Preview: Impact set to host clash against first-place RBNY
MONTRÉAL IMPACT vs NEW YORK RED BULLS
OLYMPIC STADIUM, Montréal, Qué.
May 19, 2012 (WEEK 11, MLS Game #100)
7:30 p.m. ET (TVA; MSG)
Riding a four-game unbeaten streak and still undefeated at home, the Montréal Impact face a real test when the New York Red Bulls come to Olympic Stadium on Saturday night. The Impact maintained their unbeaten home record before a record crowd last weekend in a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy. The Red Bulls made it four wins in a row in a 3-2 victory at the Philadelphia Union on Sunday afternoon. It’s the second meeting of the year between the clubs – the Red Bulls claimed a 5-2 win in New Jersey on March 31.
REFEREE: Ismail Elfath. SAR (bench): Peter Manikowski; JAR (opposite): Craig Lowry; 4th: Terry Vaughn MLS Career: First game.
- MONTREAL IMPACT – OUT: DF Zarek Valentin (R calf contusion); DF Josh Gardner (L hamstring tendinitis); FW Evan James (nose fracture); DOUBTFUL: MF Justin Mapp (R calf strain) …
- NEW YORK RED BULLS -- OUT: FW Thierry Henry (R hamstring strain); DF Wilman Conde (L groin strain); DF Stephen Keel (back strain); MF Teemu Tainio (R knee sprain); FW Jose Angulo (R knee sprain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Jan Gunnar Solli (L quadriceps injury)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: MTL: Sanna Nyassi
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: MTL: Felipe Martins, Bernardo Corradi, Tyson Wahl … NY: Dane Richards, Dax McCarty
ALL-TIME (1 meeting): Impact 0 wins, 2 goals … Red Bulls 1 win, 5 goals … Ties 0
FUTURE MATCH: 7/28: Montreal Impact vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.
• In the first meeting ever between the clubs, Thierry Henry scored a hat trick as the Red Bulls took a 5-2 win, March 31 at Red Bull Arena.
• Coaches record: Jesse Marsch vs. NY: P1 W0 L1 T0 … Hans Backe vs. MTL: P1 W1 L0 T0
LAST MEETING (MLS)
3/31: NY 5, MTL 2 (Henry 28, 56, 89; Cooper 48+; Ballouchy 72 – Nyassi 18; Mapp 38)
• The Impact took the lead after just 19 minutes, when a bouncing ball got away from New York center back Markus Holgersson and allowed Sanna Nyassi to race onto it and fire home easily from close range.
• New York equalized nine minutes later when Thierry Henry headed home a beautiful cross from Rafa Márquez. The Mexican international was given plenty of space on the right side and he picked out Henry.
• But the expansion side were back in front in the 38th minute. Justin Mapp received a pass on the left flank and was allowed time and space to drive across the top of the box, firing a low shot that beat goalkeeper Ryan Meara inside his right post.
• Yet the hosts pulled level once again in first-half stoppage time after Matteo Ferrari was whistled for a foul on Dax McCarty inside the area. Kenny Cooper claimed the spot kick and put it down the middle of the goal.
• The Red Bulls took the lead in the 56th minute. A pass that was picked off by McCarty, and he found Henry at the top of the box. Henry turned and fired a pinpoint shot inside the near post past Donovan Ricketts.
• New York built on their lead in the 72nd minute through a finish from substitute Mehdi Ballouchy that was set up by Henry. Solli whipped in a low cross from the right that the veteran striker flicked on to Ballouchy, who got a slight touch on the ball to put it in back of the net.
• Henry then capped the scoring and recorded his first hat trick with the Red Bulls a minute before the end, knocking in a rebound after Ricketts spilled a shot from Cooper.
• NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-1-1): Ryan Meara - Jan Gunnar Solli, Markus Holgersson, Wilman Conde, Roy Miller - Dane Richards, Rafa Marquez (Teemu Tainio 46), Dax McCarty (Brandon Barklage 90), Joel Lindpere (Mehdi Ballouchy 69) - Thierry Henry - Kenny Cooper.
