Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC | MLS Match Preview

STADE SAPUTO, Montreal, Que.
Aug. 2, 2014 (WEEK 21, MLS Game #199)
5 p.m. ET (TSN/RDS)

Canadian archrivals Montreal Impact and Toronto FC renew their MLS rivalry when the clubs face off Saturday evening at Stade Saputo. It’s the first league meeting of the season between the teams, but the Impact eliminated TFC from the Canadian Championship for a second year running earlier this year. The Impact had their losing streak extended to five games in their last match, a 3-2 home loss to Portland, while Toronto FC started their road swing with a 3-0 loss at D.C. United at midweek.


REFEREE: Armando Villarreal. AR1 (bench): Daniel Belleau; AR2 (opposite): Danny Thornberry; 4th: Mathieu Bourdeau
MLS Career: 38 games; FC/gm: 23.5; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 15; pens: 10

SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: MTL: Hassoun Camara, Karl Ouimette … TOR: Michael Bradley, Jackson
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: MTL: Matteo Ferrari, Hernan Bernardello, Felipe Martins, Andres Romero, Dilly Duka … TOR: Steven Caldwell, Justin Morrow, Dominic Oduro, Collen Warner, Warren Creavalle

ALL-TIME (MLS) (6 meetings): Impact 2 wins, 7 goals … Toronto FC 2 wins, 9 goals … Ties 2
AT MONTREAL (3 meetings): Impact 2 wins, 4 goals … Toronto FC 1 win, 5 goals … Ties 0
RETURN MATCHES: 10/18: Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact, 2 p.m. ET

3/16: MTL 2, TOR 1 (Bernier 34, Di Vaio 46 – Earnshaw 68)
7/3: TOR 3, MTL 3 (Brockie 6; Caldwell 21; O'Dea 24 – Romero 1, Camara 69, Di Vaio 70)
10/26: TOR 1, MTL 0 (Earnshaw 16)

  • The teams are meeting for the first time this season in league play, but the Impact claimed the Canadian Championship by defeating TFC 2-1 on aggregate in the final. The teams reached a 1-1 draw at BMO Field, before Felipe’s stoppage-time winner gave the Impact the title June 4 at Stade Saputo.
  • It was the second consecutive season the Impact defeated Toronto FC in the Canadian Championship, winning 6-2 on aggregate in the semifinals the year previous (TFC advanced in a semifinal meeting in 2012).
  • Since coming to MLS, the Impact have not won in Toronto, with two losses and three draws in five meetings in all competitions at BMO Field.
  • Coaches record: Ryan Nelsen vs. MTL: P3 W1 L1 T1 … Frank Klopas vs. TOR: P6 W5 L0 T1

The Montreal Impact had their losing slide extended to five games, the Portland Timbers hitting for a late winner for a 3-2 victory on Sunday evening at Stade Saputo. The Impact are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points from 19 games.


  • The Impact took the lead after just the 13th minute. Justin Mapp's low cross from the right found Andres Romero, who turned around a defender and beat Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts to his right.
  • But the visitors were level by the 34th minute. Darlington Nagbe held the ball on the edge of the box before slipping it through to Maximiliano Urruti, and he toe poked it onto the near post and past goalkeeper Evan Bush.
  • Portland went ahead five minutes later. Impact defender Hassoun Camara brought down Diego Valeri on the right of the Montreal goal, and referee Silviu Petrescu pointed to the spot. Will Johnson slotted home the resulting penalty kick low past Bush, who guessed correctly by diving to his right despite being beaten.
  • But Montreal made it 2-2 just before halftime. Patrice Bernier, released down the left by Felipe, cut the ball back to Maxim Tissot, who produced a good finish with his left foot from inside the penalty area.
  • Yet there was one final answer from the Timbers. Substitute Rodney Wallace raced down the left, but saw his cross partially cleared by Futty Danso. The ball went as far as Valeri, who calmly stuck the dagger into the Montreal hearts with a curling effort from just outside the box.
  • Impact head coach Frank Klopas made four changes to the team that fell 3-1 to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Mamadou Danso came into the back four in place of Matteo Ferrari, Justin Mapp and Maxim Tissot started in midfield in place of Calum Mallace and the suspended Issey Nakajima-Farran, and Jack McInerney came in up top to replace Marco Di Vaio.
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Evan Bush - Hassoun Camara, Heath Pearce, Mamadou Danso, Krzysztof Krol - Patrice Bernier, Felipe Martins (Santiago Gonzalez 86) - Justin Mapp, Andres Romero, Maxim Tissot (Calum Mallace 86) - Jack McInerney (Marco Di Vaio 63).


