Preview: Impact travels to Columbus to face Crew in third game of the season on Saturday
Montreal Impact – Columbus Crew
Saturday, March 24, 2012, 4pm (ET)
Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Television: TVA Sports
MONTREAL, Quebec – The Montreal Impact will start a three-game sequence on the road as it visits the Columbus Crew this Saturday, at Crew Stadium, at 4pm (ET). The game will be broadcast live on TVA Sports and will also be available on illico Mobile.
WATCH: Team training outdoors
“The guys feel confident based on how we played last game,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “There is a belief and understanding within the group that it’s coming together. We will continue to push the key ideas in training and to prepare ourselves for Columbus. The key is now to maintain the same level of commitment to training whether things go well or not and learn how to maintain the lead when we have it. We’ve been looking at different options all week to plug different guys into different positions to get ready for Saturday.”
“This will be a chance to prove to ourselves than we can be successful on the road,” said Impact defender Jeb Brovsky, who has started the first two games of the season. “Winning on the road is tough in this league, but if we can use the full width of the field to get around the defence, we will do well.”
This will be the club’s third game of its inaugural season, while it will serve as the home opener for the Crew. The Impact lost its season opener 2-0 in Vancouver and then tied the Chicago Fire 1-1 at Olympic Stadium in its home opener last Saturday in front of a record crowd of 58,912 supporters.
Defender Josh Gardner played with Columbus in 2011, starting 21 of 22 games. He finished the season with two goals and two assists while recording a personal-best 1,812 minutes of play.
“I’m excited for the game,” said Gardner. “I haven’t seen some of those guys in four or five months, so it will be good to catch up, but more importantly, put in a good performance and play hard against them.”
Following the game at 4pm, the Impact will face the Crew at 6:30pm in its first of 10 games in the MLS Reserve League. The Impact plays in the Eastern Conference reserve division with the Columbus Crew, D.C. United, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union and Toronto FC.
Following that stint in Columbus, the Impact will play two more road games versus the New York Red Bulls on March 31 and Real Salt Lake on April 4. The Impact will then play its next home game on April 7 against its Canadian rivals, Toronto FC, at noon (ET). Season tickets are still available online at impactmontreal.com or by calling 514-328-3668 while individual for all games presented at the Olympic Stadium are also available through the Admission network.
- The Impact (0-1-1) and the Columbus Crew (0-1-0) will face each other for the very first time. The Impact plays its second road game of the season.
- The Columbus Crew is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, having competed in the league since its inception in 1996. Over that time, it’s won an MLS Cup in 2008, three Supporters’ Shields (2004, 2008, and 2009), three Eastern Conference titles (2004, 2008, and 2009) and a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2002.
- The Crew currently plays its home games at Columbus Crew Stadium, the first soccer-specific stadium ever built by an MLS franchise, with a seating capacity of 20,455.
- Impact Director of Soccer Operations and former MLS goalkeeper Matt Jordan played two seasons in Columbus after joining the Crew in the middle of the 2004 season, helping the team win the Eastern Conference Championship and MLS Supporters Shield.
- Goalkeeper Evan Bush, defender Zarek Valentin and midfielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic played college soccer with the University of Akron Zips, in Ohio.
- Midfielder Felipe was selected to the mlssoccer.com Team of the Week (2), while captain Davy Arnaud’s goal is amongst the candidates for AT&T Goal of the Week (2).
- Midfielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic returned to training this week and is available for game action this Saturday following an injury to his MCL that kept him on the sidelines since the Impact’s final game of the Disney Classic tournament against the Houston Dynamo on March 1.
- Injury Report: OUT - G/K Evan Bush: Left ankle sprain, D Nelson Rivas: Hamstring sprain, D Hassoun Camara: Right quad strain, F Eduardo Sebrango: Left groin strain. PROBABLE - D Gienir Garcia: Left ankle sprain.
Reserve League Info
In 2012, each club plays a total of 10 Reserve League games versus each of its divisional opponents. All players appearing on an MLS Club’s Official Roster may represent their team in MLS Reserve League play. However, no Player shall play more than 120 minutes in a Reserve Team Match and any preceding match that occurs within a 60-hour period. Further, no player shall play more than a combined total of 90 minutes in a Reserve Team Match and any preceding match that occurred within 36 hours prior to such Reserve Team Match.