Preview: Impact look to keep up momentum in trip to FC Dallas

FC Dallas vs. Montreal Impact, April 13

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FC DALLAS vs MONTREAL IMPACT
FC DALLAS STADIUM, Frisco, Texas
April 14, 2012 (WEEK 6, MLS Game #51)
7:30 p.m. CT (FS-SW+; TVA)

Two teams coming off buoying victories meet for the first time when the Montreal Impact travel to Frisco to take on FC Dallas. The Impact won for the first time in their MLS history last weekend, a 2-1 win against Toronto FC at Olympic Stadium. FC Dallas stopped a two-game losing skid in dramatic fashion, getting a late stoppage-time winner for a 1-0 win against the New England Revolution at FC Dallas Stadium.

REFEREE: Ramon Hernandez. SAR (bench): Chris Strickland; JAR (opposite): Claudio Badea; 4th: Ismail Elfath
MLS Career: 32 games; FC/gm: 28.4; Y/gm: 4.4; R: 7; pens: 7

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INJURY REPORT:

  • FC DALLAS - OUT:  MF David Ferreira (R ankle); MF Ricardo Villar (R foot); MF Andrew Wiedeman (sports hernia repair); QUESTIONABLE: DF George John (concussion symptoms); FW Scott Sealy (L hamstring)
  • MONTREAL IMPACT - OUT: DF Nelson Rivas (L hamstring strain); DF Calum Mallace (R ankle sprain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Sanna Nyassi (R hip flexor)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: none

WARNINGS:

SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: MTL: Sanna Nyassi

HEAD-TO-HEAD

ALL-TIME: First meeting.

  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • Coaches record: Schellas Hyndman vs. MTL: first game ... Jesse Marsch vs. DAL: first game

FC DALLAS

FC Dallas left it late, but scored a dramatic winner to put an end to their two-game losing streak in a 1-0 win against the New England Revolution on Thursday evening at FC Dallas Stadium. FCD is tied for fifth place in the Western Conference with 7 points from 5 matches.

HIGHLIGHTS: Dallas leave it late vs. NE

LAST MATCH

  • The game's only goal came five minutes into second-half stoppage time. Zach Loyd placed a perfect ball from a free kick into the left side of the box and center back Ugo Ihemelu took advantage, rising to nod the ball past Revs 'keeper Matt Reis for the winner.
  • FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman made two changes to the team that went down to a 4-1 defeat by D.C. United at RFK Stadium. George John and Fabian Castillo returned to the lineup, in place of the suspended Jair Benitez and Daniel Hernandez.
  • FC DALLAS (4-4-2): Kevin Hartman - Hernan Pertuz, George John (Matt Hedges 71), Ugo Ihemelu, Zach Loyd - Carlos Rodriguez, Ricardo Villar (Bobby Warshaw 66), Andrew Jacobson, Brek Shea - Fabian Castillo, Blas Perez.

TEAM NEWS

FC Dallas preview Impact matchup

  • Ugo Ihemelu's goal five minutes into second-half stoppage time was the second-latest goal scored in FCD club history. On May 25, 2002, Chad Deering scored nine minutes added time to give Dallas a dramatic 1-1 draw with Columbus.
  • "It always feels great when you work really hard and get a good result," Ihemelu said. "Zach isn't our usual free-kick taker, but he stepped up. It takes a lot of courage to do that. We made eye contact, and I knew it was coming to me. He served some good balls earlier so I was confident I could get my head on it if I just created space."
  • In the first 4-1/2 years of his MLS career, with LA and Colorado, Ihemelu scored one goal in 118 appearances. He now has five goals in 63 appearances since joining FC Dallas midway through the 2009 season.
  • Striker Fabian Castillo was able to return to the lineup for the first time since being forced out of the opening match after just 31 minutes with a knee contusion.
  • "This is Fabian's first game back in four weeks," FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said. "I thought he was extremely dangerous, especially early in the game when he had his legs under him."
  • Castillo was partnered with Blas Perez in attack as Hyndman went with a twin-striker scheme, after Perez had played as a lone striker for the most part in FCD's opening four matches.
  • "The truth is I don't feel 100 percent," Castillo said. "The rest of the players on our team have been playing all of the games. I'm working towards that, and the team is helping me knowing that I'm coming off of an injury. I just need this match play to get back to the same level as everybody else."
  • FCD was forced into a change in central defense when George John took a ball to the face in the 71st minute. John was making his second start in three matches. In his place, rookie Matt Hedges was given his professional debut.
  • "I'm not really complaining with George picking up the injury since we have Matt back there," Hyndman said. "We will have to wait and see how long George is out. But Matt showed a lot of composure, and he really reminds me of George in his first year. We are going to evaluate George and see how he is. With all the studies on concussions, you always want to favor the protection of the player. I felt like we did everything right, and he will be evaluated by the experts."
  • FC Dallas was also forced into a change just after the hour mark when Ricardo Villar couldn't continue and was replaced by Bobby Warshaw. "He twisted his foot. We'll get an X-ray on it and see how he is," said Hyndman.