  • The Impact had their losing skid extended to five games in the late  loss to Portland. It’s the club’s longest in their three seasons since coming to MLS.
  • “These are difficult moments,” assistant coach Mauro Biello said, as manager Frank Klopas was suspended. “It's disappointing to be in this situation. Obviously, when you lose games like that, and the way we lost the last games, it’s difficult. We have to consider the way we’ll approach the next games and the Champions League.”
  • The Impact also allowed three goals for a second consecutive game, and have allowed multiple goals now in four games in a row. They have allowed 11 goals total over their five-game slide.
  • “Something's missing to make the difference,” Marco Di Vaio said. “We concede incredible goals, for nothing. It’s a mental thing not working right now. It’s a really difficult situation. We understand the fans, everyone, the club. We have to find the solution in the locker room, between us.”
  • Said Biello: “We’re very fragile right now. As much as it’s on the field with the ball it’s also in our heads. You try to tell the players to focus on things they can’t control. Obviously it’s unacceptable to give up three goals when we’re playing at home. I think it’s a mindset and that mindset is going to have to change if we want to win a game.”
  • Making his first start since June 29, Maxim Tissot scored his second career MLS goal in 16 appearances. His first came last Sept. 28 at Chicago.
  • Patrice Bernier recorded his second assist of the season, both coming over the last four games. Justin Mapp recorded his third assist over the last four matches.
  • “We still have a couple of games left this season. To look ahead too much isn’t good at this point. We’re not getting three points, not even getting one point, but in this league things can change very fast, but we have to find a way to get some points on the board,” Bernier said.
  • Mamadou Danso made his first appearance for the Impact – facing his former club, starting in central defense.
  • “We had to rest some players,” Biello said. “We had a difficult week, and he came in. For him, he needs to find his rhythm. [It] was a difficult game. He had the right intentions playing against his old team.”
  • In the days leading up to the Toronto FC match, the Impact obtained midfielder Dilly Duka from the Chicago Fire in exchange for winger Sanna Nyassi. Duka had made six appearances and three starts for the Fire this season.
  • Also in the days leading to the game, Impact sporting director Nick De Santis was relieved of his duties. Current manager Frank Klopas will also assume the role of director of player personnel.
  • “In business, the most difficult decisions to make are those made involving emotions,” Impact investor/operator Joey Saputo said. "This is why, today, I am forced to make this decision with a heavy heart. After 20 years of being part of the technical team as a player, successful coach and GM, it gives me great sadness to announce that Nick De Santis has been relieved from his functions. We are in a results based business. Since July 2013, the results are not at the level of our expectations.”

Toronto FC suffered their second defeat in a row, falling 3-0 to D.C. United on Wednesday evening at RFK Stadium. TFC sit in a tie for third place in the Eastern Conference, with 26 points from 19 matches.


  • United took the lead just eight minutes into the match. Midfielder Perry Kitchen collected a pass on the right flank, taking a touch towards the end line before crossing the ball to Johnson, who found himself perfectly positioned to comfortably nod the ball home from six yards out.
  • The United lead was doubled in the 60th minute. United midfielder Nick DeLeon cut into the area and looked to have earned a penalty kick after being fouled by Warren Creavalle. Referee Chris Penso, however, played the advantage and Chris Rolfe ran onto the ball, striking a blistering shot from the heart of the penalty area and easily beating TFC 'keeper Joe Bendik.
  • Seven minutes later, D.C. put the game out of reach with a bit of help. DeLeon rounded TFC defender Nick Hagglund and struck a shot towards goal. The attempt caromed off Bendik, but Hagglund’s attempt at a headed clearance found its way into his own net.
  • TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen made two changes to the team that fell 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City at BMO Field. Warren Creavalle came into the back four for the suspended Doneil Henry, and Jermain Defoe returned from suspension in place of Gilberto.
  • TORONTO FC (4-4-2): Joseph Bendik - Warren Creavalle, Bradley Orr (Daniel Lovitz 65), Nick Hagglund, Justin Morrow - Dominic Oduro (Jonathan Osorio 66), Collen Warner, Michael Bradley, Jackson - Jermain Defoe (Gilberto 73), Luke Moore.


  • Toronto FC have lost back-to-back games for the first time since losing three in a row from April 12- May 3 – their only losing streaks of the season.
  • “I’m extremely disappointed,” TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen said. “I think, in both boxes, we weren’t good enough. We had many opportunities to score and we didn’t, and the little opportunities they had, we gifted them the goals. It was just absolutely not good enough; I don’t care what level you play at, you can’t defend like that and you can’t miss those opportunities.”
  • TFC were also shut out at the attacking end for the first time since a 1-0 loss to Columbus on April 12 to start the three-game losing skid.
  • “We’re in a little bit of a rut at the moment where we create good chances and just have a difficult time scoring. When you combine that with conceding a little too easily, it means that you make things awfully difficult on yourself, so certainly that was the case,” said Michael Bradley. “It was frustrating, but the reality is still that we’re more or less halfway through with 26 points, so we’re not up at the top but we’re not down at the bottom.”
  • The three goals allowed by Toronto FC were their most in a game this season, matching the 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake on March 29. TFC have allowed seven goals over their last three matches.
  • “It’s a bit difficult when you lose Steven Caldwell, our captain and Mark Bloom, arguably the most consistent player we’ve had all season, and Doneil Henry, who has been in superb form,” Nelsen said. “But, in saying that, you’ve got to use your squad and they’ve got to take their chances.”
  • Said Bradley: “It’s being a little more committed, making sure that defensively we’re that much harder to play against and that much more difficult to beat. When you turn things around, that will create chances that are a little more clinical and a little sharper and find a way to finish off some of these games.”
  • Warren Creavalle made his TFC debut, coming in at right back as Nick Hagglund moved from fullback to central defense.
  • “I thought he did really well, considering he doesn’t know any of his teammates,” Nelsen said. “Obviously, it was a hard game to come into and he showed some really good signs and we’ll work hard with him.”
  • Jermain Defoe made his first league start since July 16, coming to partner Luke Moore in attack, but came off after 73 minutes in favor of Gilberto.