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Eastern Conference Championship

Preview: Montreal host New England with pride on the line

MTL-v-NE, Oct. 27

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MONTREAL IMPACT vs NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
STADE SAPUTO, Montreal, Que.
October 27, 2012 (WEEK 33, MLS Game #316)
2 p.m. ET (TVA; CSN-NE)    

The Montreal Impact draw a close to their inaugural MLS campaign when they meet the New England Revolution on Saturday afternoon at Stade Saputo. A sellout crowd is expected as the Impact look to end their first season with a win, ending a five-game winless run extended in last weekend's 0-0 draw in Toronto. The Revolution snapped a four-game winless streak of their own with a 1-0 home victory vs. Chicago last weekend.

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REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez. AR1 (bench): Peter Manikowski; AR2 (opposite): Steven Taylor; 4th: Mathieu Bourdeau
MLS Career: 88 games; FC/gm: 25.1; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 27; pens: 23

INJURY REPORT:

  • MONTREAL IMPACT -- OUT: DF Nelson Rivas (L knee surgery); MF Felipe (sports hernia); FW Bernardo Corradi (L knee ACL tear)
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION -- OUT: DF Flo Lechner (R knee MCL sprain); MF Lee Nguyen (R shoulder surgery); FW Saer Sene (L knee ACL surgery); DOUBTFUL: DF Stephen McCarthy (concussive-like symptoms); QUESTIONABLE: MF Clyde Simms (R quad strain); PROBABLE: MF Ryan Guy (R foot contusion)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: MTL: Sanna Nyassi (caution accumulation; through Oct. 28)

WARNINGS: None

FINED NEXT YELLOW CARD: MTL: Davy Arnaud ; NE: Benny Feilhaber

HEAD-TO-HEAD

ALL-TIME (2 meetings): Impact 2 wins, 3 goals ; Revolution 0 wins, 1 goal ; Ties 0
AT MONTREAL (1 meeting): Impact 1 win, 2 goals ; Revolution 0 wins, 1 goal ; Ties 0

2012 (MLS)
7/18: MTL 2, NE 1 (Bernier 28; Nyassi 67 -- Nguyen 44)
8/12: NE 0, MTL 1 (Nyassi 61)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this year, and the Impact have won both previous encounters. Goals from Patrice Bernier and Sanna Nyassi overcame a thunderbolt from New England's Lee Nguyen to give the Impact a 2-1 victory July 18 at Stade Saputo, then Nyassi scored the game's lone goal for a Montreal win Aug. 12 at Gillette Stadium.
  • Coaches record: Jay Heaps vs. MTL: P2 W0 L2 T0 ; Jesse Marsch vs. NE: P2 W2 L0 T0

LAST MEETING

  • The game's lone goal came in the 61st minute. Sanna Nyassi collected the ball with a timely tackle inside his own half, surged through midfield with the ball at his feet and thundered his effort past Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis to give his side all three points.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-2): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney - Ryan Guy, Clyde Simms (Diego Fagundez 80), Benny Feilhaber (Kelyn Rowe 66), Lee Nguyen - Saer Sene, Jerry Bengtson (Fernando Cardenas 62).
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Troy Perkins - Jeb Brovsky, Matteo Ferrari, Hassoun Camara, Dennis Iapichino - Collen Warner, Patrice Bernier - Davy Arnaud (Lamar Neagle 87), Felipe Martins, Justin Mapp (Sanna Nyassi 46) - Marco Di Vaio (Andrew Wenger 76).

