Preview: The Impact hosts the Chicago Fire in its first ever home game in MLS this Saturday
Montreal Impact – Chicago Fire
Saturday, March 17, 2012, 2pm (ET)
Olympic Stadium, Montreal, QC
Television : RDS, TSN
Radio : CJAD 800, 98,5 FM
MONTREAL, Québec – Major League Soccer finally makes its debut in Montreal.
The Montreal Impact will play its first ever game in MLS, this Saturday against the Chicago Fire, at Olympic Stadium, at 2pm (ET). The game will be broadcast live on TSN, RDS, as well as on radio with CJAD 800 and 98.5 FM. The game is also available live on illico mobile.
The team started the season on the road, last Saturday, in Vancouver, losing 2-0 to the Whitecaps.
The Impact took part in a training session on Tuesday in front of more than 2,000 supporters for its open house event. The team took part to its last training session Friday afternoon.
WATCH: Marsch excited for home opener
“We are trying to have a balance and consistency,” said the Montreal Impact head coach Jesse Marsch, about the starting lineup. “We’re just getting started with games. Our decisions are not based on last week’s result.”
“I hope we’re better than last week in every aspect of the game,” he admitted. “We talked about the things we needed to address to be better. Now we’ll be at home in front of our home crowd with one game under our belt. We’ll be less nervous, we’ll be able to focus on just the game at hand.”
Captain Davy Arnaud counts on the support of the 12th man.
"The crowd is going to be a big plus for us, and we need to make sure that we take advantage of that,” said the midfielder. “Chicago is coming into our home and we’re going to have a lot of people behind us. We need to focus on the things we do well.”
According to forward Justin Braun, the team prepared well this week for the game.
“The guys came and we fine-tuned a few things ahead of tomorrow’s encounter, said the forward. It was amazing to see the number of fans during Thursday’s practice. I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like tomorrow.”
As for the opposition, Braun believes that Chicago will rely mostly on their speed to counter.
“They have a few fast guys, like Dominic Oduro,” he explained. “It’s up to us to be ready for those long balls over the top. We’ve worked on that throughout the week.”
IMPORTANT : Single-game tickets bought over the phone or on the Internet, as well as Season Tickets can be picked up at Olympic Stadium, starting Saturday morning, at 9am.
- More than 54,000 tickets have been sold for the game on Saturday. That means 6,000 tickets are still available, including some good seats in the grandstands at field level. Single game tickets for the five games at Olympic Stadium are available via the Admission Network.
- The Impact will try to break the attendance record for a professional soccer game in Montreal, set by the thirty years ago when the Montreal Manic beat the Chicago Sting in front of 58,542 supporters, in 1981.
- Newcomer Bernardo Corradi will be available for the game as the Impact has recievd is International transfer certificate.
- Head coach Jesse Marsch played 200 regular season games with the Chicago Fire, from 1998 to 2005, winning the MLS Cup and the Supporters Shield as well as the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on three occasions.
- Impact assistant coach Denis Hamlett started his coaching career as an assistant with Chicago, serving from 1998 to 2007, where he won the MLS Cup in 1998, a Supporters’ Shield in 2003 and four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championships in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006. He was the Fire’s head coach in 2008 and 2009, helping the team to back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals, as well as the 2009 SuperLiga Final, going 24-17-19 in regular season play and 30-22-22 across all competitions.
- Midfielder Justin Mapp played eight seasons with the Fire, from 2003 to 2010, scoring 14 goals in 174 games. He also helped the team win the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2003 and 2006.
- Then a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Fire goalkeeper Jay Nolly started both home and away games against the Impact in the 2011 Nutrilite Canadian Championship.
- This is also the season opener for the Chicago Fire, which is playing its 15th MLS season.
- In 2011, the Fire ties its MLS season opener 1-1 against FC Dallas, at Frisco, in Texas.
Season tickets are available online at impactmontreal.com or by calling 514-328-3668 while individual tickets for the home opener and all five games presented at Olympic Stadium are also available through the Admission network.