For Montreal Impact hero Marco Di Vaio, numbers back up prosperous second season in MLS

MONTREAL – It’s barely summer, but Marco Di Vaio's scoring numbers are already in the double-digits.

With his 10th goal of the season scored in Montreal's 2-0 win over Houston on Wednesday, Di Vaio is back at the top of the scoring charts with the Philadelphia Union’s Jack McInerney.

And yes, he also strengthened his unassailable lead over Colorado’s Deshorn Brown as leader in offside calls (36), but as Thierry Henry said, that means Di Vaio is simply “always in your back gambling, seeing if [he] can go clean through on goal.”

While that strategy might never change, Di Vaio said this week that he feels different now than when he opened his MLS tally back in July 2012.

“It’s easier for me now that everyone knows my runs, how I move on the field,” he told reporters on Thursday. “Playing with Andrew [Wenger] is easier this year because he’s known me for a year, and Daniele [Paponi] has known me a long time. It’s important for us that the whole team – [Justin] Mapp, Felipe, Patrice, Andrea [Pisanu] – pass the ball well. As a forward, you know that when you find space, the ball will get to you once, twice, three times.”

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The statistics on shots taken in MLS also provide an interesting outlook on how enjoying an actual offseason and growing into an understanding with his teammates changed Di Vaio’s fortunes in North American soccer.

He played 17 games in 2012, and fired 15 of his 49 attempts on target, a 30.6 percent return. But in only 14 games this season, Di Vaio has already shot 51 times and put 27 of those on frame (that’s 52.9 percent), more than anyone else in MLS this year.

All that eludes Di Vaio now is consistent away scoring form. Montreal’s No. 9 has only put himself on the scoresheet once in opposition stadiums, putting a consolation marker past Luis Robles in a 2-1 defeat at Red Bull Arena.

“I’m not happy with that. I’d like to score more when we’re not playing in Montreal,” he said. “I’m glad that I’m scoring in front of our fans, it’s great for me and it’s important for everyone. But I want to improve away from home, be more dangerous and score more.”