Sporting Kansas City vs. Montreal Impact | MLS Match Preview

SPORTING PARK, Kansas City, Kan.
April 19, 2014 (WEEK 7, MLS Game #59)
7:30 p.m. CT (KMCI-38; TVA)

A pair of clubs who have had a brief tempestuous relationship meet when Sporting Kansas City play host to the Montréal Impact on Saturday evening at Sporting Park. SKC return to action after a weekend off, their last match a scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake in a rematch of MLS Cup 2013. The Impact are looking for their first win of 2014, reaching a third consecutive draw last week with a 1-1 result at the Chicago Fire.

REFEREE: Hilario Grajeda. AR1 (bench): Ian Anderson; AR2 (opposite): Jeff Muschik; 4th: Jair Marrufo
MLS Career: 101 games; FC/gm: 24.3; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 18; pens: 15

SUSPENDED: KC: Oriol Rosell (through April 19)
DISABLED LIST: KC: Peterson Joseph, Ike Opara

ALL-TIME (6 meetings): Sporting 2 wins, 6 goals … Impact 3 wins, 6 goals … Ties 1
AT KC (3 meetings): Sporting 2 wins, 6 goals … Impact 3 wins, 6 goals … Ties 1
RETURN MATCHES: 5/10: Montreal Impact vs. Sporting Kansas City, 4 p.m. ET; 7/12: Montreal Impact vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7:30 p.m. ET

3/30: KC 2, MTL 0 (Bieler 5; Zusi 80)
6/1: KC 1, MTL 2 (Bieler 49+ -- Nyassi 47; Warner 53)
7/27: MTL 1, KC 0 (Smith 96+)

  • The Impact have won each of the last two meetings between the clubs, including a 2-1 victory last June 1, the only encounter between the teams at Sporting Park.
  • The Impact have won twice on their visits to Kansas City, winning in each of their two MLS seasons. Sporting won in 2012 in their first trip ever to Montréal.
  • Coaches record: Peter Vermes vs. MTL: P6 W2 L3 D1 … Frank Klopas vs. KC: P7 W3 L2 D2

Sporting Kansas City return to action following a weekend off, their last match a scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake in an MLS Cup 2013 rematch on April 5 at Sporting Park. Sporting sit in second place in the Eastern Conference with 8 points from 5 games.


  • RSL goalkeeper Jeff Attinella was called upon to make nine saves, and was also saved by the woodwork on a Dom Dwyer opportunity midway through the second half. Sporting goalkeeper Eric Kronberg was forced to make just one save as Real managed only four total attempts at goal.
  • Sporting finished the game a man down after defensive midfielder Oriol Rosell was sent off in the 83rd minute by referee Armando Villarreal for a tackle on Devon Sandoval.
  • Sporting manager Peter Vermes made three changes to the team that got a late winner for a 3-2 victory against the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Chance Myers and Aurelien Collin came into the back four for Kevin Ellis and Ike Opara, and Dom Dwyer started up top for Claudio Bieler.
  • SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-2-3): Eric Kronberg - Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic - Oriol Rosell (ejected 83) - Benny Feilhaber, Paulo Nagamura (Lawrence Olum 85) - Sal Zizzo (Antonio Dovale 80), Dom Dwyer (Claudio Bieler 76), Graham Zusi.


  • The draw vs. Real Salt Lake extended Sporting’s undefeated streak to four games (two wins and two draws), since an opening day loss at Seattle.
  • “I think we had 20 shots, a tremendous performance by the guys. I think that we were very difficult to play against defensively. The only thing that I can say is we didn't score,” said SKC manager Peter Vermes. Outside of that, it was a great performance. If we continue to play like we did tonight on a regular basis, we are going to win a lot of games.”
  • Chance Myers made his first start of the season, at right back, meaning for the first time this season the nominal first-choice SKC back four of Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler and Seth Sinovic was together.
  • “The more options we have, the better team we are. We are starting to get everyone back and that is pushing guys at different spots. That is the first time Chance [Myers] was out there, and that's been our normal back line. I thought we performed well,” said Besler.
  • Added Vermes: “[Myers] went 90 minutes, which I wasn't sure he was going to. But while the game was playing, I never thought twice that he was going to die out or something. He looked very good, and I thought he managed the game very well for his first game back. … It's a consistency within the team. That consistency within the team has always been an important aspect, and they understand the movements of each other and how to cover each other, and that familiarity is an important thing within any team.”
  • But the depth in the back four will be tested after Ike Opara was lost for the season, after he underwent to repair a chondral defect in his right ankle following a knock suffered in the March 29 game vs. Colorado.
  • “It's a very serious injury in our sport,” manager Peter Vermes said. “It's in a place where two bones come together. It's going to take a while for him to come back from, No. 1. No. 2 is, it's going to be a situation where he could have some lasting issues over the years. I just hope that everything gets done right and he comes back from his recovery well. It's not going to be an easy injury to come back from.”
  • With Opara out, holding midfielder Lawrence Olum will likely be the first choice to slot into the spot. 16-year-old Homegrown defender Erik Palmer-Brown could also figure. “Erik's going to have to be a part of it,” Vermes said. “He's going to have to step up a little quicker.”

