Preview: DC host Montreal looking to go five unbeaten

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D.C. UNITED vs MONTREAL IMPACT

RFK MEMORIAL STADIUM, Washington, D.C.

April 18, 2012 (WEEK 7, MLS Game #54)

7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-MA; TVA)

D.C. United return to RFK Stadium to meet the expansion Montreal Impact for the first time on Wednesday night. United are riding a four-game unbeaten streak after coming back for a 2-1 win against the New England Revolution in Foxborough last weekend. The Impact started a set of three games on the road with a late 2-1 loss last Saturday at FC Dallas.

REFEREE: Silviu Petrescu. SAR (bench): Philippe Briere; JAR (opposite): Matthew Kreitzer; 4th: Geoff Gamble

MLS Career: 42 games; FC/gm: 27.6; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 8; pens: 6

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INJURY REPORT: D.C. UNITED — OUT: DF Ethan White (R knee surgery); MF Lance Rozeboom (L ACL tear); MF Kurt Morsink (L foot neurectomy); DF Emiliano Dudar (L hamstring strain); PROBABLE: GK Bill Hamid (L ankle sprain / bone bruising) … MONTREAL IMPACT — OUT: FW Miguel Montano (proximal tib fib sprain); DOUBTFUL: DF Nelson Rivas (L hamstring strain); DF Calum Mallace (R ankle sprain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: none

WARNINGS: none

SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none

SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DC: Maicon Santos … MTL: Sanna Nyassi, Felipe Martins, Bernardo Corradi

HEAD-TO-HEAD

ALL-TIME: First meeting.

RETURN MATCHES: 6/30: D.C. United vs. Montreal Impact, 7:30 p.m.; 8/25: Montreal Impact vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m. (TSN/RDS)

Coaches record: Ben Olsen vs. MTL: first game … Jesse Marsch vs. DAL: first game

D.C. UNITED

D.C. United came back to extend their undefeated streak to four games, getting a late winner for a 2-1 win against the New England Revolution on Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. United are in third place in the Eastern Conference with 8 points from 6 games.

LAST MATCH

Santos scores after DeRo’s acrobatics

  • The Revolution took the lead on six minutes. Lee Nguyen and Sair Sene combined down the left to slide the French forward into a good crossing position. Sene's tempting service left an unmarked Jose Moreno with little more to do than volley home at the near post for his first MLS goal.
  • Maicon Santos hit for the equalizer after 19 minutes. Nick De Leon floated a corner to the far side of the penalty area for De Rosario to bicycle kick toward goal. Santos reacted quickly to divert De Rosario's attempt into the net from six yards for his third goal of the campaign.
  • United then scored the winner eight minutes from the end. DeLeon did well to win a 50-50 ball inside the Revolution half and the play eventually squirted out to Pontius on the left side of the penalty area. Pontius cut inside his marker and fired home his first goal of the season.
  • United head coach Ben Olsen made one change to the team that played to a scoreless draw with Seattle Sounders FC at RFK Stadium. Brandon McDonald returned from suspension into central defense for Emiliano Dudar.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-3-1-2): Joe Willis - Robbie Russell, Brandon McDonald, Dejan Jakovic (Chris Korb 60), Daniel Woolard - Danny Cruz, Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon - Dwayne De Rosario - Maicon Santos (Chris Pontius 79), Hamdi Salihi (Josh Wolff 65).

TEAM NEWS

Pontius curls in the game-winner

  • United extended their undefeated streak to four games, and will now try to achieve something they haven’t done since June 2009: win back-to-back games.
  • “Last year we probably find a way to lose that game,” said head coach Ben Olsen. “And I’m seeing some signs of this team figuring out ways to be winners.”
  • After starting the first two games of the season, Chris Pontius has come off the substitutes’ bench in each of the last four. His goal vs. New England was his first since hitting for a brace last Aug. 13 vs. Vancouver.
  • “He certainly made my life more difficult today. And that’s what I’m asking him to do, guys when they come in to make me have sleepless nights about who’s going to be out there,” said Olsen. “We thought we needed to be more mobile, and have someone who could run. Their backs got a little leggy, and Chris took advantage of it.”
  • Said Pontius: “It’s been tough for me coming off the bench. Ideally, I want to start. I think every player wants to start every game. You have to realize where you’re at sometimes with your body. I mean, I was rusty the first couple of games. I’m still finding the touch and everything and getting fitness. Being a sub has forced me to work harder ñ to get back into it. So, I think that goal was just a result of the hard work.”
  • Rookie Nick DeLeon collected two assists vs. New England, setting up the tying and winning goals in the 2-1 win. De Leon has two goals and three assists, having played a part in five of United’s seven goals this season.
  • While he has yet to score a goal this season, reigning MLS MVP Dwayne De Rosario collected his third assist of the season with an overhead kick from a corner that Maicon Santos nodded home for the opener in New England.
  • “It was a huge win for us,” Pontius said. “We’ve now picked up eight points in the last four games. It’s going to be a huge week for us, so we need to pick up as many points as possible.”
  • The match against Montreal starts a run of three consecutive matches at RFK Stadium for United.
  • “The ultimate goal is playoffs and an Eastern Conference Championship,” United midfielder Perry Kitchen said. “We’re not doing badly, but we’ve got to keep it going because last year we struggled with road wins and home wins too.”

