Preview: LA face crucial away contest vs. surging Impact
MONTREAL IMPACT vs LA GALAXY
OLYMPIC STADIUM, Montreal, Que.
May 12, 2012 (WEEK 10, MLS Game #89)
4 p.m. ET (TSN/RDS; KDOC/KWHY)
One of the most sought-after tickets in Quebec, the LA Galaxy made their first visit to La Belle Province when they take on the Montreal Impact on Saturday afternoon at Olympic Stadium. The Galaxy have endured a rough defense of their title, suffering a second consecutive loss last time out, a 1-0 loss to New York. The Impact return home after their first-ever MLS road win, a 2-0 defeat of Sporting Kansas City, their second victory on the trot.
REFEREE: Jasen Anno. SAR (bench): Peter Manikowski; JAR (opposite): Craig Lowry; 4th: Mathieu Bourdeau
MLS Career: 29 games; FC/gm: 22.5; Y/gm: 2.9; R: 18; pens: 8
- MONTREAL IMPACT - OUT: DF Zarek Valentin (R calf contusion); DF Josh Gardner (L hamstring tendinitis); FW Evan James (nose fracture); PROBABLE: MF Justin Mapp (L hamstring strain)
- LA GALAXY - OUT: DF Omar Gonzalez (L knee surgery); DF Leonardo (R knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: GK Brian Perk (sports hernia surgery)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: MTL: Sanna Nyassi
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: MTL: Felipe Martins, Bernardo Corradi, Tyson Wahl
ALL-TIME: First meeting.
- This is the only league meeting between the clubs this season.
- Coaches record: Jesse Marsch vs. LA: first game ... Bruce Arena vs. MTL: first game
The Montreal Impact won for a second game in a row and won on the road for the first time in MLS, grabbing an impressive 2-0 victory against Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park on Saturday evening. The Impact are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 11 points from 10 matches.
HIGHLIGHTS: Montreal shock Sporting with 2-0 triumph
- In the 30th minute, the Impact scored the game's opening goal. Justin Braun laid the ball off for Felipe, who settled in space and bent a left-footer from well outside the area past the fingertips of a diving Jimmy Nielsen and just inside the left post.
- The lead was doubled after Lamar Neagle cut into the penalty area on a breakaway and was hauled down by Aurelien Collin in the 62nd minute. Patrice Bernier calmly stepped to the spot and converted to seal the victory.
- Impact goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made six saves for his second straight clean sheet. Three of those stops kept Sporting from going up early.
- Impact head coach Jesse Marsch made eight changes to the team that got a pair of late goals for a 2-0 win against the Portland Timbers at Olympic Stadium. Only goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, left back Tyson Wahl and midfielder Felipe Martins maintained their places in the first XI.
- MONTREAL IMPACT (4-4-2): Donovan Ricketts - Jeb Brovsky, Nelson Rivas (Matteo Ferrari 62), Hassoun Camara, Tyson Wahl - Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Andrew Wenger 84), Felipe Martins, Patrice Bernier, Lamar Neagle - Justin Braun, Eduardo Sebrango (Davy Arnaud 70).
- With the second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship against Toronto FC ahead, Impact head coach Jesse Marsch rang in the changes for the Sporting match. Nelson Rivas and Hassoun Camara both made their 2012 season debuts, and Eduardo Sebrango made his first MLS start.
- "I believe we put a good team on the field and there was good understanding from the group from what we wanted to do, from our captain to all the down the end of the line," said Marsch. "We weathered the storm early on, especially with certain pieces of the team."
- For Rivas, it was his first action in a competitive match since March 2011, when he was playing for Inter Milan in Italy's Serie A.
- "It was a tough game for me, having been out injured for three months," Rivas said. "Winning at a ground where it's very difficult to do so gives a lot of confidence. I'm happy with the excellent game we played. ... We were confident even before the game, and what's important is that we've got an excellent group who trust one another."
- The Impact won on the road for the first time in MLS, and have taken points on their last two away matches. They've won back-to-back games for the first time in MLS.
- "I was thinking the team needed maybe eight or nine games to develop our reflexes and our sense of what we're about," Patrice Bernier said. "A team with a lot of new faces showed that we have a lot of depth and a lot of quality players, which will make the coach's decisions difficult. We've shown over the last few games that we're there in every game and that we're a tough team to play against."
- The Impact won a third penalty, all coming over the last four games. The three penalty kicks are most in MLS after Week 9 of the season.
- Bernier converted the penalty against SKC, after Bernardo Corradi has taken the previous two for the Impact. It was the first Impact goal for Bernier, a Brossard, Que. native, since Aug. 25, 2002.
