Montreal Impact vs Philadelphia Union 04-26-2014 - Preview

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Montreal Impact
1 - 0
Final
Philadelphia Union
MLS Regular Season
April 26, 2014
4:00pm EDT
Stade Saputo
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Montreal Impact vs. Philadelphia Union | MLS Match Preview

MONTRÉAL IMPACT vs PHILADELPHIA UNION
STADE SAPUTO, Montréal, Qué.
April 26, 2014 (WEEK 8, MLS Game #64)
4 p.m. ET (TVA; TCN-Phi)

The Montréal Impact and Philadelphia Union meet for a second time this season when the clubs face off in an Eastern Conference encounter Saturday afternoon at Stade Saputo. The Impact are still looking for their first victory of the new season, returning home off a 4-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City last week. Union are winless in their last six games, coming off a scoreless draw with the Houston Dynamo last Saturday. The teams reached a 1-1 draw in Chester earlier this season.

REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. AR1 (bench): Eric Boria; AR2 (opposite): Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho; 4th: Silviu Petrescu
MLS Career: 169 games; FC/gm: 25.2; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 60; pens: 62

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: MTL: Hassoun Camara …PHI: Fabinho
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: MTL: Matteo Ferrari
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (6 meetings): Impact 3 wins, 11 goals … Union 1 win, 7 goals …Ties 2
AT MONTRÉAL (2 meetings): Impact 3 wins, 9 goals … Union 0 wins, 4 goals … Ties 0
FUTURE MATCH: 8/9: Philadelphia Union vs. Montreal Impact, 7 p.m. ET

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Marco Di Vaio’s goal 10 minutes from time canceled out a first-half strike by Philadelphia’s Vincent Nogueira to leave the teams in a 1-1 draw, March 29 at PPL Park.
  • The Impact are undefeated in their last five meetings with Union, including victories in all three encounters in Montréal. Since a 2-1 Union win in the first meeting ever between the clubs, July 14, 2012 at PPL Park, Montréal is 3-0-2 in the series.
  • It’s the first meeting since a trade between the teams of young strikers, Jack McInerney going from Philadelphia to Montréal, and Andrew Wenger going the other direction.
  • Coaches record: Frank Klopas vs. PHI: P8 W3 L3 D2 … John Hackworth vs. MTL: P6 W1 L3 D2

LAST MEETING (MLS)
3/29: PHI 1, MTL 1 (Nogueira 35 – Di Vaio 80)

  • Union took the lead in the 35th minute. Jack McInerney beat a defender and found Vincent Nogueira streaking into the area, and he then blasted a shot by a helpless Troy Perkins to open his MLS account in style.
  • But the Impact pulled even with 10 minutes to play. From a remarkable long ball played by Justin Mapp, Marco Di Vaio settled the ball on the left wing, was given time and space to move into the area then beat Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath to his left.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath - Raymon Gaddis, Amobi Okugo, Aaron Wheeler, Fabinho - Brian Carroll, Maurice Edu - Sebastien Le Toux (Antoine Hoppenot 82), Vincent Nogueira, Cristian Maidana (Leo Fernandes 57) - Jack McInerney (Conor Casey 71).
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Troy Perkins - Eric Miller, Matteo Ferrari, Hassoun Camara, Heath Pearce - Hernan Bernardello, Collen Warner (Patrice Bernier 74) - Justin Mapp, Felipe Martins (Karl Ouimette 87), Andres Romero (Andrew Wenger 60; ejected 76) - Marco Di Vaio.

