Montreal Impact vs. Columbus Crew | MLS Match Preview
MONTREAL IMPACT vs COLUMBUS CREW
STADE SAPUTO, Montreal, Que.
Sept. 14, 2013 (WEEK 29, MLS Game #263)
2 p.m. CT (FS-OH; TVA)
A crucial match in the Eastern Conference is ahead on Saturday afternoon at Stade Saputo as the Montreal Impact play host to the Columbus Crew. The Impact are still in the hunt for the Eastern Conference regular-season crown and the Supporters’ Shield, tied for the top spot in the division following their 4-2 win at New England last weekend. The Crew find themselves five points outside the playoff positions following their 3-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City last Friday.
REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. AR1 (bench): Philippe Briere; AR2 (opposite): Matthew Nelson; 4th: Fotis Bazakos
MLS Career: 162 games; FC/gm: 25.1; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 60; pens: 61
DISABLED LIST: MTL: Adrian Lopez (season ending injury)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: MTL: Jeb Brovsky Ö CLB: Tyson Wahl
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: MTL: Patrice Bernier, Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Felipe Martins, Davy Arnaud, Marco Di Vaio Ö CLB: Jairo Arrieta, Kevan George, Bernardo Anor, Dominic Oduro, Agustin Viana, Danny OíRourke
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (5 meetings): Impact 1 win, 4 goals … Crew 3 wins, 8 goals … Ties 1
AT MONTREAL (2 meetings): Impact 1 win, 3 goals … Crew 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 1
4/14: MTL 1, CLB 1 (Di Vaio 68 – Oduro 72)
6/15: CLB 2, MTL 0 (Sanchez 6; Oduro 22)
- The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Matias Sanchez and Dominic Oduro scored first-half goals to lead the Crew to a 2-0 win June 15 at Crew Stadium; Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio and Dominic Oduro of Columbus traded goals four minutes apart as the teams reached a 1-1 draw on April 14 at Stade Saput in a game delayed a day because of a snowstorm.
- The Crew won both meetings between the teams at Crew Stadium in the Impact’s inaugural season a year ago.
- Coaches record: Brian Bliss vs. MTL: first game … Marco Schallibaum vs. CLB: P2 W0 L1 T1
- The Crew took the lead in the sixth minute through some good fortune. After a tackle on Dominic Oduro where the referee played the advantage, the ball popped out to Matias Sanchez, who fired a low strike which deflected off Montreal defender Jeb Brovsky and into the back of the net.
- The Crew made it 2-0 in the 22nd minute when Dominic Oduro stole the ball from Montreal midfielder Collen Warner 40 yards from goal and raced in on goal before slotting the ball past onrushing goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
- COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-1-1): Andy Gruenebaum - Chad Barson, Josh Williams, Chad Marshall, Tyson Wahl - Bernardo Anor, Danny O'Rourke, Matias Sanchez (Kevan George 75), Ben Speas (Ethan Finlay 88) - Federico Higuain - Dominic Oduro (Konrad Warzycha 89)
- MONTREAL IMPACT (4-4-2): Troy Perkins - Jeb Brovsky, Matteo Ferrari, Hassoun Camara, Dennis Iapichino - Justin Mapp (Andrea Pisanu 65), Collen Warner (Blake Smith 73), Patrice Bernier, Felipe Martins - Marco Di Vaio, Andrew Wenger (Daniele Paponi 54).
The Montreal Impact stretched their undefeated streak in impressive fashion, rolling to a 4-2 win against the New England Revolution on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Impact are in a three-way tie for the lead in the Eastern Conference with 45 points from 26 matches.
- The game's turning point came after just five minutes. When Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis hauled down Marco Di Vaio as he rounded him in the area, referee Sorin Stoica dismissed Reis for denying a goal-scoring opportunity. Patrice Bernier then stepped up to coolly dispatch the penalty past substitute goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
- The Revolution pulled level on 26 minutes. Diego Fagundez capped the move by playing Dimitry Imbongo through with a neat little pass. The ball was tackled away from Imbongo, but deflected straight into Fagundez's path, and tucked home to draw his side level.
- Montreal reclaimed the lead just after the half-hour mark. Felipe tumbled under a challenge from Jose Goncalves to prompt Stoica to point to the spot once more. Bernier assumed the duties and slotted home his second penalty of the night.
- Di Vaio then collected the third in first-half stoppage time with a wonderful piece of skill. He collected a Hassoun Camara diagonal with the outside of his right, jinked inside Revolution defender A.J. Soares and lashed home inside the near post.
- The Impact men combined once again early in the second half. Camara hit a diagonal ball from near midfield, and Di Vaio corralled it before calmly eluding his defender and placed his shot inside the far post.
- Kelyn Rowe pulled a goal back for the Revoluion inside the final quarter of an hour with a sumptuous effort inside the far post after skipping through a host of defenders into the Montreal penalty area.
- Impact head coach Marco Schallibaum made two changes to the team that reached a scoreless draw with Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Collen Warner and Davy Arnaud came into the midfield in place of Hernan Bernardello and Andres Romero.
- MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Troy Perkins - Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Alessandro Nesta, Jeb Brovsky - Justin Mapp, Patrice Bernier, Collen Warner, Davy Arnaud (Andrea Pisanu 80) - Felipe Martins (Daniele Paponi 72) - Marco Di Vaio (Andrew Wenger 90).
- The Impact are unbeaten over their last four matches, with three wins and a draw, matching their longest league undefeated run of the season (they won the first four games to start the season).