- "Patrice made the decision to do the penalty kick. The kick was a big goal, and I am very proud of him for stepping up and taking it. We have five or six new faces and they all stepped up on the field tonight and played," Marsch said.
- The Impact have also recorded back-to-back shutouts, their first two since starting in MLS as an expansion club. They have not allowed a goal in 198 minutes.
- On Wednesday, the Impact were knocked out of the Amway Canadian Championship, losing the second leg of their semifinal series with Toronto FC 2-0 at BMO Field, losing the tie by the same score.
- Reggie Lambe gave TFC the lead after just two minutes, but the match had another turn in the 17th minute when Richard Eckersley was sent off. But Ryan Johnson hammered home following a corner kick in the 38th minute to extend the lead.
- Here's the Impact team: Donovan Ricketts; Tyson Wahl, Matteo Ferrari, Shavar Thomas (Justin Mapp 46), Jeb Brovsky (Hassoun Camara 75); Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Collen Warner, Patrice Bernier (Felipe 46), Davy Arnaud; Sanna Nyassi, Bernardo Corradi
HIGHLIGHTS: Red Bulls snatch 1-0 win in LA
The LA Galaxy went down to a second consecutive shutout loss, this time a 1-0 defeat by the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy are in seventh place in the Western Conference with 10 points from 9 games.
- The game's only goal came after 19 minutes. Jan Gunnar Solli carried the ball down the left flank and slipped a pass inside to Joel Lindpere, who burst through midfield untracked. With Galaxy defenders collapsing around him, Lindpere knocked the ball through a crowd and past goalkeeper Bill Gaudette.
- Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara was credited with four saves in recording a second consecutive shutout.
- Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made six changes to the team that went down to a 2-0 defeat by Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field. Tommy Meyer and Todd Dunivant came into the back four, David Beckham, Mike Magee into the midfield and Edson Buddle and Robbie Keane up top, in place of Bryan Jordan, David Junior Lopes, Brian Gaul, Marcelo Sarvas, Chad Barrett and Adam Cristman.
- LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Bill Gaudette - Sean Franklin, Tommy Meyer (Michael Stephens 75), A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Landon Donovan, Juninho, David Beckham, Mike Magee (Pat Noonan 68) - Edson Buddle (Chad Barrett 68), Robbie Keane.
- The Galaxy have now lost back-to-back games - something they did not do in the entirety of the 2011 season. The last time they lost consecutive matches came Aug. 21-28, 2010. It's their second three-game winless run of the campaign (also April 14-28).
- "It is a bit of a broken record. Even giving up a goal, we had enough chances to create a couple goals in the game," said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. ... Throughout 90 minutes there were certainly enough chances to get ourselves back in that game. At least get a point or perhaps win the game. It's no one's fault. We have the ball at the feet of our best players. Someone has to make the plays when they're there. We didn't make the plays."
- The Galaxy have also been shut out in back-to-back games for the first time since they played to consecutive scoreless draws last June 25-July 4, vs. San Jose and Seattle.
- "I think our crossing was not as good as it needs to be. I think Beckham got in some great crosses when we shifted them over there. I think from the left side of the field we need to get in some better crosses," said Arena. "We haven't found a player that can consistently get us goals. There have been plays there where the ball has to end up in the back of the net and it isn't and it's costing us dearly."
- The Galaxy still have yet to record a shutout this season. After nine games last year, they already had four shutouts, on their way to 17 over the 34-game season - tying the all-time MLS record.
- "It's just the mentality of the fact we need to get back to being a blue-collar team that worked hard and had a defensive mentality first," said fullback Todd Dunivant. "That doesn't mean we have to sit back and defend, but it means when we lose the ball we're working hard to get after it and backing up the guy next to you. Little things have consistently cost us games."
- Goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, making his third consecutive start, was not called upon to make a save, beaten only by the early Lindpere goal.
- "At this point we're 3-5-1. I wouldn't say we took a step back tonight. We could have won this game. We should have won the last two games at home," said Arena. "We have to put the ball in the back of the net. It comes down to finishing. Having said that, we've done a better job defensively. I think at home we're more than capable of getting a goal or two and we have no one to blame but ourselves."
- After going unbeaten on their home ground over all competitions over the entirety of 2011, the Galaxy already have four losses in seven matches in all competitions this year at The Home Depot Center. They are one of five teams below .500 in home games this year.
- It's something we were proud of last year having our home ground and somewhere where it was tough to come and play against us and also our fans," said David Beckham. "It's something we have to change (losing at home) because we want to make it hard for teams to come and play here. Right now teams and individuals are coming here and enjoying it. The mentality has to change."
LA's Big 3 sound off on Montreal tussle