MONTREAL IMPACT
The Montréal Impact had their winless opening to the 2014 season extended, falling 4-0 to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening at Sporting Park. The Impact are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 3 points from 7 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Sporting were fortunate to take the lead in the 31st minute. From a long throw-in by Sporting's Matt Besler, the ball hit Mallace's head as he tried to clear and looped just inside Troy Perkins' far post.
  • SKC finally doubled their lead in the 71st minute. Lawrence Olum won the ball inside the Impact area and sent it back out to Aurelin Collin, and the big center back curled his left-footed shot inside the near post.
  • Three minutes later, second-half substitute Jacob Peterson sent in a long cross from the right corner and Dom Dwyer beat two defenders at the edge of the 6-yard box to knock home a sliding shot.
  • The rout was complete in the 86th when Dwyer completed his brace, running onto Graham Zusi's looping cross and snapping a header down and into the net.
  • Impact head coach Frank Klopas made three changes to the team that reached a 1-1 result with the Chicago Fire at Stade Olympique. Maxim Tissot came into the back four for Heath Pearce, and Calum Mallace and Patrice Bernier started in midfield in place of Andres Romero and Jack McInerney.
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Troy Perkins - Eric Miller, Karl Ouimette, Matteo Ferrari (Hassoun Camara 78), Maxim Tissot - Calum Mallace, Patrice Bernier - Justin Mapp (Andres Romero 46), Felipe Martins, Collen Warner - Marco Di Vaio (Jack McInerney 56).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Impact had their winless stretch extended to seven matches, the longest in the club’s MLS history. The MLS record for winless streak to start the season was set by Real Salt Lake in 2007 (0-5-6).
  • "I have a lot of confidence in myself, and I have a lot of confidence in the team. It’s a long season. I know what I’m doing. We’re working very well. The ball is round. It’s going to bounce your way sometimes, sometimes it’s not,” Impact coach Frank Klopas said. “ … It’s my responsibility. I know that. I know that I have to get results. I have a big responsibility to the organization.”
  • With Hernan Bernardello out for a second match with an ankle injury in the New York match on April 5, Patrice Bernier made his first start since March 23 and played the full 90 minutes.
  • “We played really well in the first half,” Bernier said. “We were solid defensively, played on the counter and created chances. We limited, more or less, their chances – they were mostly throw-ins or corners. I don’t know what to say, but we really need to look at ourselves in the mirror, for if we want to get out of this, we must give nothing, nothing away.”
  • After running out a pair of strikers in the Chicago Fire, Marco Di Vaio was the lone forward against SKC, with Jack McInerney coming on for Di Vaio just before the hour.
  • “It’s been seven games already …,” Di Vaio said. “We must understand that, now, what we’re doing isn’t enough. We have to pay attention, and we have to think, every day of the week, about what we can improve, because it’s not enough.”
  • Maxim Tissot made his first appearance of the 2014 season, coming in at left back. Heath Pearce had started three consecutive matches, coming off at halftime vs. Chicago.
  • Calum Mallace also made his first start of the season, coming into a holding role in central midfield – and unfortunately saw the opening goal deflect off him for an own goal.

PHILADELPHIA UNION
Philadelphia Union had their winless run extended to six matches, playing to a scoreless draw with the Houston Dynamo on Saturday afternoon at PPL Park. Union are in a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 8 points from 8 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall wasn't called upon to make a single save on the afternoon, while Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath was credited with two saves. The closest either team came to scoring was in the first half when an attempy by Dynamo striker Will Bruin found the woodwork.
  • The Dynamo finished a man down when Kofi Sarkodie was shown a second yellow card by referee Armando Villarreal for time-wasting and was sent off in the 82nd minute.
  • Union manager John Hackworth made three changes to the team that fell 2-1 to the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Sheanon Williams came into the back four for Fabinho, and Brian Carroll and Conor Casey came back into the team for Leo Fernandes and Sebastien Le Toux.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-1-2-3): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Aaron Wheeler, Amobi Okugo, Raymon Gaddis - Brian Carroll - Maurice Edu, Vincent Nogueira - Andrew Wenger, Conor Casey (Sebastien Le Toux 63), Cristian Maidana (Leo Fernandes 56).

TEAM NEWS

  • While Union saw their winless run extended, their lone victory on the season coming on March 15, they did record a fourth draw in the last six matches.
  • “We want to win, it’s not just about ‘being competitive.’ We want to win games,” said defender Sheanon Williams. “When you don’t win games it’s not ideal, ties are the most frustrating … it’s not like we are losing games or getting blown over … For the most part we are outplaying teams, but we have one win in eight games; we are getting deep into the season and we can’t keep saying that.”
  • Union were shut out for the first time on the season in the draw with Houston. Just three teams remain who have not been blanked in MLS this season (Chicago, Dallas, Seattle).
  • Union were held without a single attempt on target for the match, and have now played 124 minutes without forcing the opposing goalkeeper into a save.
  • “The stats can tell you there isn’t a shot on goal, but the fact is that we had a couple of sitters,” Union manager John Hackworth said. “Conor [Casey], unfortunately, his plant foot slips on the one that is a wide-open goal. We had a couple of plays where the ball goes across the back post and Mo [Edu] has it on one, then it just slips away. It’s not a case of us not creating enough chances in a game.”
  • Union were able to keep a clean sheet for the second time this season, the first since a 1-0 defeat of New England on March 15, after allowing two goals in each of the previous three matches.
  • Sheanon Williams returned to right back after a one-match absence, with Raymon Gaddis again shifting sides to the left.
  • “We got together as a group and talked about [our individual defensive performances before this match],” said Gaddis. “Last year we were a solid defensive team and we wanted to get back to the basics and that is what we did.”
  • Conor Casey made his first start since April 5, playing as the spearhead striker in the Union front three, as he and Andrew Wenger started together for the first time since his arrival at the club.
  • Aaron Wheeler also returned to center back for a second consecutive match, and the converted striker has started five of the last six games in central defense.
  • “Aaron, right now, is still the first choice. ... We do want to build that continuity and that’s one reason why Aaron’s played the last couple of games and will probably get another chance on Saturday,” Hackworth said. “Once you’re doing well in the back, it’s hard to change.”