MTLvPHI, 10-19-2013

Montreal Impact vs. Philadelphia Union | MLS Match Preview

STADE SAPUTO, Montreal, Que.
Oct. 19, 2013 (WEEK 34, MLS Game #306)
2 p.m. ET (TVA; TCN-Phi)

The biggest game in the Eastern Conference is ahead on Saturday afternoon as the Montreal Impact play host to Philadelphia Union at Stade Saputo. The teams enter the match tied on 46 points in a three-way logjam for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Impact are riding a six-game winless streak following their midweek 1-0 loss at the LA Galaxy, while the Union are coming off a last-gasp 1-1 draw at D.C. United that extended their undefeated streak to three games.


REFEREE: Silviu Petrescu. AR1 (bench): Daniel Belleau; AR2 (opposite): Peter Manikowski; 4th: Geoff Gamble
Petrescu MLS Career: 74 games; FC/gm: 27.7; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 10; pens: 10

DISABLED LIST: MTL: Adrian Lopez (season ending injury), Maximiliano Rodriguez … PHI: Greg Jordan
SUSPENDED: PHI: Michael Farfan (caution accumulation; through Oct. 20)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: MTL: Jeb Brovsky, Andres Romero … PHI: Brian Carroll, Danny Cruz, Jack McInerney
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: MTL: Patrice Bernier, Marco Di Vaio … PHI: Raymon Gaddis, Jeff Parke, Conor Casey, Keon Daniel, Amobi Okugo

ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Impact 2 wins, 8 goals … Union 1 win, 5 goals … Ties 1
AT MONTREAL (2 meetings): Impact 2 wins, 7 goals … Union 0 wins, 3 goals … Ties 0

2013 (MLS):
5/25: MTL 5, PHI 3 (Di Vaio 2, 28, 32; Wenger 74; Smith 94+ -- McInerney 5; Hoppenot 69; Le Toux 85)
8/31: PHI 0, MTL 0
•    The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Marco Di Vaio had a hat trick before the first half was complete, leading the Impact to a 5-3 victory May 25 at Stade Saputo. The teams played to a scoreless draw Aug. 31 at PPL Park.
•    The win in the first meeting gives Montreal the edge in the four encounters all-time between the teams. They split their two meetings in Montreal’s inaugural MLS season.
•    Coaches' records: John Hackworth vs. MTL: P4 W1 L2 T1 … Marco Schallibaum vs. PHI: P2 W1 L0 T1

•    Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins was credited with four saves to lead his side to a second consecutive shutout.
•    Union 'keeper Zac MacMath was called upon to make just a single save for the clean sheet. MLS Golden Boot leader Marco Di Vaio found the back of the net twice for Montreal, but each time the goal was ruled out for offside.
•    PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-1-3-2): Zac MacMath - Raymon Gaddis, Jeff Parke, Sheanon Williams, Fabinho - Brian Carroll - Danny Cruz (Antoine Hoppenot 74), Keon Daniel, Sebastien Le Toux - Jack McInerney (Jose Kleberson 80), Conor Casey (Aaron Wheeler 86).
•    MONTREAL IMPACT (4-4-1-1): Troy Perkins - Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Alessandro Nesta, Jeb Brovsky - Justin Mapp, Hernan Bernardello (Collen Warner 85), Patrice Bernier, Andres Romero (Sanna Nyassi 56) - Felipe Martins (Davy Arnaud 78) - Marco Di Vaio.

The Montreal Impact had their winless and shutout streaks extended, falling 1-0 to the LA Galaxy on Wednesday evening at StubHub Center. The Impact are in a tie fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 46 points from 30 matches.

•    The game's lone goal came at the three-quarter mark of the match. Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush denied Leonardo's header to the far post from a Juninho corner kick, and substitute Laurent Courtois played the ball back to Jose Villarreal, whose shot ricocheted off Gyasi Zardes. Rookie defender Kofi Opare turned the ball home with his left foot from the top of the 6-yard box.
•    Bush was called upon to make seven saves, and also saw efforts from Marcelo Sarvas and Robbie Keane crack off the crossbar. Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe made two saves for the clean sheet.
•    Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum made seven changes to the team that suffered a 1-0 loss to the New England Revolution at Stade Saputo. Evan Bush came in between the posts, Wandrille Lefevre, Hassoun Camara and Karl Ouimette all came into the back four, and Andrea Pisanu, Collen Warner and Andrew Wenger also came into the team, in place of Troy Perkins, Davy Arnaud, Alessandro Nesta, Matteo Ferrari, Patrice Bernier, Andres Romero and Justin Mapp.
•    MONTREAL IMPACT (4-4-2): Evan Bush - Maxim Tissot, Wandrille Lefevre, Hassoun Camara, Karl Ouimette - Andrea Pisanu (Andres Romero  64), Collen Warner, Hernan Bernardello (Felipe Martins 71), Sanna Nyassi (Blake Smith 81) - Marco Di Vaio, Andrew Wenger.

