CHESTER, Pa. – The Montreal Impact maintained their hold on first place in the Eastern Conference, playing the host Philadelphia Union to a scoreless draw on Saturday evening at PPL Park.
Goalkeeper Troy Perkins finished with four saves to pick up his second straight shutout for the Impact (12-7-6), who extended their unbeaten streak to three games but failed to generate nearly the same kind of offense they did in last week’s 5-0 thrashing of Houston.
The Union (10-8-9), meanwhile, were far better than they were during last weekend’s 5-1 blowout loss to the Revolution but were frustrated offensively by Perkins.
In the 57th minute, the Impact 'keeper made a diving stop on Jack McInerney, and Sebastien Le Toux couldn’t get a clean look on the rebound. Twenty minutes later, McInerney bungled a header right in front of net after a perfect cross from left back Fabinho.
McInerney, Philly's leading scorer, hasn’t scored in his last 10 games.
MLS Golden Boot leader Marco Di Vaio found the back of the net in the 61st minute for Montreal, but the goal was disallowed because he was called offside.
The only save Union 'keeper Zac MacMath had to make to earn his 10th shutout of the year came in the 24th minute when former Union midfielder Justin Mapp drove a shot into the Philly goalkeeper. The rebound bounced right to Di Vaio but the league’s leading scorer was ruled offside on that play as well.
The Impact had few other scoring chances against a retooled Union defense that featured Sheanon Williams at center back because of a two-game suspension to Amobi Okugo.
The Union had the majority of the chances in the first half but didn’t truly threaten Perkins until the 42nd minute when Union winger Danny Cruz slotted a pass to Le Toux, who blasted a close-range shot on target. But Perkins was there to make the sprawling save and McInerney’s rebound attempt hit off the side netting.
The Impact are back in action next Sunday with a road match against the New England Revolution, the same day the Union travel to the West Coast to take on the San Jose Earthquakes.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Fabinho||Solidified his grasp on the Union's starting left back spot with a positive outing that saw him deliver cross after cross down the left flank. A playmaker.|
|2||Sheanon Williams||Filling in for Amobi Okugo at centerback was a cinch for the regular fullback, who used his athleticism to cover plenty of ground and make a few last-ditch stops.|
|3||Danny Cruz||Did more work in 72 minutes than most other players on the field did in 90. Proved a handful for the Impact back line all night.|