Preview: Impact, United meet in DC after rivalry setbacks
D.C. UNITED vs MONTREAL IMPACT
RFK MEMORIAL STADIUM, Washington, D.C.
June 30, 2012 (WEEK 17, MLS Game #151)
7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-MA; TVA)
D.C. United and the Montreal Impact meet for the second time this season when the Eastern Conference clubs face off at RFK Memorial Stadium. United saw their four-game winning streak come to an end and fell into a tie atop the East last weekend in a 3-2 defeat by the New York Red Bulls. The Impact lost for the first time in MLS at Stade Saputo, going to a 3-0 defeat by Toronto FC at midweek.
REFEREE: Paul Ward. SAR (bench): Corey Parker; JAR (opposite): Kevin Duliba; 4th: Mark Kadlecik
MLS Career: 34 games; FC/gm: 23.2; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 11; pens: 7
- D.C. UNITED -- OUT: MF Lance Rozeboom (L knee ACL tear)
- MONTREAL IMPACT -- OUT: DF Matteo Ferrari (R quad strain); DF Nelson Rivas (L knee sprain); FW Bernardo Corradi (L knee ACL tear); FW Andrew Wenger (L hamstring strain); FW Evan James (L ankle sprain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: MTL: Felipe Martins, Sanna Nyassi
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DC: Maicon Santos, Chris Pontius, Dwayne De Rosario, Andy Najar, Dejan Jakovic ... MTL: Davy Arnaud, Patrice Bernier, Bernardo Corradi, Tyson Wahl
ALL-TIME (1 meeting): United 0 wins, 1 goal ... Impact 0 wins, 1 goal ...Ties 1
FUTURE MATCH: 8/25: Montreal Impact vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m. ET (TSN/RDS)
- The teams are meeting for the second time. The Impact's Bernardo Corradi and United's Maicon Santos traded goals midway through the second half to leave the clubs in a 1-1 draw on April 18.
- Coaches record: Ben Olsen vs. MTL: P1 W0 L0 T1 ... Jesse Marsch vs. DC: P1 W0 L0 T1
LAST MEETING (MLS)
4/18: DC 1, MTL 1 (Maicon Santos 73 -- Corradi 69)
- The goals came four minutes apart in the second half. Bernardo Corradi put Montreal ahead in the 69th minute. Freed by Justin Mapp on the right, Lamar Neagle found Corradi at the far post, and the Italian made no mistake with the header from the pinpoint cross.
- But United were level in the 73th minute through substitute Maicon Santos. The Brazilian striker found time and space in the Montreal half, and with the ball on his left foot, fired a shot from 30 yards out that beat Ricketts low inside the left post.
- D.C. UNITED (4-3-1-2): Joe Willis - Chris Korb, Robbie Russell, Brandon McDonald, Daniel Woolard (Lewis Neal 85) - Andy Najar (Danny Cruz 72), Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon - Branko Boskovic (Maicon Santos 60) - Dwayne De Rosario, Chris Pontius.
- MONTREAL IMPACT (4-4-2): Donovan Ricketts - Zarek Valentin, Shavar Thomas, Matteo Ferrari, Tyson Wahl - Davy Arnaud, Felipe Martins, Collen Warner, Justin Mapp (Patrice Bernier 73) - Bernardo Corradi (Justin Braun 82), Sanna Nyassi (Lamar Neagle 65).
D.C. United saw their winning streak come to an end after four games, the New York Red Bulls holding on for a 3-2 win Sunday evening at Red Bull Arena. United fell into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with 30 points from 17 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Red Bulls get massive win over United
- United got off to a flying start, taking a quick lead after just 31 seconds when an unmarked Chris Pontius headed home a cross from the right by Danny Cruz. It was the earliest goal scored in a game in D.C. club history.
- The Red Bulls drew even in the 20th minute. Joel Lindpere whipped in a quality ball from a corner kick on the left that an onrushing Brandon Barklage struck with an acrobatic flying kick to beat United goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
- Barklage then his for his second goal just before halftime, punishing his former team again by striking a sensational right-footed volley from 19 yards out after a free kick was blocked by the United wall.
- New York added to their lead in the 55th minute. A low cross from Lindpere was sent in from the left and found Jan Gunnar Solli, who fired a shot that Hamid saved. But the Red Bulls midfielder was first to pounce on the rebound, knocking in a left-footed effort off the near post.
- United got themselves back into it 11 minutes later. Pontius scored his fifth of the season against the Red Bulls when Santos fed him a seeing-eye through ball, and rounded a rushing Meara before easily tapping the ball home.
- United head coach Ben Olsen made two changes to the team that got the game's only goal for a win against Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Danny Cruz came into the midfield for Andy Najar, and Hamdi Salihi started up top in place of Maicon Santos.
- D.C. UNITED (4-3-1-2): Bill Hamid - Robbie Russell, Brandon McDonald, Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard - Danny Cruz (Branko Boskovic 59), Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon (Andy Najar 70) - Dwayne De Rosario - Chris Pontius, Hamdi Salihi (Maicon Santos 46).
Power 5: Unbreakable Records, #5 D.C. United's title haul
- United saw their four-game winning streak, the club's longest since June 7-29, 2008, come to an end with the loss in New York.
- "We didn't figure out how to deal with some of the numbers they were throwing forward after we scored an early goal. And, you know, much like Philly we adjusted at halftime and I thought things went well from there and I think it was much better second half," said United head coach Ben Olsen. "It was almost the opposite of the first half, and it was a little unlucky that we didn't finish a couple of pretty good chances there down the stretch."
