DC United vs. Montreal Impact | MLS Match Preview

D.C. UNITED vs MONTREAL IMPACT
RFK MEMORIAL STADIUM, Washington, D.C.
May 17, 2014 (WEEK 11, MLS Game #96)
7 p.m. ET (CSN-MA; TVA)

D.C. United look to continue their move up the Eastern Conference table when they take on the Montreal Impact on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. United returned to their winning ways on the road last weekend, coming away from Philadelphia Union with a 1-0 win at PPL Park. The Impact are coming off a 3-0 home loss to Sporting Kansas City in their last league match, though they did advance to the final of the Canadian Championship in between.

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REFEREE: Sorin Stoica. AR1 (bench): Chris Strickland; AR2 (opposite): Mark Cahen; 4th: Jorge Gonzalez
MLS Career: 21 games; FC/gm: 28.3; Y/gm: 4.3; R: 10; pens: 13

SUSPENDED: MTL: Collen Warner (through May 18)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DC: Perry Kitchen - MTL: Matteo Ferrari
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (5 meetings): United 2 wins, 8 goals Impact 2 wins, 7 goals Ties 1
AT RFK STADIUM (3 meetings): United 2 wins, 7 goals Impact 0 wins, 2 goals Ties 1
RETURN MATCHES: 6/11: Montreal Impact vs. D.C. United, 7:30 p.m. ET; 10/25: Montreal Impact vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m. ET

LAST YEAR (MLS)
8/3: DC 3, MTL 1 (Silva 19; Doyle 68; Jeffrey 93+ -- Brovsky 52)
8/17: MTL 2, DC 1 (Di Vaio 43, 83 - Doyle 81)

  • United have never lost to the Impact at RFK Stadium, winning their last encounters on East Capitol Street, including a 3-1 win last Aug. 3 in the only game in Washington.
  • The Impact have won both visits by United all-time to Quebec, including a 2-1 triumph last Aug. 17 in the only encounter at Stade Saputo.
  • Coaches record: Ben Olsen vs. MTL: P5 W2 L2 D1 - Frank Klopas vs. DC: P7 W4 L1 D2

D.C. UNITED
D.C. United rebounded from their first loss in five matches, getting the game's lone goal for a victory against Philadelphia Union on Saturday afternoon at PPL Park. United are in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points from 9 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's only goal came in the sixth minute. A sharp-angle shot from United's Cristian Fernandez ricocheted off Union fullback Ray Gaddis and popped up to an unmarked Chris Rolfe in the middle of the box. He settled the ball off his chest and in one motion blasted a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
  • United goalkeeper Bill Hamid finished with four saves to record the shutout.
  • United head coach Ben Olsen made two changes to the team that saw the Portland Timbers hit for a late goal for a 3-2 victory at Providence Park. Lewis Neal came into the midfield in place of Nick DeLeon, and Eddie Johnson came back in up top in place of Conor Doyle.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-4-2): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Jeff Parke, Bobby Boswell, Cristian Fernandez - Lewis Neal (Alex Caskey 75), Perry Kitchen, Davy Arnaud, Chris Rolfe - Eddie Johnson (Conor Doyle 84), Fabian Espindola (Luis Silva 88).

TEAM NEWS

  • D.C. United put an end to their league winless streak after 21 matches, their first road win since Oct. 6, 2012, a 1-0 win at BMO Field vs. Toronto FC. It was the second-longest stretch of road games without a win in MLS history; the New York Red Bulls went 27 away games without a victory, May 31, 2008-Oct. 14, 2009.
  • "I think it says we're growing, some of the stuff hasn't been good enough this season, I thought we played much better in Portland overall and came away with nothing," said United head coach Ben Olsen. "Here, maybe it wasn't the greatest night but we found a way and I'm proud of the guys today, it says were not making these mistakes again."
  • Chris Rolfe scored his second goal of the season, his first since scoring in his United debut on April 5, following his trade from the Chicago Fire.
  • "We were very disappointed with the last game obviously, especially the guys that have been on the team for a while," said Rolfe. "So this past week in training we really focused on taking care of the details late in the game and I think that we were a little better, we still weren't as good as we should be but we can do better."
  • It was the third clean sheet of the year for United, but the first for goalkeeper Bill Hamid. Andrew Dykstra was between the posts for back-to-back shutouts April 5-12.
  • "Every member of our back line, they get man of the match honors as far as I'm concerned," Hamid said. "We're just learning our lesson. It's tough to come on the road and get results, especially with teams that need results like Philly. We held our own, though. We've watched film from other games where we've given up goals late, and we zeroed in on some things."
  • After making his lone start of the season, Conor Doyle returned to the substitutes' bench and again made an appearance, coming on for the final six minutes. Doyle has appeared in every game this season.
  • "He's a smart player, he gets his role. Coming for those seven minutes he understands what the game needs, and he helps us out," Olsen said. "[Alex] Caskey put in a good shift out wide, we knew Lewis Neal wasn't going to be able to go the 90 but I thought overall the two center backs defended the box well."
  • Lewis Neal made his first start since April 5, coming into a wide midfield role and playing 75 minutes. Chris Korb also made his second consecutive start at fullback.
  • "It's a different look isn't it," said Olsen. "We don't stretch the field as much as when Neal is on the field. We are able to combine a little bit centrally, it makes us a different team."
  • After not featuring in the Portland match, Eddie Johnson returned to the starting lineup and played 84 minutes. But he was not included in the 30-man U.S. national team squad for the FIFA World Cup.
  • "I'm extremely disappointed for Eddie," Olsen said. "But Eddie is a big boy. He'll move on from this, get back here and continue with the good job that he's doing with our club."

