Montreal Impact vs. CD FAS | CONCACAF Champions League Match Preview

Montreal Impact vs. CD FAS
2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League
August 5 | 8 pm ET | Stade Saputo
TV: Sportsnet

The Montreal Impact's 2014 MLS season has not gone as well as expected. Losses have piled up, frustration has mounted and some serious changes have already been made. The club, however, can begin to make amends for some of that on Tuesday if they are able to start off their 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League campaign with a win at home over Salvadoran club CD FAS. Anything less than three points for Montreal will yield even more irritation and anger from a fanbase that has been starved of much success this season.

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NEW COMPETITION, NEW RESULT? The Impact have struggled mightily in MLS this year, as they sit in last place in both the East and overall standings. But they have already won a trophy in 2014, the Canadian Championship, and will hope the change of competition in the CCL will allow them to turn over a new leaf. In their second consecutive CCL, can they improve on last year's showing and advance from the group stage?

CAN FAS SPRING AN EARLY UPSET? FAS are entering Group 3 play as the projected third-place team, but they may be able to spring a surprise or two along the way, especially given Montreal's recent troubles. If they can grab an opening-day win at Stade Saputo, it will likely blow the group wide open.

SELECTION DILEMMA FOR KLOPAS: With the Impact miles away from playoff contention, it would appear, the question is whether coach Frank Klopas will play his first-choice team against FAS, or if he will give younger players a chance with a league game against Philadelphia on Saturday. The lineup used could go a way in indicating Klopas' priority regarding the CCL.

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PLAYERS TO WATCH:

JACK MCINERNEY, MONTREAL - Jack Mac may be on a bit of a goal drought at the moment, but a game against an opponent in FAS that has just begun its domestic league season could be the cure that gets him on the scoresheet once again.

LESTER BLANCO, FAS - A star in the past for Isidro Metapán, Blanco has bounced around Europe and Honduras the past few years, and hasn't settled. At 25, he may no longer be an up-and-comer, but could be one of the breakout Central Americans of the 2014-15 CCL if he can settle in quickly at his new club.