ExLink - 08/25/18 - TORvMTL

Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 26

BMO Field — Toronto
August 25 - 8 pm ET

WATCH: TVAS, TSN 4/5, ESPN+

The Canadian Classique, part of 2018's Heineken Rivalry Week, heats up Saturday night as the Montreal Impact come to BMO Field looking to stay above the playoff line in the Eastern Conference against a Toronto FC side that is desperate for a win.

The Impact are coming off a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire, stretching an unbeaten run to three straight games, while the Reds are winless in their last three following a 1-1 draw at San Jose.

In the first meeting between the rivals this season, the Impact won, 1-0, at the Stade Olympique on a goal by Jeisson Vargas just before halftime.

Toronto FC

After the positivity of winning another Canadian Championship and booking a spot back in the Concacaf Champions League, Toronto (6-12-6) went to Avaya Stadium and tied the Earthquakes, 1-1.

Lucas Janson scored on his debut just 10 days after arriving on a loan deal from Argentina to put TFC in front, but Chris Wondolowski leveled in the 77th minute with his 141st career goal, moving him within five of the MLS all-time record.

“You could see he's a smart player, technically clean, understands how to move himself around the field and got himself into a good goal-scoring position,” coach Greg Vanney said of Janson. “He was trying to link up with players. It can only get better with time, getting to know the group, and tactically a little more clarity for him, but all signs are positive. You can tell he's a worker, enjoys the running, good acceleration, quick, shifty. We've seen him in some finishing prior to the game: both feet, efficient with the ball.”

  • Suspended: F - Jozy Altidore 
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Auro (hamstring injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-1-2, right to left)
GK: Aex Bono — Justin Morrow, Eriq Zavaleta, Chris Mavinga, Ashtone Morgan — Jay Chapman, Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio — Marky Delgado — Lucas Janson, Sebastian Giovinco

Montreal Impact

Montreal (10-13-3) pulled out a late home win over the Fire to move back above the playoff line Saturday night.

Ignacio Piatti opened the scoring with a 6th minute penalty kick canceled out by Nemanja Nikolic’s equalizer in the 70th minute. Just when it appeared the Eastern Conference foes would share the points, Daniel Lovitz volleyed in the stoppage-time winner for the Impact. It was the fullback’s first MLS goal in five years in the league.

“I didn’t know what form it would take, I just knew that it would come,” Lovitz said. “Five years of thinking it’s going to be this game, it’s going to be this game. When I became a defender I thought chances were going to harder to come by and some nights you just have to be in the right place in the right time and believe in what you’re doing and it came off.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: D - Chris Duvall
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - David Choiniere (ankle surgery), D - Kyle Fisher (quad injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Evan Bush — Bacary Sagna, Rod Fanni, Rudy Camacho, Daniel Lovitz — Ken Krolicki, Samuel Piette, Saphir Taider — Alejandro Silva, Matteo Mancosu, Ignacio Piatti

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Toronto FC 8 wins, 29 goals … Montreal Impact 6 wins, 22 goals … 4 draws
  • At Toronto: Toronto FC 4 wins, 14 goals … Impact 2 wins, 12 goals … 3 draws
  • Last meeting at Toronto: Toronto FC 1, Montreal Impact 0 (Oct. 15, 2017)

Officials

Referee: Mark Geiger
Assistant Referees: Joe Fletcher, Logan Brown
4th Official: Dave Gantar
VAR: Geoff Gamble

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