Montreal Impact vs. Chicago Fire | MLS Match Preview

April 12, 2014 (WEEK 6, MLS Game #44)
4 p.m. ET (TVA; My50 Chi)

A pair of clubs still looking for their first victories of the new season meet as the Montreal Impact play host to the Chicago Fire on Saturday afternoon at Olympic Stadium. It will be the first match for Impact head coach Frank Klopas against his former club, coming off a second consecutive draw, a 2-2 home result with New York last weekend. The Fire have played to four consecutive draws, last weekend reaching a 2-2 result at home with Philadelphia Union.

REFEREE: Jose Carlos Rivero. AR1 (bench): Daniel Belleau; AR2 (opposite): Scott Kachmarik; 4th: Drew Fischer
MLS Career: 21 games; FC/gm: 27.3; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 6; pens: 11


ALL-TIME (5 meetings): Impact 1 win, 7 goals … Fire 2 wins, 8 goals … Ties 2
AT MONTREAL: (2 meetings): Impact 1 win, 3 goals … Fire 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 1
RETURN MATCHES: 8/16: Montreal Impact vs. Chicago Fire, 6:30 p.m. ET; 10/5: Chicago Fire vs. Montreal Impact, 4 p.m. CT

4/27: MTL 2, CHI 0 (Romero 57; Di Vaio 76)
8/10: CHI 2, MTL 1 (Lindpere 6; Duka 23 – Martins 57)
9/28: CHI 2, MTL 2 (Magee 57, 73 – Di Vaio 25; Tissot 87)

  • The teams split their three-game series a season ago, each winning on their home ground before the clubs reached a 2-2 draw at Toyota Park on Sept. 28.
  • The visiting team has never won in the series in five all-time meetings.
  • Coaches record: Frank Klopas vs. CHI: first game … Frank Yallop vs. MTL: P2 W0 L1 T1

The Montreal Impact collected a second draw in as many matches, coming back for a 2-2 tie with the New York Red Bulls on Saturday afternoon at Stade Olympique. The Impact are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with two points from five games.


  • Montreal got off to a glorious start. From the midfield, Felipe slipped the ball behind the New York back line for Andres Romero, who curled it in off the far post.
  • But the Red Bulls pulled even in the 31st minute. Lloyd Sam hooked a cross from the right over Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins for an onrushing Jonny Steele, who deftly volleyed the ball into an empty net.
  • New York took the lead three minutes later, as Steele took advantage of a giveaway, swiftly putting Peguy Luyindula through on goal, who made no mistake by powering his shot past Perkins.
  • The Red Bulls had a tremendous chance to double the lead early in the second half when Matteo Ferrari brought Bradley Wright-Phillips down in the penalty area. But Luyindula rifled the resulting spot kick squarely off the right post, and Eric Alexander skied the rebound.
  • But the Impact found the leveler in the 59th minute. Felipe hit a pass into the right corner where Justin Mapp ran it down, and then continued racing into the box, where he timed his run perfectly to nod home the Mapp cross.
  • Impact head coach Frank Klopas made no changes to the team that came back for a late 1-1 draw with Philadelphia Union at PPL Park.
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Troy Perkins - Eric Miller, Matteo Ferrari, Hassoun Camara, Heath Pearce - Hernan Bernardello (Patrice Bernier 72), Collen Warner - Justin Mapp, Felipe Martins (Santiago Gonzalez 90), Andres Romero (Blake Smith 85) - Marco Di Vaio.


  • The Impact are still looking for their first victory in 2014, having reached draws in their last two matches following three losses to start the season, after a 2-2 result with New York over the weekend.
  • “If you look at just the numbers, we have 21 attempts on goal to 13 for New York,” said Impact head coach Frank Klopas. “We have been talking all week about transitions and playing the ball quick to our forwards and finding the gaps in between. In the second half, we had more possession and the guys really pushed the game and scored some fantastic goals. For now, we have to keep working and stay positive.”
  • It will be the first meeting for Klopas against his former team. Klopas guided the Fire from 2011-13. Klopas has started his Impact career winless in his first five games ñ just as Jesse Marsch did in 2011.
  • Felipe Martins had a goal and an assist in the same game for the second time in his MLS career, also performing the feat last Aug. 24 vs. Houston. He was also a late substitution, but could be available this weekend for the Chicago game.
  • “His work rate was amazing, the whole game,” Klopas said. “He got in good spots. When we played early in transition and found him and Marco [Di Vaio], I thought we created a lot of chances. We pushed the game in the second half. I'm thankful that it wasn't a pull and more of a cramp. He should be OK for this week.”
  • Justin Mapp recorded his third assist of the season, setting Felipe’s second-half goal, now involved in three of Montreal’s five goals on the season.
  • After his acquisition from Philadelphia Union in exchange for Andrew Wenger, Jack McInerney did not feature for the Impact. He could partner Marco Di Vaio in attack.
  • “We could play them together,” Klopas said. “We’ll see through the week and, obviously, that’s the reason we have him here. I think that they can play well together, but it’s stuff that we have to do at training this week.”
  • There were other injury concerns coming out of the New York match. Hernan Bernardello suffered an ankle injury that forced him off for the final 20 minutes of the game.
  • “It’s day to day,” Klopas said. “His ankle is a bit swollen, but I’m optimistic. We’ll see. He wasn’t out here today. He feels a little bit better, but I think it's a day-to-day decision. We'll see.”

