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Final

Montreal Impact vs. Columbus Crew | MLS Match Preview

MONTRÉAL IMPACT vs COLUMBUS CREW
STADE SAPUTO, Montréal, Qué.
Aug. 30, 2014 (WEEK 25, MLS Game #233)
7:30 p.m. ET (TVA; TWCS-OH)

The Montréal Impact and Columbus Crew meet for a second time this season when the Eastern Conference clubs face off Saturday evening at Stade Saputo. The Impact find themselves at the foot of the table in the East, returning home after a 4-2 loss at the New York Red Bulls last weekend. The Crew are firmly in position in the hunt for a postseason spot, sitting in a tie for third place in the division following a second consecutive victory, defeating Houston 3-0.

REFEREE: Juan Guzman. AR1 (bench): Daniel Belleau; AR2 (opposite): Joe Fletcher; 4th: Chris Penso
MLS Career: 46 games; FC/gm: 25.3; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 16; pens: 12

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: MTL: Karl Ouimette … CLB: Tony Tchani, Wil Trapp
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: MTL: Hernan Bernardello, Matteo Ferrari, Felipe Martins, Andres Romero, Dilly Duka, Krzysztof Krol … CLB: Bernardo Anor, Federico Higuain, Giancarlo Gonzalez
DISABLED LIST: CLB: Matthew Wiet; Josh Williams; Kingsley Baiden (season-ending injury)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (7 meetings): Impact 1 win, 6 goals … Crew 5 wins, 12 goals … Ties 1
AT MONTRÉAL (3 meetings): Impact 1 win, 4 goals … Crew 1 win, 4 goals … Ties 1
FUTURE MATCH: 9/27: Columbus Crew vs. Montreal Impact, 7:30 p.m. ET

2014 (MLS):
7/19: CLB 2, MTL 1 (Anor 56, 75 – Di Vaio 23)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Bernardo Anor scored twice in the second half to haul the Crew back from a first-half deficit for a 2-1 victory July 19 at Crew Stadium.
  • The Crew have won all four encounters lifetime in Columbus. The Crew won 2-1 last Sept. 14 at Stade Saputo, the only victory by the away team in seven meetings in the all-time series.
  • Coaches record: Frank Klopas vs. CLB: P9 W6 L3 D0 … Gregg Berhalter vs. MTL: P1 W1 L0 D0

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • The Impact took the lead in the 36th minute thanks to a gift. An errant back pass from Michael Parkhurst allowed Justin Mapp to find an open Marco Di Vaio on the break. He gathered the ball, beat a defender and slotted a shot past a diving Steve Clark for the opener.
  • But Bernardo Anor singlehandedly brought the Crew back after the interval. First, in the 56th minute, Tony Tchani found Anor just outside the box and he connected with a fierce swing of his left foot, throttling a shot past goalkeeper Evan Bush.
  • Then in the 75th minute, Anor hit for the winner. He gathered the ball near midfield and turned toward the Montreal goal, before unleashing a furious strike with his right foot that bent away from Bush and into the net as the helpless 'keeper dove to his right.
  • COLUMBUS CREW (4-2-3-1): Steve Clark - Chad Barson, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Michael Parkhurst, Waylon Francis - Kevan George, Tony Tchani - Ethan Finlay, Federico Higuain (Ben Speas 90), Bernardo Anor (Eric Gehrig 90) - Adam Bedell (Aaron Schoenfeld 67).
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-4-2): Evan Bush - Hassoun Camara, Heath Pearce, Matteo Ferrari, Krzysztof Krol - Justin Mapp (Maxim Tissot 89), Felipe Martins (Calum Mallace 89), Patrice Bernier (Issey Nakajima-Farran 80), Andres Romero - Marco Di Vaio, Jack McInerney.

