier again filled the holding role in central midfield, with Felipe and Davy Arnaud providing the attacking promptings from a central role, a change for Felipe who was in a wider position a year ago.
  • “When you play three in the middle, the opposition looks to clog that area,” Biello said. “So you’ve got to play quickly and know how to play out of tight spaces. When things don’t go so well, doing that gets more difficult. That’s what we have to work on: one- or two-touch soccer in the midfield to open more space.” Said Felipe: “I have a little bit less muscle on the left side. I have to work hard: I can’t buy muscle at the supermarket!”
  • The Impact made another signing during the off week, acquiring 19-year-old attacking midfielder Maximiliano Rodríguez, who has played in the academies of Argentinos Juniors and Atletico Madrid.
  • “He’s got a good physique, he’s explosive, he’s intelligent enough to know how to work both halves of the field,” said Impact technical director Nick De Santis. “But mostly, he's got this great vision.” Said Rodríguez: “Here, you need to be quick physically and mentally. That pleases me. ... I like to play one-touch, as quick as possible. I like to get into the box.”

COLUMBUS CREW
The Columbus Crew extended their undefeated run to three matches, coming back for a 1-1 draw with Philadelphia Union at Crew Stadium on Saturday evening. The Crew are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 8 points from 5 matches.

Highlights: Columbus 1, Philadelphia 1

LAST MATCH

  • Union took the lead in the 34th minute. Danny Cruz made a well-timed run down the right sideline before squaring a pass to Jack McInerney, and he collected his third goal with an easy tap-in.
  • But the home side hit for the leveller in the 72nd minute. Eddie Gaven sprung Dominic Oduro with a pass off the outside of his right foot, and that enabled the speedy Ghanaian to get into space past the Union defenders before firing a heavy ball from a tough angle that snuck in between the near post and goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
  • Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made no changes to the team that took a 2-1 win against D.C. United at RFK Stadium.
  • COLUMBUS CREW (4-2-3-1): Andy Gruenebaum - Josh Williams, Glauber, Chad Marshall, Tyson Wahl - Danny O'Rourke (Matias Sanchez 76), Agustin Viana (Jairo Arrieta 46) - Eddie Gaven, Federico Higuain, Ben Speas (Ethan Finlay 85) - Dominic Oduro.

READ: Crew look to come out firing vs. first-place Impact

TEAM NEWS

  • While the Crew extended their undefeated streak to three games, it was a second match at Crew Stadium without taking the full three points, recording a second draw.
  • “I think that was our fifth game, and if I was to ask you if you liked the first four [games] you’d say yes. We played 45 minutes without energy [vs. Philadelphia] and I don’t think I need to change anything,” said Crew head coach Robert Warzycha. “We just need to have a better attitude and bring some more energy and talk on the field more. That’s something that’s very easy to fix – I can’t panic right now ... I think we have four and a half games where we played pretty well and 45 minutes where we didn’t bring energy.”
  • Remaining in the lineup as the spearhead striker even with Jairo Arrieta back from international duty with Costa Rica, Dominic Oduro netted his second goal of the season, his first since the season opener.
  • "You can't go wrong with Dominic or Arrieta," Warzycha said. "Both are very good players and having success this year. It's probably not right to put Dominic on the bench."
  • Arrieta came on at halftime in place of Agustín Viana as Warzycha reshuffled his lines, playing with three up top. “The second half we changed the formation a little bit, but mostly we had a little more energy. We started to play, chase the guys, win 50/50s – we had a little bit more idea of how we play,” said Warzycha.
  • Said Arrieta: “I came in with the idea of a lot of movement up front and try to create a lot of problems for the defenders. So it helped me in the second half we were more aggressive, more offensive. I tried to help the team in any way I could and that’s the reason I did everything I did.”
  • Eddie Gaven contributed his second assist of the season, his first since the opening match, making a second consecutive start after missing back-to-back games to injury.
  • “I think Eddie played a little bit higher. He would create turnovers and run at people and that’s what you want Eddie to do,” said Warzycha. “I think we had to put the pressure a little higher on their players and push the ball into the right areas, and Eddie did that.”
  • The Crew now face back-to-back road matches at Montréal then Chicago. The Crew have won two of their three road games, at Chivas USA and D.C. United.
  • “We have two tough road games, but we're just going to keep doing what we're doing. I think we've shown well on the road this season because of the stuff that we've been doing,” said Dominic Oduro. “We'll keep our heads up and do what we did at D.C. and on the West Coast. I think we'll be OK to pick up some points on the road.”