MONTREAL IMPACT
The Montreal Impact weren't able to build upon their first victory of 2014, dropping a 3-0 decision to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday afternoon at Stade Saputo. The Impact are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 6 points from 9 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The match turned after just 17 minutes. A long throw into the area was sent goalward by SKC's Oriol Rossel, and as he fell Impact midfielder Collen Warner clawed the ball away from the line. Referee Jair Marrufo produced a red card for Warner and pointed to the spot, and Dom Dwyer put the resulting penalty kick to the bottom left corner past goalkeeper Troy Perkins, who had guessed correctly.
  • Sporting KC doubled their lead in the 34th minute when a low cross from Chance Myers sailed all the way through the area to Paulo Nagamura at the back post, and he then finished back across goal past a scrambling Perkins.
  • The rout was complete in the 64th minute. Toni Dovale released Dwyer through on goal between the Montreal centerbacks, and he made no mistake in front of Perkins, slotting the ball home to the 'keeper's left.
  • KC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg was credited with two saves in recording his league-leading fifth shutout.
  • Impact head coach Frank Klopas made four changes to the team that claimed a 1-0 win against Philadelphia Union at Stade Saputo. Wandrille Lefevre and Maxim Tissot came into the back four for Hassoun Camara and Matteo Ferrari, Hernan Bernardello started in midfield in place of Patrice Bernier, and Sanna Nyassi came into the side for Marco Di Vaio.
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Troy Perkins - Jeb Brovsky, Karl Ouimette, Wandrille Lefevre, Maxim Tissot - Collen Warner (ejected 17), Hernan Bernardello - Justin Mapp, Felipe Martins (Patrice Bernier 70), Sanna Nyassi (Andres Romero 61) - Jack McInerney (Santiago Gonzalez 69).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Impact suffered their second loss to Sporting KC in the last three league matches, and lost for the first time this season at Stade Saputo (their other home loss had come March 23, at Olympic Stadium).
  • "I know the frustration of the fans, and it's understandable. They come to support the team, I know that," said Impact head coach Frank Klopas. "In the end, I'm the coach and it's my responsibility, I guess, when the results are not there, and I know that. ... You can look at this game, yes, we lost, but if you see how we lost the game, you can spin it any way you want. I always want the best for the club."
  • Said Marco Di Vaio: "I'd also like to remind everyone that the last 10 games last year under [Marco] Schillibaum [2-7-1, including the MLS Cup playoffs] were like the first 10 games this year [1-6-3, including the Amway Canadian Championship]. We made the playoffs, yes, but we didn't do well in the last month [of 2013]. We had lots of problems last year as well."
  • The Impact were also shut out at the attacking end for the fourth time this season. At 0.78 goals per game, the Impact have the lowest-ranked attack in MLS.
  • "I think that the red card really changed the game for us, since we had some good moments," Klopas said. "I give credit to my guys in the second half they worked extremely hard considering we had a game midweek and had some players injured. We have to focus on finding ways to improve now."
  • There were two significant late injury absences in the Impact squad: Center back Matteo Ferrari out due to a calf knock, and Marco Di Vaio scratched because of hamstring tightness.
  • Hernan Bernardello made his first appearance since April 5 when he was forced off injured against New York, playing 90 minutes in the midfield.
  • Sanna Nyassi also returned to the starting lineup after making his last appearance in the season opener March 8, when he had come off injured in the loss to FC Dallas.
  • The Impact started three Homegrown Players in the back four - Wandrille Lefevre, Karl W. Ouimette and Maxim Tissot - who combined had played a total of 27 league matches.
  • "It is [frustrating to have key guys out], but I think that, throughout the year, there's a lot of games coming up, and the amount of travel that you do with the league, you have to be able to rely on your whole team," Klopas said. "There's positives when you see three young guys who have a bright future in front of them. You can have continuity when you build a team with guys like that which you can have around for 10, 12 years."
  • On Wednesday, the Impact advanced to the final of the Amway Canadian Championship following a 4-2 win vs. the NASL's FC Edmonton, winning their two-leg series 5-4 on aggregate. Patrice Bernier sent the Impact through to the final when he converted a penalty kick seven minutes into second-half stoppage time.
  • Heres the Impact team: Evan Bush; Hassoun Camara, Karl W. Ouimette, Heath Pearce, Jeb Brovsky (Andres Romero 82'); Hernan Bernardello, Patrice Bernier, Sanna Nyassi, Felipe (Santiago Gonzalez 74'), Justin Mapp; Jack McInerney (Maxim Tissot 98+')