MONTREAL IMPACT
The Montréal Impact weren’t able to build on their first win in eight games, falling 4-2 to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Impact are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 17 points from 24 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Impact took the lead after 37 minutes. Dilly Duka latched onto a perfect, defense-splitting ball into space from Calum Mallace and beat goalkeeper Luis Robles low to the near post from inside the box.
  • But the Red Bulls regained control after the break as Thierry Henry scored twice within 14 minutes. First, in the 53rd minute, Henry dove to head a cross from Eric Alexander just inside the post. Henry then put New York ahead in the 67th by firing a perfect shot from the edge of the area that kissed the right post and went in.
  • Henry then turned from scorer to provider, setting up Bradley Wright-Phillips for a strike inside the area to make it 3-1 in the 74th minute.
  • Montreal pulled a goal back in the 79th minute when Andres Romero set off on a stunning individual effort through the Red Bulls defense. But Wright-Phillips put the match away with his second of the night and 20th of the season in the 90th minute, slotting home a pass from Peguy Luyindula.
  • Impact head coach Frank Klopas made five changes to the team that defeated the Chicago Fire 1-0 at Stade Saputo. Krzysztof Krol came into the back four for Eric Miller, Calum Mallace and Felipe Martins started deep in the midfield for Gorka Larrea and Patrice Bernier, Andres Romero came in on the wing for Justin Mapp, and Jack McInerney replaced Marco Di Vaio up top.
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Evan Bush - Hassoun Camara, Wandrille Lefevre, Matteo Ferrari, Krzysztof Krol (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 81) - Calum Mallace, Felipe Martins - Andres Romero, Dilly Duka, Ignacio Piatti (Maxim Tissot 69) - Jack McInerney (Marco Di Vaio 62).

TEAM NEWS

  • It was an eighth defeat in the last nine league matches for the Impact, and put an end to a brief two-game winning streak in all competitions. The Impact have not won back-to-back league games this season.
  • “I think as the game went on we got a little more stretched for sure because we had to push the game and we pushed it. I thought our transition to get behind the ball wasn’t as good. And I think they found a lot of space to get at us as the game went on,” said Impact head coach Frank Klopas.
  • It was also a fifth consecutive road loss for the Impact, who remain winless away from Stade Saputo in league play. Five teams in MLS history have gone winless for the season away from home (the last: D.C. United in 2013).
  • “We have to make changes in the squad throughout the week. Third game in a week, they hadn’t played in 10 days but at the same time I thought we put in a pretty strong effort and the guys battled. It’s just unfortunate the game ended the way it did,” said goalkeeper Evan Bush.
  • Dilly Duka made a second consecutive start in the midfield and scored his first goal with Montréal since arriving in a trade from Chicago.
  • Ignacio Piatti made his third consecutive start since his arrival from Argentina’s San Lorenzo, but moved to an attacking role as the underneath forward.
  • “When he comes underneath or he’s got the ability to rotate with Andres [Romero] and Dilly [Duka], when we can get these guys tucking in, it makes it really difficult for defenders,” Klopas said. “Does the right back come in? Does the center back step in the hole to mark him? If we can find them in those pockets and between the midfield line and the back line and tucking in with our outside backs pushing up, we’re going to be dangerous.”
  • Wandrille Lefevre made a third consecutive start in central defense after missing seven consecutive league matches, and was credited with his second career assist, in 15 career appearances over two seasons.
  • Calum Mallace returned to the starting lineup for the first time since July 24 and was credited with his second assist, his first coming in that match vs. Real Salt Lake.
  • The Impact still have two more matches against the Red Bulls this season in the CONCACAF Champions League. Thierry Henry has nine goals in five matches lifetime vs. Montréal after netting twice in the victory.
  • “CONCACAF’s a completely different situation,” Mallace said. “It’s a tournament style, so maybe that brings a little extra to it or something like that. We’ll see, but as I said, we’ll definitely take a look at the film and analyze our performance first. Then, we’ll see what we can do to adjust and hopefully advance in that tournament.”
  • Said Bush: “He’s obviously been a nemesis for us but he’s been a nemesis for a lot of people, and a lot of teams. So, I mean you look at the game and what, two goals and an assist, so we probably could’ve prevented one or two of those goals for sure but that’s how it goes.”