MONTREAL IMPACT

The Montreal Impact again went down to defeat on the road, falling to a late winner in a 2-1 loss at FC Dallas on Saturday evening. The Impact are tied for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 4 points from 7 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Montreal broke through just after the hour mark, when Davy Arnaud was fouled in the box by FC Dallas defender Zach Loyd. Bernardo Corradi converted on the penalty kick attempt and gave the Impact the lead.
  • FC Dallas pulled even though in the 77th minute. A free kick from the left flank was headed onto the bar with a looping header from George John, and Blas Perez was first to the rebound, nodding it into the goal from close range.
  • Brek Shea then gave FC Dallas another late winner when he latched onto a Perez header flicked over the top and cut through a pair of Impact defenders in the area before driving a shot past goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
  • Impact head coach Jesse Marsch made two changes to the team that came away with a 2-1 triumph against Toronto FC at Olympic Stadium. Justin Mapp and Davy Arnaud came into the side for Sinisa Ubiparipovic and Sanna Nyassi.

MONTREAL IMPACT (4-4-1-1): Donovan Ricketts - Zarek Valentin, Shavar Thomas, Matteo Ferrari, Tyson Wahl - Justin Mapp (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 88), Felipe Martins, Collen Warner, Lamar Neagle (Sanna Nyassi 72) - Davy Arnaud - Bernardo Corradi (Andrew Wenger 72).

TEAM NEWS

  • For the second time in four matches when they’ve scored first, Montreal allowed the opposition to come back and take all three points. The Impact have scored first in four games, they are 1-2-1 in those contests.

HIGHLIGHTS: DAL 2, MTL1

  • “It’s something we need to work on. When we get the lead we just need to concentrate and keep our cool and relax. We got the lead and we were still in a rush and we didn’t settle down and take control of the game and we let Dallas back in the game,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch.
  • The game at D.C. United will be Montreal sixth away game in their opening eight matches. They will play on the road seven times in the first 10 games of their inaugural MLS season.
  • “I don’t know if I’ve been a part of a team that has had so many good performances on the road and not gotten anything out of games. We’ve had some really good performances and I think anybody who watches us play knows that we’re very close,” said Davy Arnaud. “People who watch us play know that we’re a tough team to play against. We just got to be better in important moments in the game.”
  • For the second time this season, Marsch started Bernardo Corradi as a lone striker, with Davy Arnaud tucked in underneath him.
  • “It’s a work in progress. We’re a new team with different players. We have quality players. We just need to settle down and focus and get the job done,” Marsch said. “I think we are improving every game and we just need to improve a few things and we’ll be OK."
  • When Corradi converted the penalty kick for Montreal at FC Dallas, it was in memoriam. Corradi was friends with Piermario Morosini, who passed away after collapsing during Saturday’s Serie B match in Italy between Livorno and Pescara.
  • “It was a strange day for me because I lost one of my friends,” Corradi said. “We played one year together [with Udinese], and he used to come to my place to have dinner, because I knew that he had a strange story. He lost his parents, his brother, and he was this really great guy. He was always smiling, even with his difficult life.”
  • The Impact have conceded four of their 14 goals in the final 15 minutes of matches, just one fewer than the Portland Timbers, who have allowed five of their 11 goals in the last quarter-hour.
  • “We played a great game for 75 minutes. We did what we have to do in the field,” said defender Matteo Ferrari. “No good chance for them. Maybe no good chance for us, but I think when you are winning 1-0 after the first 75 minutes, you have to take points. We played 75 very good minutes and 15 went crazy. Very frustrating.”
  • Said defender Tyson Wahl: “I think we are really close. The last couple of games we’ve played really well. Last week we got the result against Toronto. We could have done better (in Dallas). I thought we probably could have had the result. We just didn’t have it in the end. We are very close though.”