•    The Impact saw their winless streak extended to six games, matching the club’s MLS record, set over the final six games of their inaugural MLS season.
•    “We only have two (games left), the first match is Saturday and what we need is three points,” said Impact head coach Marco Schallibaum. “I think with this attitude today, and this force also from this team, we need this also Saturday to make this back.”
•    The Impact have now been shut out in three consecutive league games, a first in the club’s MLS history. They have not scored a goal in 272 minutes, since Maxim Tissot scored the tying goal in the 2-2 draw with Chicago on Sept. 28.
•     “We give up just one chance tonight and we took a goal and we had maybe two or three chances in the first half to score and we didn’t score,” said Marco DiVaio. “So it was a very bad moment for us, but we have to move on, we don’t have time to think about this, now is the time to try and find the solution, fast, because Saturday afternoon we need to have our best game of the season.”
•    Evan Bush made his first league start of the season between the posts, after Troy Perkins had started all of the first 31 MLS games in goal. Bush has played every minute of the Impact’s Canadian Championship and CONCACAF Champions League campaigns.
•    “We have a lot of guys, especially on the back line, that haven’t played a lot of minutes lately, so there was a will and a spirit. I thought we had good character throughout the course of the game,” Bush said. “We’ve got to turn the corner quickly, we were hoping tonight would be that time that we would get a point of three, but hopefully we can build on the effort we had tonight and push forward for Saturday.”
•    The Impact started three academy graduates in the back four -- Maxim Tissot, Wandrille Lefevre and Karl Ouimette. It was the first time all three started a league match together (they did play the entire CONCACAF Champions League on Sept. 24 vs. Heredia of Guatemala). The trio entered the match with nine career MLS appearances combined.
•    “Maybe Max [Tissot] struggled a bit physically at the end, but their right back [Sean Franklin] was good,” Schällibaum said. “I tip my hat to them. That’s why it hurts as well: If we’re worse than them and we lose without creating chances, OK. But today, we had something in our hands which we let slip.”
•    Andrea Pisanu made his first start since June 15, playing the full match wide on the right of midfield.
•    Despite the long winless run, with a win vs. Philadelphia and the failure of the New England Revolution to win, the Impact will claim an MLS Cup Playoffs berth in just their second season.
•    “You can’t get tired, there are only two games left. The only reason to play these games is to get to this point, where you are in the fight for the playoffs,” Bush said. “Obviously we have stumbled to a point we are in a playoff push now, but at the same time, if you looked at the start of the season and said ‘hey there are two games left, and we are tied for fourth or sixth right now’, you know we will take that, it gives us a shot to get in the playoffs. Saturday is a six-point game for sure.”
•    The Impact return home riding a three-game losing streak at Stade Saputo, the club’s longest in their home ground. Their last goal in a home game came Sept. 14 in a 2-1 loss to Columbus, now 247 minutes since scoring on their home ground.
•    “Philadelphia is a team that is chasing us and we need to fend them off at home,” Bush said. “We need to find our way at home, I think we have lost our last three games at home, we need to find the form we had early at the season at home, feed off the fans and the atmosphere that will be there on Saturday because they know it is a big game and we know it is a big game.”

The Philadelphia Union extended their undefeated streak to three matches with another dramatic late goal, this time for a 1-1 draw with D.C. United on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. Union are in a tie for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 46 points from 32 matches.

•    United took the lead in the 36th minute. Played into the attacking third by Lewis Neal, Nick DeLeon found space between two Union defenders and blast a 30-yard shot into the far upper corner of the net past diving goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
•    But the visitors snatched a crucial draw on the stroke of full time. After coming on as a substitute in the 73rd minute, Jack McInerney nodded a Kleberson cross from the heart of the penalty area past D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid for the equalizer.
•    Union team manager John Hackworth made three changes to the team that took a late 1-0 victory against Toronto FC at PPL Park. Sebastien Le Toux, Keon Daniel and Jose Kleberson came into the side, in place of Jack McInerney and the suspended Sheanon Williams and Fabinho.
•    PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-4-1-1): Zac MacMath - Sebastien Le Toux (Matt Kassel 16 / Jack McInerney 73), Amobi Okugo, Jeff Parke, Raymon Gaddis - Danny Cruz, Keon Daniel (Antoine Hoppenot 46), Brian Carroll, Michael Farfan - Jose Kleberson - Conor Casey.

•    Union have scored four goals in the 90th minute or later, to secure five total points from a win and three draws. They have scored 13 goals from the 76th minute onward.
•    Jack McInerney scored his first league goal since June 1, bringing Union back for the vital draw at D.C. United. The equalizing goal came in the 90th minute; it was McInerney’s third goal this season scored in the 90th minute or later, of his 11 goals in MLS play.
•    “It’s been tough,” McInerney said. “And the longer it goes the more frustrating it gets. But you’ve just got to keep fighting and pushing. I’ve proven I can score and I just had to keep my head up and keep going. Now that I got this one, hopefully they can keep coming.”
•    “I’m really happy for Jack,” Union manager John Hackworth said. “For him to come off the bench and get a goal, to get the monkey off his back, if you will, and get us a really important point on the road, it’s great for Jack.”
•    After scoring the game-winning goal in second-half stoppage time the week before vs. Toronto FC, José Kléberson made his first start since June 1, coming into the side in an underneath role behind lone striker Conor Casey.
•    With two defenders suspended in Sheanon Williams and Fabinho, Sebastien Le Toux was given the start at right back. But he played just 16 minutes before being forced from the field with a nagging foot injury.
•    “I’m definitely questionable for this weekend. It’s kind of day-to-day. I could feel better tomorrow but there’s stuff I can’t do like cutting, which still hurts a lot. This has never happened to me before so I don’t know what to expect,” Le Toux said.
•    In his place, Matt Kassel made his first MLS appearance since July 12 before coming off late in the match for McInerney.
•    “[Kassel] came on in a really tough situation, played extremely well. [We] made a switch at halftime to kind of go to a version of three in the back and he did a great job,” said Hackworth. “Those guys kept us in the game so that a guy like McInerney and Antoine [Hoppenot] could come on and make a difference and eventually get that equalizer.”
•    Brian Carroll made his 300th league appearance in his 10th MLS season, playing the full match in the center of midfield.
•    “I like the fact that I’ve been able to accomplish it, but a win would have been nicer,” Carroll said. “Jack [McInerney] rescues us and we found a way, which is a good sign, to stay alive in the season and now we have to find a way to go to Montreal and get one or three [points].”

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