Montreal Impact vs. Sporting Kansas City | MLS Match Preview

MONTRÉAL IMPACT vs SPORTING KANSAS CITY
STADE SAPUTO, Montréal, Qué.
May 10, 2014 (WEEK 10, MLS Game #84)
4 p.m. ET (UDN; TSN/RDS; KMCI-38)

The Montréal Impact and Sporting Kansas City meet for a second time this season when the Eastern Conference clubs face off Saturday afternoon at Stade Saputo. The Impact return to action after their first league win of the season, a 1-0 defeat of Philadelphia Union, though they fell in midweek in the Canadian Championship. Sporting hit the road following a 2-0 win against the Columbus Crew last weekend.

REFEREE: Jair Marrufo. AR1 (bench): Philippe Briere; AR2 (opposite): Richard Gamache; 4th: Silviu Petrescu
MLS Career: 161 games; FC/gm: 23.8; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 32; pens: 47

SUSPENDED: MTL: Hassoun Camara (caution accumulation; through May 11)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: MTL: Matteo Ferrari
DISABLED LIST: KC: Peterson Joseph, Ike Opara
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (6 meetings): Impact 3 wins, 6 goals … Sporting 3 wins, 10 goals … Ties 1
AT MONTRÉAL (3 meetings): Impact 1 win, 2 goals … Sporting 1 win, 3 goals … Ties 1
FUTURE MATCH: 7/12: Montreal Impact vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7:30 p.m. ET

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Dom Dwyer scored a pair of late goals as Sporting rolled to a 4-0 win April 19 at Sporting Park.
  • The SKC victory ended a two-game Impact winning streak in the series. Sporting have won once in Montréal, in 2012; the Impact had won in back-to-back seasons at KC.
  • Coaches record: Frank Klopas vs. KC: P8 W3 L3 D2 … Peter Vermes vs. MTL: P7 W3 L3 D1

LAST MEETING
4/19: KC 4, MTL 0 (own goal 31; Collin 71; Dwyer 74, 86)

  • Sporting were fortunate to take the lead in the 31st minute. From a long throw-in by Sporting's Matt Besler, the ball hit Mallace's head as he tried to clear and looped just inside Troy Perkins' far post.
  • SKC finally doubled their lead in the 71st minute. Lawrence Olum won the ball inside the Impact area and sent it back out to Aurelin Collin, and the big center back curled his left-footed shot inside the near post.
  • Three minutes later, second-half substitute Jacob Peterson sent in a long cross from the right corner and Dom Dwyer beat two defenders at the edge of the 6-yard box to knock home a sliding shot.
  • The rout was complete in the 86th when Dwyer completed his brace, running onto Graham Zusi's looping cross and snapping a header down and into the net.
  • SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-2-3): Eric Kronberg - Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin (Alex Martinez 76), Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic - Lawrence Olum - Paulo Nagamura, Benny Feilhaber - Sal Zizzo (Jacob Peterson 66), Dom Dwyer (Claudio Bieler 87), Graham Zusi.
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Troy Perkins - Eric Miller, Karl Ouimette, Matteo Ferrari (Hassoun Camara 78), Maxim Tissot - Calum Mallace, Patrice Bernier - Justin Mapp (Andres Romero 46), Felipe Martins, Collen Warner - Marco Di Vaio (Jack McInerney 56).

MONTREAL IMPACT
The Montréal Impact return to action coming off their first victory of the 2014 season, a 1-0 win against Philadelphia Union on April 26 at Stade Saputo. The Impact are in a tie for ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 6 points from 8 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The only goal of the game came in the 15th minute. Impact captain Patrice Bernier intercepted Sheanon Williams’ pass in midfield and continued forward before firing a powerful shot that Zac MacMath failed to control. The ball fell for the onrushing Felipe, who blasted it home from close range.
  • Impact head coach Frank Klopas made three changes to the team that fell 4-0 to Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park. Hassoun Camara and Jeb Brovsky came into the back four for Eric Miller and Maxim Tissot, and Jack McInerney came into the team in place of Calum Mallace.
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Troy Perkins - Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Karl Ouimette, Jeb Brovsky - Collen Warner (Calum Mallace 56), Patrice Bernier - Justin Mapp, Felipe Martins (Eric Miller 89), Jack McInerney - Marco Di Vaio (Maxim Tissot 78).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Impact won their first league match since last Oct. 19, ending an eight-game winless run dating back to the end of last season, the longest in the club’s MLS history.
  • “I feel great for my players,” Impact head coach Frank Klopas said. “Every time I sit here in front of [the media], I say the same thing: the training has been good, the energy, the commitment. But it's very important, now with all that hard work, to show something for it. And we did.”
  • Felipe Martins scored his second goal of the season, the only Impact player with multiple goals for the team this season (Jack McInerney has two for the season, one scored with Montréal).
  • McInerney returned to the starting lineup after going to the substitutes’ bench for the first Sporting KC match, but instead of partnering Marco Di Vaio in attack, he played a wide role with Di Vaio lined out as a lone striker.
  • “I played three positions in the first half,” McInerney said. “We talked about that in practice, that whoever was closest to the left side would just have to go over there, and it worked out. They never really broke us down and I think that, going forward, we can definitely do that again.”
  • Jeb Brovsky was a surprise starter at left back, his last appearance coming on March 23 when he was forced from the field with an injury in the Seattle match.
  • “He’s a guy that competed, he kept working hard, and I knew his opportunity was going to come,” Klopas said. “I was thinking about the right moment, being here at home, I wanted to rely a lot on the veteran guys, the guys that have been here. I knew that this game was going to be a scrappy game and we needed guys that were going to compete. I got up in the morning, and the first thing I thought was Jeb, so I said ‘OK, Jeb, you’re in.’ ”
  • The other addition to the Impact back four – Hassoun Camara – returned to the lineup after coming off the substitutes’ bench in back-to-back games. But Camara will miss the KC return match through caution accumulation.
  • On Wednesday, the Impact lost 2-1 at FC Edmonton in the first leg of their Canadian Championship semifinal at Clarke Stadium. Jack McInerney scored the lone Impact goal in the 56th minute, but FCE got goals from Tomi Ameobi (60) and Michael Nonni (90) to secure the win.
  • Here’s the Impact team: Evan Bush; Hassoun Camara, Karl W. Ouimette, Heath Pearce, Maxim Tissot; Calum Mallace (Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé* 86’), Patrice Bernier, Sanna Nyassi (Hernan Bernardello 69’), Collen Warner, Blake Smith (Santiago Gonzalez 74’); Jack McInerney

SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Sporting Kansas City returned to their winning ways, returning home and coming away with a 2-0 win against the Columbus Crew on Sunday afternoon at Sporting Park. Sporting sit in a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points from 8 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Sporting took the lead 10 minutes into the match. From Chance Myers' cross into the box, Paulo Nagamura's blocked shot deflected off a couple of defenders and fell to Jacob Peterson eight yards from goal. He turned on it and put it inside goalkeeper Steve Clark's left post for the opener.
  • The Crew were down a man for the final 10 minutes after midfielder Wil Trapp was issued a second yellow card by referee Ismail Elfath after bringing down Sporting's Benny Feilhaber in the open field.
  • The home side put the game away well into second-half stoppage time when SKC broke upfield on an odd-man rush. A half-clearance fell to Graham Zusi on the left, and he found Claudio Bieler all alone in the area to finish with ease.
  • Sporting manager Peter Vermes made three changes to the team that fell 2-0 to the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Lawrence Olum came into central defense for the suspended Aurelien Collin, Paulo Nagamura returned to midfield in place of Antonio Dovale, and Jacob Peterson started on the wing for Sal Zizzo.
  • SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-2-3): Eric Kronberg - Chance Myers, Lawrence Olum, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic - Oriol Rosell - Paulo Nagamura (Alex Martinez 78), Benny Feilhaber - Jacob Peterson (Soony Saad 61), Dom Dwyer (Claudio Bieler 87), Graham Zusi.

TEAM NEWS

  • Sporting remained undefeated at Sporting Park for the season and recorded a fourth consecutive shutout on their home ground, now 360 minutes since they’ve conceded at home.
  • “Start to finish, an excellent performance by us. I think it's the best performance of the year for us. ... The only criticism I have is we should have scored two more, easily. Outside of that, we were big time,” said SKC manager Peter Vermes.
  • With Sal Zizzo out with an injury that forced him from the New England game early in the second half, Jacob Peterson made his first start of the season since the season opener in March 8. Peterson had come off the substitutes’ bench in the previous two matches.
  • Peterson scored his first MLS goal since the final game of the 2012 regular season when he scored vs. Philadelphia, a span of 21 games.
  • Jake hasn't necessarily had a ton of starts. I always know that Jake's going to give us everything he has. He's always going to be busy and around the box. He found himself in a good place. It was a good action for us going forward,” said Vermes.
  • Eric Kronberg recorded his MLS-leading fourth shutout of the season, in his eighth start of the season. He has five shutouts in 12 career starts in the league.
  • “The big thing is, we don't give up a lot,” Vermes said. “And it's very difficult for a goalkeeper to keep himself in the game and make the saves that he needs to at the right time.” Said Kronberg: “I think Peter and the coaching staff really want me to get a rhythm, and I'm definitely starting to feel comfortable game in, game out. Not that I wasn't at first, but I'm more and more confident with the team in front of me.”
  • Claudio Bieler also scored his first goal of the season, making a third substitute appearance following his only start of the season. Bieler’s last league goal had come last Sept. 7, also vs. Columbus.
  • Soony Saad made his first appearance for Sporting during the season, coming on as a substitute for the final half-hour.
  • “We've been building what we have now for 3-4 years. It doesn't come overnight. It takes years and years of buying into to make it all work and connect. ... I think since we've been doing it for so long now, that can come to our advantage,” said midfielder Graham Zusi.