MONTREAL – If this Saturday's mood happens to carry over from their last meeting on June 23, the Houston Dynamo and the Montreal Impact could be in for a feisty affair (8:30 pm ET, TSN in Canada, MLS LIVE in the US).
On that day, a 10-minute spell starting in the 64th minute yielded six fouls, a spot kick converted by Montreal’s Patrice Bernier, two cautions, and it concluded with a red card to the Dynamo’s Adam Moffat for a rough foul on Brazilian midfielder Felipe.
With the Impact already up 4-2 and proceeding to pass the ball around for long periods in the center of the park, the game rather died down, but Montreal boss Jesse Marsch (above) fully expects both teams, who are currently seven points apart in the Eastern Conference standings, to pick up where they left off in the 75th minute back in June.
HIGHLIGHTS: Montreal take down Houston, 4-2
“It means something for both clubs and both teams,” Marsch told reporters on Thursday. “The way the last game finished up, I think there was a lot of emotion in that game. I think that this one will be, again, a battle, a fight, whatever you want to call it. We’ll be ready.”
Felipe, in particular, had better be prepared. Five of the Dynamo’s 10 fouls on June 23 were committed on him. This is a statistic Marsch can understand, given Felipe’s quality.
Opponents regularly try to unsettle the Impact’s No. 7 on the field through a variety of means, and while Montreal did not target one player in particular last time around, the scene could be somewhat different for Saturday’s clash, which Marsch described as a “mentality game”.
“They should try to make it hard on him, he’s one of our best players,” Marsch said of Felipe. “We’re going to do the same with them. We’re going to go down there, we’re going to keep things tight, and we’re going to fight.”