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Eastern Conference Championship

New York Red Bulls vs. Montreal Impact | MLS Match Preview

NEW YORK RED BULLS vs MONTRÉAL IMPACT
RED BULL ARENA, Harrison, N.J.
May 8, 2013 (WEEK 11, MLS Game #89)
7:30 p.m. ET (MSG+; TVA)

It’s a battle for Eastern Conference supremacy as the New York Red Bulls and Montréal Impact meet for the second time this season on Wednesday evening at Red Bull Arena. The teams are locked in a four-way logjam atop the East, the Red Bulls coming off a third consecutive victory, a 1-0 triumph at Columbus last weekend, while the Impact were pegged back to a 2-2 draw at San Jose. The Impact won the first meeting between the teams this season, a 1-0 victory March 23 in Québec.

DOWNLOAD FULL GAME GUIDE (PDF)

REFEREE: Hilario Grajeda. AR1 (bench): Chris Strickland; AR2 (opposite): Bill Dittmar; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 82 games; FC/gm: 24.5; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 15; pens: 11

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NY: Tim Cahill, Juninho

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Red Bulls 2 wins, 8 goals … Impact 2 wins, 7 goals … Ties 0
AT NEW YORK (1 meeting): Red Bulls 1 win, 5 goals … Impact 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 0
RETURN MATCHES: 7/13: New York Red Bulls vs. Montreal Impact, 7 p.m. ET (TSN2, RDS)
• The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Marco Di Vaio’s goal after 14 minutes was the difference as the Impact claimed a 1-0 victory March 23 Olympic Stadium.
• The teams have now evenly split their four encounters all-time. They played to three high-scoring affairs in Montréal’s inaugural MLS season, with 14 goals between the games.
• The Red Bulls won the lone meeting at Red Bull Arena between the teams, a 5-2 victory last March 31.
• Coaches record: Mike Petke vs. MTL: P1 W0 L1 T0 … Marco Schallibaum vs. NY: P1 W1 L0 T0

LAST MEETING (MLS)
3/23: MTL 1, NY 0 (Di Vaio 13)

  • The game's lone goal came a quarter of an hour into the match. Patrice Bernier curled the ball first time between Red Bulls defenders Markus Holgersson and Brandon Barklage, and Marco Di Vaio calmly followed the ball’s path to the top of the box before burying a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Luis Robles.
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-1-4-1): Troy Perkins - Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Karl Ouimette, Jeb Brovsky - Patrice Bernier - Andres Romero (Andrew Wenger 84), Davy Arnaud, Felipe Martins (Calum Mallace 75), Andrea Pisanu (Justin Mapp 62) - Marco Di Vaio.
  • NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Luis Robles - Brandon Barklage (sent off 74), Heath Pearce, Markus Holgersson, Kosuke Kimura - Eric Alexander (Lloyd Sam 83), Juninho, Dax McCarty, Jonny Steele (Connor Lade 69) - Peguy Luyindula (Josue Martinez 79), Fabian Espindola.

NEW YORK RED BULLS

The New York Red Bulls won their third game on the trot, getting the game’s only goal late for a victory against the Columbus Crew on Saturday afternoon at Crew Stadium. The Red Bulls moved in a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with 17 points from 11 matches.

READ: Petke thinking of juggling the lineup to give backline some rest

LAST MATCH

  • The Crew had a tremendous opportunity to open the scoring in the 72nd minute. Eddie Gaven was tackled at the top of the box by New York defender Brandon Barklage, and referee Armando Villarreal pointed to the spot. But Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles made a diving stop to his right from Federico Higuaín's penalty attempt.
  • Then in the 80th minute, the visitors found winner. Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum made a save on a strike from the left side by Jonny Steele, but Tim Cahill was perfectly positioned to loop a header from the rebound over Gruenebaum and into the goal.

  • Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke made one change to the team that got a late winner for a 2-1 victory against Toronto FC at BMO Field. Juninho returned from suspension, coming into the team in place of Lloyd Sam.
  • NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-1-1): Luis Robles - Brandon Barklage, Jamison Olave, Markus Holgersson, Roy Miller (Heath Pearce 66) - Eric Alexander (Lloyd Sam 46), Juninho (Peguy Luyindula 78), Tim Cahill, Jonny Steele - Thierry Henry - Fabian Espindola.