• MONTREAL IMPACT (4-4-2): Donovan Ricketts - Zarek Valentin (Andrew Wenger 65), Tyson Wahl, Matteo Ferrari, Josh Gardner - Davy Arnaud, Felipe Martins, Patrice Bernier, Justin Mapp (Lamar Neagle 85) - Sanna Nyassi, Bernardo Corradi (Justin Braun 77).
The Montréal Impact extended their undefeated streak to four games, reaching a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy on Saturday afternoon at Olympic Stadium. The Impact are in a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 12 points from 11 matches.
• The Impact took the lead after just eight minutes. Center back Nelson Rivas spotted Bernardo Corradi upfield and hoofed a long ball towards the striker. The service evaded Corradi and the entire LA defense, giving Davy Arnaud a one-on-one breakaway with Galaxy ‘keeper Brian Perk, which the veteran duly put away.
• But the Galaxy drew even in the 62nd minute. A Rivas foul led to a free kick some 35 yards out from goal, and David Beckham put in a vintage free kick inside goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts’ near post for the leveller.
• Impact head coach Jesse Marsch made five changes to the team that grabbed a 2-0 victory against Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park. Matteo Ferrari came into the back four for Tyson Wahl, Justin Mapp and Collen Warner entered the midfield for Sinisa Ubiparipovic and Patrice Bernier, and Davy Arnaud and Bernardo Corradi started up top for Justin Braun and Eduardo Sebrango.
• MONTREAL IMPACT (4-4-2): Donovan Ricketts - Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Nelson Rivas, Jeb Brovsky - Justin Mapp (Justin Braun 59), Collen Warner, Felipe Martins, Lamar Neagle (Sanna Nyassi 85) - Davy Arnaud, Bernardo Corradi (Andrew Wenger 68)
• After losing four of their first five games in MLS, the Impact have lost just once – the 2-1 defeat at FC Dallas on April 14. David Beckham’s goal for the Galaxy snapped a 259-minute shutout streak.
• “We’re still moving ourselves along with poise and savviness on the ball,” Impact head coach Jesse Marsch said. “That’s still something that, especially on turf, doesn’t come as frequent as we all want it to come along. This is part of our growing together, and another step that we need to be shooting for.”
• The Impact remained undefeated on their home ground, now with two wins and two draws in the four games at Olympic Stadium. The Red Bulls match will be the last one at Pie-IX – the Impact will move to Stade Saputo beginning with the June 16 game vs. Seattle.
• “We’re still undefeated at home, and we were under some pressure at the end of the game, for sure,” Davy Arnaud said. “We held strong and at the end of the day we get a point, but we’re a little bit disappointed with the way we played.”
• With Matteo Ferrari’s return to the back four after coming off the substitutes’ bench in the Sporting KC match, there was a shakeup in the back line. Hassoun Camara moved to fullback from the center, while Jeb Brovsky switched from right back to left.
• “Playing with guys like (Matteo Ferrari and Nelson Rivas) makes my job easy. They have experience in some of the biggest clubs in the world, so I listen when they talk to me,” said Camara. “Things went well tonight and I hope that we can get better and have continued success.”
• After making each previous start this season in the midfield – and even shifting to right back with a red card –Arnaud started as a striker, paired with Bernardo Corradi.
• “He’s done well for us on the left, on the right, in the middle, at certain moments at right back, underneath the forward, and he hasn’t complained to me once for playing him at all these different spots,” Marsch said. “Davy’s the kind of guy that just wants to go on the field and win. That’s what he brings to us: that competitive nature, that mentality.”
• Arnaud now has two goals on the season – both coming in front of massive crowds at Olympic Stadium. The crowd of 60,860 for the LA match was the 12th-largest in MLS regular-season history; the house of 58,912 for the Impact home opener is the 16th-largest in league history.
• “It’s a role I’m happy to play,” Arnaud said. “If Jesse wants me to play there [I will]. I’ve kind of been back and forth between there and the midfield this year. Either way, it doesn’t really matter to me. Ultimately, Jesse’s making decisions that he feels put our team in the best position to win games. I’ve been lucky: With two big attendances, I’ve had goals.”
• Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was called upon to make six saves against his former club. “He did very well for us. He was excited to play against his old team,” said Marsch. “He’s been in really great form and in the locker room guys really look up to him. Even though he isn’t the most vocal guy, he is still one of our leaders.”
NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls made it four wins in a row, coming back for a 3-2 win against a 10-man Philadelphia Union on Saturday afternoon at PPL Park. The Red Bulls took over first place in the Eastern Conference, with 22 points from 11 games.
• The Red Bulls took the lead in the 17th minute. Mehdi Ballouchy secured possession on a long ball, turned and passed it back to a streaking Joel Lindpere just inside the box, who fired a left-footed rocket that beat Union 'keeper Zac MacMath to the near post. But Union were level in the 31st minute when Freddy Adu lofted a cross from the right that found the head of Lionard Pajoy in the area.
• Adu was then sent off two minutes before the break for a second yellow card, for a simulation in the area as he tried to draw a foul after splitting a pair of New York defenders.
• Yet Union scored an unlikely goal almost immediately after the second-half kickoff as Pajoy capitalized on a quick change of possession, beat New York defender Markus Holgersson and then slotted a tough-angle shot into the back of the net.
• In the 68th minute, the Red Bulls took advantage of their man-up situation and leveled terms when Holgersson heading home a corner kick from Brandon Barklage.
• Ten minutes later, the Red Bulls hit for the winner. Rafa Marquez lofted a ball over the Union backline and Kenny Cooper chased it down in the penalty area, rounding MacMath and sliding the ball into the goal from a sharp angle.
• Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe made two changes to the team that defeated the Houston Dynamo 1-0 at Red Bull Arena. Roy Miller came into the back four for Connor Lade, and Rafa Marquez started in midfield in place of Jan Gunnar Solli.
• NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-4-1): Ryan Meara - Brandon Barklage, Tyler Ruthven (Victor Palsson 64), Markus Holgersson, Roy Miller - Dax McCarty - Dane Richards, Rafa Marquez, Joel Lindpere, Mehdi Ballouchy (Juan Agudelo 55) - Kenny Cooper.
• Despite facing a third game in a week, the Red Bulls extended their winning streak to four games. They last lost April 22 at D.C. United.
• “It’s been hard work, and we got a little bit lucky in some of these games, but who cares? At the end of the day, we got the results and no one will remember that kind of play. It’s been phenomenal for us,” said Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe.
• The Red Bulls stayed undefeated after scoring first despite conceded the go-ahead goal seconds after the halftime break.
• “Coach hates playing up a man,” said center back Marcus Holgersson. “With 15-20 minutes left in the game that is when they began to get tired, body language was bad, and it began to work for us.” Said Backe: “When you are 11 vs. 10, something happens with soccer teams. You run less, you have too much time on the ball.”
• The Red Bulls also regained the lead in the league’s goalscoring table, now with 23 goals in 11 games, one more than San Jose. The three goals vs. Philadelphia came after a run of one goal in three consecutive games.
• “When I look at the stats, we have run more distance than ever before, we have run more sprints than ever before… in these last four games,” said Backe. “You need to defend well in open play, you need to defend well against set plays. You can’t make mistakes or giveaways in your own half. You will get punished for that.”
• Ryan Meara saw his shutout streak ended at 322 minutes, tied for the fifth-longest in MLS this season and the longest ever for a rookie goalkeeper in MLS history.
• “We lost possession in the first half too quick. One or two passes and then we were forced to defend,” said Backe. “I’m really surprised with that, because normally we can say that we have quite the set of players on the pitch and can have more possession.”
• Cooper scored his second goal in as many games to pull into a tie for the team lead along with the injured Thierry Henry. Cooper had gone three games without a goal after scoring six goals in a four-game stretch.
• With Rafa Márquez back after a four-game absence, Backe stayed with Kenny Cooper as a lone striker, putting Márquez into the center of midfield while also keeping Dax McCarty in his role in front of the back four.
• “I thought he was great, especially in the second half,” said Meara. “He really controlled the game and picked out some passes that only he can do. We’re happy to have him back, definitely.” Said Backe: “We get a little bit more composed, we get a little bit more confident to play out from the back four. In the second half when we got Rafa [in the] back we got more precise in our passing game.”
• Jan Gunnar Solli had returned to the team for the Houston match, but after suffering another injury, will be out for the trip to Montréal and next week’s midweek encounter with Chivas USA. “He will not be playing in either of these two games,” said Backe. “It’s a kind of a tear in his thigh, the risk is too big to gamble with that.