- Chris Pontius took over the United team lead with his seventh and eighth goals this season, his second multi-goal game this season, with three goals in the last two games. He had a hat trick on April 22 vs. New York.
- "I just think [New York] overloaded the midfield just as [Philadelphia] did [last weekend]. It took us a while to figure it out," Pontius said. Added midfielder Perry Kitchen: "Clearly in the first half we didn't sort out their midfield very well. Possession dictates shape, and I don't think we had enough of the ball in the first half, so we were chasing. And it's hard to last 45 minutes chasing."
- Dwayne De Rosario also reclaimed the league lead with his ninth assist, setting up Pontius' opening goal which came after 31 seconds -- the fastest goal in United club history.
- "That (second) goal was huge," said Rosario. "We definitely thought we were in the game. I was thinking it was just a matter of time before we get the next one. Unfortunately, it just didn't work out that way."
- After six consecutive matches in the first XI for each, both Maicon Santos and Andy Najar came on as second-half substitutes, part of a trio of attacking changes, along with Branko Boskovic.
- "I thought overall I saw some really good attacking stuff, and Branko was a part of a lot of them. He came in and slowed the game down for us and gave us some real possession," Olsen said. "Dwayne (De Rosario) going up a little bit I thought helped give us a little something ... a little savvy up top and Maicon did a good job too; you know I feel bad for him because it wasn't his fault. It was a group that was under a lot of distress in the first half and we just had to make a change."
- Danny Cruz made his first start following two matches out, after he was forced off after just 26 minutes in the Toronto FC match on May 26.
- "It was a good return for him. He has a little of a ways to go but it was good to see his energy out there," said Olsen. "In the first half I thought we just needed to be a little bit sharper on the ball and when we did get it, rather than give it right to them and now its coming down our throat again. So, we'll work on that but you know it's not an easy place to play."
The Montreal Impact saw their two-game home winning streak come to a crashing halt, dropping a 3-0 decision to arch-rivals Toronto FC on Wednesday evening at Stade Saputo. The Impact are in a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 18 points from 17 matches.
HIGHLIGHTS: Reds run Montreal out of Saputo
- Toronto FC took the lead at the 52nd minute. Torsten Frings unleashed thunderous free kick from 22 yards out which passed right through the hands of Montreal goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
- The lead was doubled in the in the 72nd minute, as Nick Soolsma picked up a loose ball tackled away by Danny Koevermans. He fed Ryan Johnson, whose left-footed strike from the top of the box curled its way through a scrum of Impact defenders and into the back of the net.
- Toronto sealed the match in the 78th minute, a Koevermans finish from close range on a low cross from the left by Ashtone Morgan, after he was freed behind the Impact rearguard by Johnson.
- Impact head coach Jesse Marsch made three changes to the team that rolled to a 4-2 win against the Houston Dynamo at Stade Saputo. Marco Di Vaio made his MLS debut in place of Sanna Nyassi, Lamar Neagle came into the midfield for Justin Mapp, and Shavar Thomas replaced Nelson Rivas in the back four.
- MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Donovan Ricketts - Zarek Valentin (Eduardo Sebrango 65), Shavar Thomas, Hassoun Camara, Jeb Brovsky - Patrice Bernier, Collen Warner - Davy Arnaud, Felipe Martins, Lamar Neagle (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 76) - Marco Di Vaio (Sanna Nyassi 55).
Taking the Lead: Davy Arnaud
- After scoring four goals in each of their first two games at Stade Saputo, the Impact were shut out by Toronto FC. In their three games at Stade Saputo, the Impact have conceded six goals.
- "We were totally outcompeted everywhere on the field. Toronto came in here, they wanted it more, they had more heart, and they fought for it," said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. "We came up short in those competitive categories. That is a disappointing loss and we have to find a way to recover."
- Marco Di Vaio, the Impact's first Designated Player, made his league debut with the opening of the secondary transfer window. He played 55 minutes, taking two attempts at goal (both off-target).
- "I think we played a good first half and created chances but couldn't score," Di Vaio said. Said Davy Arnaud: "He's got a lot of experience and he's scored a lot of goals in a lot of places, but at the end of the day, we lost this game as a team 3-0. That can't happen, no matter who is playing."
- When Eduardo Sebrango came on for the final 25 minutes, Arnaud moved back to right back, with Zarek Valentin coming off the field.
- "From day one, Jesse has said that he wants us to be tough to play against," Arnaud said. "We've said it many times and he wants us to be good defensively. A team that's tough to play against doesn't give up as many goals as we're giving up."
- For the eighth consecutive game there was a readjustment in the Impact back four, with Shavar Thomas coming in for Nelson Rivas, who had started seven consecutive matches after his return from injury. Rivas was sidelined with a knee injury, while Matteo Ferrari was out for a third consecutive match with a thigh strain.
- "Those are two big players, but Shavar and Hassoun [Camara] have done well for us," said Marsch. "We have a good roster and it's not about one or two players, it's about the whole team competing. We didn't do that tonight."
- The Impact have alternated wins and losses for five consecutive games. They've followed a win with a loss three times in league play, winning back-to-back games just once (April 28-May 5)
- "This is a question of mental strength. We have to come into every game with the same killer instinct we had in our first two games," said Patrice Bernier. "Even against Chivas, we lost but played pretty well for most of the game. Today we just didn't come out and compete."
- The Impact have conceded six goals from free kicks for the season -- most in MLS. Their seven goals allowed from standard situations is tied for the most in the league.
- "The first half we played pretty well. We had one or two scoring chances," said Bernier. "In the second, we give up another goal on a set piece. Mistakes cost us tonight and we just didn't want it enough."