MONTREAL IMPACT

The Montreal Impact played to a third consecutive draw, this time a scoreless result with Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. The Impact are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 42 points from 33 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins was credited with seven saves on the afternoon, but wasn't greatly troubled in keeping the clean sheet.
  • Toronto FC weathered a late storm that saw defender Richard Eckersley made a vital block in the goalmouth, as goalkeeper Freddy Hall made five saves to help TFC hold on to its first league shutout since July 14.
  • Impact head coach Jesse Marsch made one change to the team that came back for a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. Collen Warner came into the team in place of Alessandro Nesta.
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-4-2): Troy Perkins - Davy Arnaud, Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Jeb Brovsky (Dennis Iapichino 87) - Collen Warner, Calum Mallace (Justin Mapp 64), Patrice Bernier, Sanna Nyassi - Andrew Wenger (Lamar Neagle 71), Marco Di Vaio.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Impact saw their winless streak extended to five games, their longest since opening their inaugural MLS campaign with four losses and a draw.
  • "It was just in January where we did not know what type of team we had and now we're 10 months in and the season is almost over," said midfielder Patrice Bernier. "It's gone fast and we've done quite well. We have a lot of things we still need to work on but at least we can say we are proud of ourselves and did well for our first season."
  • After going seven matches without being shut out offensively, the Impact have gone without a goal in two of their last three matches, and scored three goals over their winless run.
  • "The fact that we got the chances speaks about how the midfield created them," assistant head coach Mike Sorber said. "Moving it from the backfield into the midfield, getting out wide, the crosses, that was all good. A good thing about good forwards is that usually, they forget about the last chance and then they get another one. Marco [Di Vaio] does a good job of that and he'll have many more."
  • For the first time this season, Davy Arnaud started at right back and played the full 90 minutes in the back four (he had shifted there during the match over the course of the season).
  • While the Impact have been eliminated from playoff contention in their inaugural MLS campaign, the season will not end with the match vs. New England: the club will head to Italy on Nov. 5, with friendlies lined up against Fiorentina and Bologna.
  • "Our season's coming to an end earlier than we thought and hoped," Marsch said, "but we still want to use the month of November in the right way to make sure that guys don't have too much time off and lose too much fitness come January."
  • In the days leading up to the regular season finale in Montreal, a near-sellout was nearly reached, with few tickets available days out from the game.
  • "The Canadian cities are tough with their teams; it is hockey that has tradition set in stone for years now. You have to be able to win to make sure the people keep coming back," said Bernier. "This first year has been good at home and I think the people are proud of that and proud of the season we've had. We have to make sure we are even better next year."
  • There will be another emotional farewell as Eduardo Sebrango is expected to make an appearance in what he says will be his final game as a professional. The 39-year-old Sebrango, who scored 51 goals in seven seasons for the Impact as a lower-division, last featured July 19.
  • "It's probably going to be a full house," Sebrango said. "The fans have supported me over the years, so it would be nice to get involved and play the last game of the season."

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

The New England Revolution put an end to their winless run at four games, knocking off the Chicago Fire 1-0 on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 32 points from 33 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came on 17 minutes. Collecting a deft feed from Kelyn Rowe, Revolution midfielder Diego Fagundez scampered between the lines on the right edge of the penalty area and left go with a curling strike that sailed past the Fire's Sean Johnson inside the far post.
  • Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made two changes to the team that dropped a 1-0 decision to Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Dimitry Imbongo and Blair Gavin came into the team, in place of Alec Purdie and the suspended Benny Feilhaber.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Ryan Guy, A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes, Kevin Alston - Clyde Simms - Kelyn Rowe, Dimitry Imbongo (Chris Tierney 65), Diego Fagundez, Blair Gavin (Juan Toja 62) - Jerry Bengtson.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Revolution put an end to a four-game winless run with their first victory since Sept. 5, and rebounded from back-to-back shutouts.
  • "We wanted to frustrate them. We wanted to let them play out of the back to a certain area. You saw where we closed down. That's what we harped on all week. Tactically, I thought it was the right move. And you need a special moment, and Diego (Fagundez) took it tonight," said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps.
  • Diego Fagundez scored his second goal of the season, his first since June 30 vs. Seattle. Over the last six games -- when he's made five starts -- he has a goal and two assists, involved in three of New England's five goals in that time.
  • "I knew today was going to be a lot of work and I've been talking about it a lot with Jay (Heaps) in training so I came to the game focusing more on defense because attacking is something I was born with," said Fagundez. "Today was more about defensively and helping out the team defensively. I just came out and did my part defensively and attacking-wise I just had a chance."
  • Blair Gavin made his Revolution debut after being acquired from Chivas USA in the trade that saw Shalrie Joseph go the other way, sidelined by injury since his arrival.
  • "We asked a lot of him and he hasn't played in a long time. He's coming back from injury and I thought he did a really good job of keeping the ball, tempo, he wasn't afraid to get it with a guy on his back and keep us going forward," said Heaps.
  • Kelyn Rowe contributed his fifth assist and has been involved in each of the last two Revolution goals.
  • "Clyde (Simms) and Blair (Gavin) are a little bit better with possession in terms of keeping it close, and Kelyn (Rowe) is a really good penetrator, dynamic runner. And so the blend of those three guys was key this week, seeing them work together a little bit," said Heaps. "It's the first time we've played those three together. But Blair has been pushing to get in and Kelyn's been wide for us, and he's a young guy who's comfortable in the middle so I wanted to get him some minutes there. Tonight was a good chance for him to do that."
  • Dimitry Imbongo made his second start in three matches, tucked in along with Fagundez behind Honduras international Jerry Bengtson, playing as the spearhead in attack.
  • "We dropped into more of a 4-1-4-1 with Jerry (Bengtson) up there by himself. He really dictated where we were going to go. Clyde (Simms) did a nice job and everyone in the midfield they did their job," said Heaps.