- The Impact won on the road for the first time since June 1, having gone six games without a victory on their travels. They have now taken points from back-to-back away games.
- “Every game is very difficult. I think on the road, also. We show this face, also we can win on the road. We won in Seattle, we won in Portland and in Kansas,” said Impact head coach Marco Schallibaum. “Because it is a good team, New England, with 10 players, they make nice things, the pressure. Again it was very important to get these three points.”
- Marco Di Vaio scored a pair of goals vs. New England ñ his league-leading fourth multiple-goal game. Di Vaio now leads the MLS Golden Boot race with 17 goals; he’s scored five goals in his last four games.
- “He is an opportunist. He is a goal-maker, he is a machine, like a terminator. I told him before the game he was a terminator and we need him again,” said Schallibaum. “He is crazy, but I am very proud to have this guy, but not only on the field is he an example, it is also in the dressing room. He is very, very fit for 37, 38 years. So I am very happy to have him.”
- Said Patrice Bernier: “He’s one of those players when he plays like a striker, it doesn’t have to be in the build-up and touching the ball 50 times. He is used to it. He is paid pretty much to score the goals and make the difference. ... He has scored some key goals and been a key element, especially up front with his finishing sometimes. Guys like that, it’s one or two chances and they put it in the back, and that’s what you need when you want to go further in this league and go to the playoffs.”
- Bernier also scored a pair of goals, converting a pair of penalties, in the win vs. New England. All four of Bernier’s goals this season have come from the penalty spot; he is 10-for-10 in converting penalties in his two MLS seasons.
- “For me now, I’m in good confidence because it’s going in the back of the goal,” Bernier said. “It’s just (being) level-headed, and not thinking too much and just putting it in the back of the net knowing that it gives your team the lead also.”
- Hassoun Camara recorded two assists in a game for the first time in his MLS career. He has five assists this year, the most in his two MLS seasons.
- “Ball circulation was good, we were patient, and when the ball reached our full backs, especially Hassoun, Marco was able to find space and we reached him between their full back and the center backs,” assistant coach Mauro Biello said.
- Collen Warner returned to the starting lineup for the first time since July 7, playing the full match in the center of midfield with Hernan Bernadello injured after starting four matches in a row.
- Andres Romero did not feature for only the second time in league games this season, the first since June 15.
The Columbus Crew suffered their third loss in four outings, falling 3-0 to Sporting Kansas City on Friday evening at Sporting Park. The Crew are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 32 points from 28 matches.
- Sporting had the lead after just the seventh minute. SKC's Benny Feilhaber made a run into the area and was tripped up by Wil Trapp, and referee Jose Carlos Rivero wasted no time before pointing to the spot. Claudio Bieler buried the resulting spot kick just inside the right post.
- In the 41st minute, it was Bieler's turn to provide the setup. He played the ball wide to Soony Saad on the left side of the penalty area, and Saad rounded a defender before putting his shot inside the far post.
- C.J. Sapong put the exclamation point on the victory in the 55th minute when he rose up over Crew defender Tyson Wahl near the penalty spot and headed home Oriol Rosell's long diagonal ball.
- KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen stopped Jairo Arrieta's shot the 78th minute for his only save of the night.
- Crew interim head coach Brian Bliss made no changes to the team that defeated the Houston Dynamo 2-0 at Crew Stadium.
- COLUMBUS CREW (4-1-3-2): Matt Lampson - Chad Barson, Chad Marshall (Danny O'Rourke 28), Eric Gehrig, Tyson Wahl - Wil Trapp - Ethan Finlay (Tony Tchani 46), Bernardo Anor, Justin Meram (Jairo Arrieta 59) - Dominic Oduro, Ryan Finley.
- It was the first loss for interim head coach Brian Bliss in charge of the Crew after taking over for former bench boss Robert Warzycha.
- “We were thrown in the deep end right away and had to change things for the short term as well as keep in mind the long term. Having two games in a week, opposed to having the entire week to train made it a tough week to jump in there,” Bliss said. “I believe our guys responded well on Wednesday and [Kansas City] was just a tough one.”
- After missing two matches through suspension, the Crew had expected to have Designated Player Federico Higuain back in the lineup. But he missed the match with an adductor strain.
- “We worked pretty much the last few days in between with him playing in the middle of the part," Bliss said. "We had a role carved out for him. But he went down at the last second and we had to make a change. I think maybe as a group, he's our leader, and when he dropped out, it's a blow to the staff but it's also a blow to the guys he plays with because we lean on him a little bit, just like every team leans on their DP.”
- The Crew were forced into another early change when Chad Marshall had to come off before the game was a half-hour old ñ and already a goal down.
- “We hit a couple injuries here and there during the week, and some guys dropped off,” Bliss said. “So I had to really come back with the same guys from [the victory over the Houston Dynamo] who really put out a tremendous yeoman's effort against Houston, so I'm sure there were some tired legs.”
- Tyson Wahl played a second consecutive match at left back as Josh Williams remained out of the lineup for a second game after a clash of heads in training.
- For a second consecutive match, Jairo Arrieta came off the substitutes’ bench, this time playing the final half-hour in relief of Justin Meram.
- Ethan Finlay made his second consecutive start, his first two league starts of the season, but came off at halftime in favor of Tony Tchani.
- “I think we need more time together and with coach Bliss' style and philosophy, and that will come with a normal work week this upcoming week,” defender Chad Barson said. “And I'm really looking forward to it because I know we have an honest group of guys and a group of guys that are going to work hard and put in the work to make sure that we get results.”