MONTREAL IMPACT

The Montreal Impact won their first-ever game in Major League Soccer, returning home for a 2-1 triumph against arch-rival Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon at Olympic Stadium. The Impact are tied for seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 4 points from 6 matches.

HIGHLIGHTS: Montreal earn historic win

LAST MATCH

  • The Impact took the lead after 18 minutes. Lamar Neagle intercepted a ball in midfield and found a wide-open Sinisa Ubiparipovic, who side-footed a shot from just outside the box past goalkeeper Milos Kocic.
  • Toronto FC suffered a blow when defender Logan Emory was sent off after 65 minutes for denying forward Sanna Nyassi a goalscoring opportunity.
  • Montreal doubled their lead nine minutes from the end after a one-on-one ball chase between Andrew Wenger and TFC central defender Ty Harden, with the rookie able to latch onto the ball in the penalty area and fire home past Kocic.
  • TFC scored a late goal when Reggie Lambe put in a cross from the left and Danny Koevermans steered home a header, but Montreal held on for the historic win.
  • Impact head coach Jesse Marsch made five changes to the team that fell 1-0 to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Zarek Valentin, Tyson Wahl, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Sanna Nyassi and Bernardo Corradi all came into the team, in place of defenders Jeb Brovsky and Josh Gardner, and attackers Davy Arnaud, Justin Mapp and Justin Braun.
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-4-2): Donovan Ricketts - Zarek Valentin, Shavar Thomas, Matteo Ferrari, Tyson Wahl - Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Justin Mapp 73), Collen Warner, Felipe Martins, Lamar Neagle - Sanna Nyassi (Davy Arnaud 82), Bernardo Corradi (Andrew Wenger 66).

TEAM NEWS

From the Sidelines: Wenger's game-winner

  • With their first victory after six games, the Impact matched the longest spell for a first victory by an expansion team in MLS history (Chivas USA also started 1-4-1, with their first win coming in game 6, in 2005).
  • "It's a big moment and a big win for the club, the fans, the city and the players, but the reality is that the work is just getting started," Impact head coach Jesse Marsch said. "We're all pleased, happy and excited to get to this moment, but I think our players are so well-grounded that they understand that it's about this whole process and pushing this thing along."
  • For a second consecutive match, Marsch made five changes to his team. Justin Mapp and Davy Arnaud each did not start for the first time this season.
  • "It's a good situation to be able to look down the bench and see guys like Justin Mapp, Davy Arnaud and Patrice Bernier. That's a quality group of players that you know you can put on the field," said Marsch. " ... I think Justin probably fits in the category of our main guys. At different moments, [we have] to make sure that we handle him physically the right way and give him the chance to be successful and that a long season is possible. He knows, and he'll be ready for that off-the-bench role."
  • It was the first time in three weeks where the Impact will have two games in quick succession. Following the trip to Dallas, the Impact will play at D.C. United on Wednesday.
  • "We talked about using different players early this week with a lot of games in a short time. We know we have a really good roster," Marsch said. "We challenged guys that even when things don't go their way, to keep working hard because we are going to call on a lot of different guys at different times. I think a lot of the guys that we've rotated in have done a good job for us."
  • Sinisa Ubiparipovic made his first appearance of the season after suffering an injury to the MCL in his knee during preseason. It was his first appearance in an MLS game since Sept. 4, 2010, when he was playing for the New York Red Bulls.
  • "It's been a frustrating three or four weeks," Ubiparipovic said. "I've been working hard to get my fitness back and whatnot. It just feels rewarding to get in there, I score a goal and the team wins. It's a double bonus."
  • Andrew Wenger, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, made his fifth appearance as a substitute this season and scored the eventual winning goal. Wenger is still completing his degree at Duke University.
  • "I got class the next two days, so I'll get through that and then come back next week. Like I said before, if anyone wants to write my term paper, I'm open to suggestions [laughs]," said Wenger. "I've been pleased with my performances for the most part despite all the travelling back and forth. I'll be done in three weeks and then go from there."