The Chicago Fire recorded their fourth consecutive draw, getting a late leveler for a 2-2 tie with Philadelphia Union on Saturday afternoon at Toyota Park. The Fire sit in a tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with four points from five games.


  • The Fire took the lead in the 16th minute. Quincy Amarikwa won the ball on the left flank before squaring invitingly for Mike Magee, who swept home from close range.
  • But Union were level in the 32nd minute through a fortuitous equalizer. Vincent Nogueira saw his right-footed drive deflected by Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, but right into the path of Maurice Edu, who was able to take the simplest of finishes.
  • Less than seven minutes later, Union held the edge. A dangerous, left-footed in-swinging free kick from Leonardo Fernandes on the right evaded everyone in a crowded penalty area and sailed inside the far post.
  • The Fire found an equalizer with just four minutes remaining, when Juan Luis Anangono rose highest to head Magee’s deep free kick past Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath and into the back of the net.
  • The Fire could have won it at the death in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time, but Magee saw his penalty, and follow-up, saved by MacMath after Anangono had been fouled in the area by Aaron Wheeler.
  • Fire head coach Frank Yallop made two changes to the team that got a late 2-2 draw with D.C. United at RFK Stadium. Lovel Palmer and Patrick Nyarko came into the side, in place of Alex and Benji Joya.
  • CHICAGO FIRE (4-4-2): Sean Johnson - Lovel Palmer, Bakary Soumare, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Greg Cochrane - Patrick Nyarko (Juan Luis Anangono 77), Matt Watson (Alex 57), Jeff Larentowicz, Harry Shipp (Dilly Duka 57) - Quincy Amarikwa, Mike Magee


  • The Fire are looking for their first win of the campaign, following their fourth consecutive draw in the tie with Philadelphia. The MLS record is six consecutive draws, last achieved by the Colorado Rapids during the 2011 season.
  • “I’m still learning about a lot of players, I’m still learning about the squad,” said Fire head coach Frank Yallop. “We’re unbeaten in four, by the way, so that for me is always a good thing for a coach. We haven’t won in five, which is not a good thing, so I try to look positive; we have to look for the next game. I thought we did enough to win this match.”
  • The Fire conceded a second goal this season from a free kick. They have now conceded five goals, of eight total, from set-piece situations.
  • “We’ve been really, really poor; and I wouldn’t say it’s just individual stuff, but really poor on set plays generally, conceding goals,” Yallop said. “We have to clean that up, and it’s something that we’ve been working on, we’ve looked a little bit better at it, but it’s still something that’s hurting us, so we need to address it and keep going.”
  • Making his third consecutive start after missing the opening two matches of the season with a hamstring injury, Mike Magee scored his first goal of 2014, and also added his first assist.
  • “As long as we are not dropping these games at home I feel that the direction we are going is headed towards winning. ... Sometimes when you squeak out these games you don’t deserve to win, it’s unjust, but at the moment we deserved to win, we deserved three points,” Magee said. “We’re not getting it, but I feel like it’s going to translate into wins soon.”
  • After missing out on two matches and coming off the substitutes’ bench the week before, Patrick Nyarko returned to the starting lineup for the first time since the season-opening loss at Chivas USA.
  • I thought Patrick [Nyarko] would be a good matchup for anybody wide. … I thought he had a good first half, he’s not played for a little bit, and I thought he did well. I thought the matchups were good,” said Yallop. “Young Harry [Shipp] plays a little bit inside, so I wanted to maybe have a little bit of balance. I thought we played great for 20 minutes.”
  • After playing consecutive matches in the back four, Matt Watson moved back into a deep-lying central midfield role alongside Jeff Larentowicz.
  • “He’s going to run all day long and he’s been fantastic since he’s gotten here. He’s playing right back where he’s never played before. We put him in the midfield, where he’s more natural, and he’ll run and cover ground and do all those things,” Larentowicz said. “Whatever the coaches decide going forward, it’s good, if it’s Matt, then great.”