TEAM NEWS

  • It was the fifth victory of the season for the Red Bulls, all over the last seven matches. The Red Bulls were also able to keep a clean sheet for the first time since a 2-0 win at D.C. United on April 13.
  • “I have to get these guys some rest, so we’ll probably have to make some changes for next game because we have another game three days after that,” Red Bulls coach Mike Petke said. “It’s not a very forgiving schedule but it’s life. These guys are on a bit of a roll and we have to make sure we capitalize on it.”
  • The Red Bulls have also won three consecutive road matches, the longest away winning streak in MLS this season, two road wins shy of the club record set in 2000.
  • “For us, it’s a huge road win,” said goalkeeper Luis Robles. “It’s one of those wins that we can look back and know that we can be that team, if we need to gut it out for 90 minutes and just scrap and somehow find a goal. We were able to do that and by doing that today then we can be confident for the rest of the season, as a team, that we’re capable of doing that.”
  • After scoring one goal in the opening 20 games of his MLS career, New York’s Tim Cahill has scored three goals in the last two games, scoring all the Red Bulls goals in wins at Toronto and Columbus.
  • “It was one of the most disciplined performances from me, just sitting in the middle, and I could have possibly had another goal,” said Cahill. “I sensed that I was going to get the chance, it fell right, and the goalkeeper was flapping. Overall, I’m very happy, and for the team it was another great result; it sits us in a good position, regardless of how many games we’ve played.”
  • Said Petke: “What more can I say that I don’t say after every weekend? He’s huge for us, I’m excited for him, I’m excited for the team, and he’s done a great job.”
  • Goalkeeper Luis Robles made a season-high six saves for his third shutout, and stopped a penalty kick for the first time in MLS in three attempts this season.
  • “He was huge for us, even aside from the PK stop, which was unbelievable,” Petke said. “He was big. He was commanding in the box, he controlled the tempo of the games at times, which is huge for a goalkeeper, and I’m very happy with his performance.”

MONTREAL IMPACT

The Montréal Impact ran their latest undefeated streak to three games, though the San Jose Earthquakes scored yet another late goal to leave the teams in a 2-2 draw on Saturday afternoon at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Impact are in a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with 17 points from 8 matches.

READ: Positional swap pays dividends for Justin Mapp

LAST MATCH

  • The Impact took the lead in the 24th minute. Taking the ball some 30 yards from goal, Justin Mapp let fly with a 30-yard blast that pinged in off the near post and into the back of the net.
  • Mapp and Montreal then had a second two minutes after the restart. Andrew Wenger’s short pass across the face of goal set up Mapp for a simple tap-in at the back post.

  • But the Quakes pulled a goal back in the 59th minute. Adam Jahn completed a sequence that began with passes from Marvin Chavez, Chris Wondolowski and finally Sam Cronin in and around the area in tight quarters, finally slipping the ball home from inside the area.
  • It was then yet another touch of late heroics, with another stoppage-time equalizer for San Jose. A long ball from Waltker Martinez was knocked down by Wondolowski into Cronin’s lap, and he finished with a low strike inside the left-hand post for the 2-2.
  • Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum made four changes to the team that got two second-half goals for a 2-0 win against the Chicago Fire at Stade Saputo. Matteo Ferrari came into central defense in place of Alessandro Nesta, Collen Warner and Justin Mapp started in midfield in place of Davy Arnaud and Andrea Pisanu, and Andrew Wenger came in up top for Daniele Paponi.
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-1-3-2): Troy Perkins - Jeb Brovsky, Matteo Ferrari, Hassoun Camara, Dennis Iapichino - Collen Warner - Justin Mapp, Felipe Martins (Blake Smith 88), Andres Romero - Marco Di Vaio (Sanna Nyassi 65), Andrew Wenger (Patrice Bernier 73).

TEAM NEWS

  • With the draw, the Impact have now taken seven points from four road games (2-1-1). In their inaugural MLS season last year, they took just nine points total from 17 away matches.
  • “To get a point out of a road game is good, but I feel like we could have gotten more,” Justin Mapp said. “It was there for the taking, but we give up a chance there at the end and they capitalize. All in all, we’ll take the point and move on, but we did feel disappointed, having had the lead so late.”
  • For the seventh time in eight matches, the Impact scored the opening goal – they are undefeated (5-0-2) when opening the scoring. The 2-0 loss to Sporting KC was the only match where they did not score first.
  • “I must say that the team, today, were really heroic,” head coach Marco Schällibaum said. “With the heat and the pressure put on them, they fought really hard today. It could have been three points. With one point, we’re less happy, but we’re still happy.”
  • Mapp scored two goals in a game for the second time in his 12-year MLS career, netting twice in the Impact’s 2-2 draw at San Jose. It took him 10 years to do it the first time, scoring twice for Philadelphia Union in a 6-2 win at Toronto FC on May 28, 2011.
  • "Justin is one of our best technical players, and this season we wanted to get him to a physical level that would help him give a lot to the team," assistant coach Mauro Biello told Montreal newspaper La Presse. "He once again performed well after his great Wednesday outing. We're really pleased with his performance."
  • After playing on the right side of the midfield in the Impact’s historic midweek Canadian Championship win, Mapp again reprised that role with Andres Romero playing wide on the left.
  • “It’s a different look,” Mapp said. “Being a left footed player, it gives me the ability to cut in and have more opportunities on goal as opposed to cutting in from the left and having it on my right foot. It’s a look I kind of like. Hopefully I’ll be on the right again out there.”
  • The Impact were also beaten for more than one goal for just the second time this season, matching the season-high for a game. They have conceded seven goals in eight games, the fourth-best defensive record in MLS.
  • "At the end of the day, I should have done better on that last goal, but they probably wished they could have had more in the first half," said goalkeeper Troy Perkins. "It's just the way it happens sometimes. We knew they were coming to fight until the end. It was a battle."