COLUMBUS CREW
The Columbus Crew made it two quality wins from two games, strolling to a 3-0 victory against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. The Crew are in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, with 30 points from 24 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Crew took the lead after 35 minutes. Justin Meram benefitted from a poor touch from a Houston defender and gathered the ball near the top of the penalty box, then took a few touches before firing a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Tally Hall.
  • The lead was doubled in the 59th minute as Meram this time played provider. Cleaning up a long corner, Meram turned and swung in a perfectly placed cross to the head of Adam Bedell, who outmuscled his marker and glanced a header past a helpless Hall and into the far corner.
  • Columbus added a third goal in the 64th minute, when fullback Waylon Francis found streaking substitute Aaron Schoenfeld with a perfect cross to head home from the heart of the area to seal the match.
  • Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter made one change to the team that rolled to a 4-1 win against the LA Galaxy at Crew Stadium. Tyson Wahl came into central defense in place of Giancarlo Gonzalez.
  • COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-1-1): Steve Clark - Eric Gehrig, Michael Parkhurst, Tyson Wahl, Waylon Francis - Ethan Finlay (Hector Jimenez 76), Tony Tchani, Wil Trapp, Justin Meram (Romain Gall 88) - Federico Higuain - Adam Bedell (Aaron Schoenfeld 60).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Crew scored three or more goals for a second consecutive game in rolling to the win against Houston. They had not scored three goals in a game since the season-opening 3-0 win at D.C. United on March 8; the Crew have hit for seven goals in their back-to-back wins.
  • “I thought it was a very, very solid performance,” Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “It's easy to get up to play the Galaxy, with the names and the quality and the crowd and everything. But today against Houston, an Eastern Conference opponent who's on our heels in the table, I thought this was a very strong performance. … We went through a tough stretch, but we kept playing the way we want to play. We're right in the mix, and that's where we expect to be at.”
  • Justin Meram scored a goal for a third consecutive game, the second time in his MLS career he’s netted goals in three straight games (also: May 12-23, 2012). Meram has scored a single-season career-high five goals this season; he had five goals over his first three MLS seasons.
  • Meram also recorded an assist for a second consecutive game. He has three goals and three assists over his last five matches.
  • Ethan Finlay collected an assist for a second consecutive game. He has two goals and four assists over the last five matches, as he has started nine games in a row.
  • Making his sixth consecutive start as the targer striker in the Crew tactical scheme, Adam Bedell scored his second career goal, his first since July 12.
  • Aaron Schoenfeld scored his first goal of the season and the second of his MLS career, his first coming last Oct. 19 at New England.
  • “Teams want to key on Federico [Higuain] and he is such a good player that if other guys aren’t producing we become predictable,” Berhalter said. “We ask those outside midfielders, forwards and central midfielders to be active. We ask our outside backs to get forward and provide crosses. We are so much better when that is working. If you look at Justin, Ethan, Speas, we have Hector [Jimenez] back; they are stepping up and that helps the team.”
  • Said Schoenfeld: “I think that the main thing is that everyone knows their own role on the field. If it’s the starters, if its subs coming in. I feel like the last few games that everyone that has been on the field has made a difference, and won their individual battle on the field.”
  • With the transfer of Costa Rican international defender Giancarlo Gonzalez pending, Tyson Wahl was given the start in central defense, his sixth start of the season.
  • “We talked about it before the game. We talked about Tyson [Wahl] getting notified that he was starting and us being confident in him and him having 100 starts in the MLS and he showed it today,” said Berhalter. “He was our Man of the Match in the locker room and he got the game ball. I thought that he was fantastic. I’m proud of him and I’m proud of the rest of team for really standing up and putting a good performance in.”
  • Romain Gall also made his MLS and Crew debut, coming off the substitutes’ bench for the final two minutes.
  • “I’m happy for him. I think it was a great game to make his first appearance. His first run was electrifying and that’s the guy that we see. He’s going to take a while to get developed and fully there but that’s what we expect from him,” said Berhalter.