The Montréal Impact saw their season-opening winless run extended but played to a third consecutive draw, reaching a 1-1 result with the Chicago Fire on Saturday afternoon at Stade Olympique. The Impact are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 3 points from 6 games.


  • The Impact took the lead in the 43rd minute. From the center of the field, Marco Di Vaio’s one-time pass released an onrushing Jack McInerney behind the Chicago defense, and he finished on the run past goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
  • But the Fire equalized in the 54th minute. A Jeff Larentowicz header off a Harrison Shipp corner bounced off the far post, but the ball fell to Mike Magee who hooked it with his left foot to Amarikwa, and he powered home from six yards out.
  • Impact head coach Frank Klopas made two changes to the team that came back for a 2-2 tie with the New York Red Bulls at Olympic Stadium. Karl Ouimette came into central defense in place of Hassoun Camara, and Jack McInerney started in place of Hernan Bernardello.
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-3-1-2): Troy Perkins - Eric Miller, Karl Ouimette, Matteo Ferrari, Heath Pearce (Hassoun Camara 46) - Justin Mapp, Collen Warner (Calum Mallace 85), Andres Romero (Patrice Bernier 46) - Felipe Martins - Marco Di Vaio, Jack McInerney.


  • The Impact saw their season-opening winless streak extended to six games – but played to a draw for a third consecutive game.
  • “I felt there was really not a lot of energy to the game, playing at home, pushing the game. We seemed a little bit heavy-legged, tired. I really can’t explain it, because we had a good week of preparation and we came out to the game and I felt we were pretty flat,” Impact head coach Frank Klopas said. “… (I)t wasn’t what it should have been, but you walk away with a point. It’s not what we want, but it’s stuff to build on.”
  • Jack McInerney scored in his first game since coming to the club in a trade with Philadelphia, opening the scoring in the first half.
  • “It’s good to get the first goal out of the way. It felt good to help the team earn a point,” said McInerney. “It’s one of those games where you get dominated and Di Vaio comes up and wins the game for you at the end of the game, but today the game didn’t play in our favor.”
  • After playing with a lone striker in each of the first five matches of the season, Klopas ran out McInerney and Marco Di Vaio as a strike pair, with Felipe Martins playing underneath as the playmaking midfielder.
  • “Every game is going to be different. We’re trying different players in different formations and going into the week, we’re looking at who isn’t in their best form to be able to give a good performance,” Klopas said. “So we have to be fair with the players based on who performed best during the training sessions and who showed more energy. Sometimes you go into a game and feel good and leave without a result, so you have to keep working on changes.”
  • After the halftime break, when Klopas brought on Patrice Bernier in place of Andres Romero, McInerney moved into a wide role.
  • “The thing is I wanted to control the middle of the game a little bit more, bringing Patrice [Bernier] in there and pulling Jack out wide was almost like another striker wide, like a 4-3-3 that can come in between, because I felt there were big gaps with the center backs and their lines in the back,” Klopas said.
  • The Impact conceded a third goal this season on a set piece opportunity. Two have come from free kicks, the third scored by Chicago on a corner kick (the Impact have also conceded a goal on a penalty kick).
  • “We have assignments, and we have to stay with our assignments,” Klopas said. “Out of nothing, you see we lose the ball, they get a set piece and we give up a goal like that. It’s an area of the game we need to keep working on and improving because, obviously, it can change the games. Winning or losing.” Said defender Karl W. Ouimette: “You’ve got to follow your guy and not let him go. You also can’t afford conceding a foul, because MLS is increasingly clamping down on holding in the box. You really just have to work on those plays.”

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