LA Galaxy vs. Montreal Impact | MLS Match Preview

LA GALAXY vs MONTRÉAL IMPACT
STUBHUB CENTER, Carson, Calif.
Oct. 16, 2013 (WEEK 34, MLS Game #47)
10:30 pm ET (TWCSN-LA/TWCD; TVA)

A huge interconference clash for two teams looking to secure places in the MLS Cup Playoffs is ahead at midweek when the LA Galaxy play host to the Montréal Impact at StubHub Center. Neither team can clinch a postseason berth Wednesday evening, but both can get a lot closer with the win. The Galaxy return to action in a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference following their 5-0 win vs. StubHub Center co-habitants Chivas USA two weekends ago. The Impact are coming off a 1-0 home loss to the New England Revolution at Stade Saputo last weekend.

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REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. AR1 (bench): Ian Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Bill Dittmar; 4th: Juan Guzman
MLS Career: 179 games; FC/gm: 26.7; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 51; pens: 61

DISABLED LIST: MTL: Adrian Lopez (season ending injury), Maximiliano Rodriguez
SUSPENDED: MTL: Davy Arnaud (caution accumulation; through Oct. 16), Matteo Ferrari (caution accumulation; through Oct. 16)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: LA: Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas … MTL: Jeb Brovsky
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: LA: A.J. DeLaGarza, Sean Franklin … MTL: Patrice Bernier, Marco Di Vaio

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: LA: Robbie Keane (Ireland); Jaime Penedo (Panamá)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (1 meeting): Galaxy 0 wins, 1 goal … Impact 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 1
AT STUBHUB CENTER: First meeting.

LAST YEAR (MLS)
5/12: MTL 1, LA 1 (Arnaud 8 – Beckham 62)

  • The teams are meeting for the only time this season in league play.
  • The teams are meeting for the second time ever. They played to a 1-1 draw last May 12 in Montréal’s inaugural season before a crowd of 60,860 at Olympic Stadium, the 14th-largest crowd in MLS history.
  • Coaches record: Bruce Arena vs. MTL: P1 W0 L0 D1 … Marco Schällibaum vs. LA: first game

LA GALAXY

The LA Galaxy return to action after a weekend off, putting an end to their four-game winless run in emphatic fashion last time out with a 5-0 win against Chivas USA in the third SuperClásico of the season at StubHub Center. The Galaxy are in a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with 48 points from 31 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Galaxy had the lead after just six minutes. Gyasi Zardes threaded a ball behind four defenders to Landon Donovan at the far post, and he cut the ball back for Robbie Keane for an easy finish.
  • The game was 2-0 in the 23rd minute when Donovan was completely unmarked to tap in a pass from Zardes at the far post, then three minutes later the Galaxy hit for a third when Zardes rifled home after picking up a deflected shot from Keane.
  • Donovan pulled level atop the all-time league goalscoring list with his 134th goal, scoring on a breakaway by chipping Kennedy from outside the box after being set free by Pablo Mastroeni.
  • The final margin was completed in the final minute, firing inside the far post from the right side of the box from a pass by Laurent Courtois.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made two changes to the team that lost 1-0 to the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field. Michael Stephens and Pablo Mastroeni came into the midfield in place of Hector Jimenez and Juninho
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Jaime Penedo - Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez (Tommy Meyer 46), Kofi Opare, Todd Dunivant - Michael Stephens, Marcelo Sarvas (Laurent Courtois 86), Pablo Mastroeni (Rafael Garcia 75), Gyasi Zardes - Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane

TEAM NEWS

  • The Galaxy won for the first time since the 3-0 victory vs. San Jose on Aug. 31, having suffered two losses and two draws in the four games before the SuperClásico victory.
  • “It was no secret that we were at a point now that we needed three points. I thought the guys, given the conditions today and as hot as it was, came up with a very good attitude and came up with three points, which is the most important thing,” said associate head coach Dave Sarachan, who handled bench coaching duties in place of the suspended Bruce Arena. “It gets us closer to a playoff position. Sure it’s nice to score five goals, but the key was getting three points and we did that. It’s massive. We kind of think that the season started.”
  • With his two goals, Landon Donovan pulled into a tie for the all-time MLS goalscoring leadership with 134 league goals, along with Jeff Cunningham. Donovan had last scored in the Aug. 31 win vs. San Jose.
  • “If this had happened earlier in my career I would have thought about it more, but we are in a playoff race,” Donovan said. “For us right now it’s about winning, but at halftime it hit me and I realized it. I’ll sit and think about it at some point, but for now I want to keep going. It’ll be nice to get it and get it out of the way, so there is no attention on it. I would trade, maybe not all of them, but most of them for another champions’ ring.”
  • Gyasi Zardes scored the fourth goal of his rookie campaign, his first since July 20. He also contributed a pair of assists, his first MLS game where he’s been involved in multiple goals in a game.
  • “Gyasi has been like a caged lion for in terms of getting some points on the board. We spent some time in training, and hopefully it paid off a little bit for him, on recognizing moments where he can really use his speed to get by guys. … Production wise we are very pleased for Gyasi,” said Sarachan.
  • Robbie Keane also scored a pair of goals, his fifth multiple-goal game this season, tied for the league lead with Vancouver’s Camilo Sanvezzo. In 20 MLS games this season, Keane has 15 goals and 11 assists.
  • “I think if you look at the performances from certainly the attacking players and Gyasi, he was unstoppable today, so that’s what we’ve been waiting for and expecting since he’s walked in the door,” said Keane. “So to be fair to him there’s been a lot of pressure on him from people probably expecting probably too much too early but he stood up today and you can see I think every week that’s he’s getting better and better and if he continues to play like that, he’s a nightmare for any defender because no defender wants to play against someone with his pace and his trickery.”
  • With Juninho out with a right adductor strain, Pablo Mastroeni made his first start since July 22 and contributed his first assist since coming to the Galaxy at midseason, setting up the record-tying Donovan goal.
  • Both the Galaxy’s U.S. internationals were involved in injury news. Center back Omar Gonzalez had to withdraw from Jurgen Klinsmann’s group after suffering a left hip strain that forced him from the field at halftime of the Chivas USA match.
  • Donovan was released from international duty and returned to the Galaxy after coming off at halftime of the USA’s 2-0 win vs. Jamaica in Kansas City, after suffering a recurrence of a left ankle injury he originally suffered on Sept. 14 vs. D.C. United.

MONTREAL IMPACT

The Montréal Impact saw their winless run extended to five matches, losing for a third consecutive home match in a 1-0 loss to the New England Revolution on Saturday afternoon. The Impact are in a tie fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 46 points from 30 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came on 31 minutes. Jose Gonçalves powered home a shot from a low cross by Lee Nguyen that made its way through the goalmouth and past Juan Agudelo, who failed to make clean contact with the ball on the doorstep.
  • Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis was called upon to make just one save as the Impact lost their third consecutive match at Stade Saputo.
  • Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum made five changes to the team that lost 1-0 to the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. Alessandro Nesta, Maxim Tissot, Hernan Bernardello, Patrice Bernier and Sanna Nyassi all came into the team, in place of Hassoun Camara, Wandrille Lefevre, Jeb Brovsky, Collen Warner and Felipe Martins.
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Troy Perkins - Davy Arnaud, Alessandro Nesta, Matteo Ferrari, Maxim Tissot - Hernan Bernardello, Patrice Bernier (Andrew Wenger 57) - Sanna Nyassi, Andres Romero (Felipe Martins 57), Justin Mapp (Blake Smith 61) - Marco Di Vaio.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Impact have lost three games in a row at Stade Saputo for the first time ever. Their last goal in a home game came Sept. 14 in a 2-1 loss to Columbus, now 247 minutes since scoring on their home ground.
  • “This defeat hurts, because it could have been relieving. That’s what’s important: we’ve got to set ourselves free, at least make it 1-1, it would have been relieving, but now, we’re in a tricky situation,” said Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum. “The more we lose, the trickier it gets. Three tough games remain. It’s not easy to be all philosophical after a game, but we weren’t good enough today.”
  • The Impact were shut out for a second consecutive match and the third time in four games last weekend  in the loss to New England. Montréal has not been blanked in three games in a row this season.
  • “We got lost a bit in the first half,” midfielder Patrice Bernier said. “We made many mistakes and couldn’t get into the game against a very good team with the ball. We weren't at the level we wanted to be in such an important game. We conceded, and we chased the ball today even though we pushed in the end.”
  • Added Felipe: “The other teams know how we play now, so they make adjustments. We trained a lot this week for this game, but it didn't work, so we have to come back, sit down and talk a little bit to figure out the problems we are having right now.”
  • Hernan Bernardello was able to return to the starting lineup for the first time since suffering an ankle injury late in the Aug. 31 match vs. Philadelphia, playing 90 minutes in a central midfield role.
  • Davy Arnaud started at right back for the first time this season, filling a role he sometimes was deployed in during the Impact’s inaugural MLS season.
  • “We just have to get out of this as soon as possible,” Bernier said. “We’re stringing losses together, and we need points. Our backs are against the wall, so we have to find freshness and use guys who maybe want it more. It’s not over, but we have to turn this around quick. We have to make adjustments quickly and we still have three games ahead of us."
  • Maxim Tissot made his first MLS start since May 11, coming into the side at left back in place of Jeb Brovsky, who did not feature in a league match for the first time this season. Brovsky had started 29 of the Impact’s first 30 MLS games.
  • Hassoun Camara also missed just his second match of the season over all competitions, through suspension for yellow card accumulation.