Preview: Impact hosts the Portland Timbers at Olympic Stadium on Saturday afternoon

Team looking to set the pace at home against physical opponent

Montreal Impact – Portland Timbers
Saturday, April 28, 2012, 2pm (ET)
Olympic Stadium, Montreal
TV Broadcast: TVA Sports
Radio Broadcast: CJAD 800
Also available on: illico Mobile, illico Web and MLS Live

MONTREAL, Quebec – Following a 10-day break from regular season action, the Montreal Impact (1-5-2) hosts the Portland Timbers (2-4-1) on Saturday at 2pm (ET), at Olympic Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on TVA Sports and CJAD 800 AM. The game is also available on illico Mobile, illico Web and MLS Live.

For this game the Impact is offering a family package of four (4) tickets for the price of two (2) for two (2) adults and two (2) children under 16 years old. This offer is available in all ticket categories via the Admission Network (admission.com / 514-790-1245), as well as the ticket offices at Stade Saputo and the Olympic Stadium.

Pregame comments vs. Timbers

News and quotes

This will be the Impact’s ninth game of the season, but only its third at home. The Impact is unbeaten at home with a draw versus Chicago and a win against Toronto.

DOWNLOAD GAME GUIDE, as of April 26 (PDF)

“Any time we play at home, we want to set the pace,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “It’s going to be demanding Saturday as they are a physical team. Our goal is to play our game, make it difficult on them from the start, get goals and get the lead.”

“I think our team has been seeing plenty of opportunities, so the goals will come,” said Davy Arnaud. “I would be worried if we weren’t getting those chances. We’ve been put in a really tough situation with the number of games we’ve played in a short period of time, and how many we’ve started with on the road. How we’ve handled ourselves has been very positive, especially for a new group.”

The Impact’s last game on April 18 ended in a 1-1 draw with D.C. United, when forward Bernardo Corradi scored his second goal in as many games.

Winless in their first three road matches (0-2-1), the Timbers are coming off of a 1-0 win last Saturday against Sporting Kansas City at home, the Eastern Conference leaders. In 2011, Portland almost clinched a playoff spot, finishing 6th in the Western Conference standings.

“We will have to match their intensity,” said defender Tyson Wahl. “That’s why they were good last year. They are a skilled team that plays physical, and they thrive off of that. They also have some speedy guys, so we have to be ready.”

Former Scottish international Kris Boyd joined Portland as a Designated Player in the offseason, and has scored three goals thus far in 2012, while setting up the own goal game winner against Sporting KC last weekend. Young midfielder Darlington Nagbe also scored three goals so far this season. Eric Alexander has tallied three assists.

Forward Mike Fucito, who played one game with the Impact this season, was traded to the Portland Timbers on April 20. As per the trade agreement, Fucito will not be available for the game tomorrow.

The Impact and the Timbers met 15 times in the North American second division, between 2001 and 2010, with Montreal having a 4-8-3 record (8GF, 16GA). More recently, both teams played to a physical 0-0 draw during preseason camp in California, on February 10, 2012.

Next game

On the road to the CONCACAF Champions League, the Impact will play its next game on Wednesday, May 2, at Olympic Stadium, against Toronto FC in the first leg of the 2012 Amway Canadian Championship at 8pm.

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.

Game Notes

  • Three Impact players have played all 720 minutes since the start of the season: goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, defender Matteo Ferrari and midfielder Felipe.
  • Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts is currently tied for fourth amongst MLS goalkeepers with 23 saves.
  • Midfielder Davy Arnaud surpassed the 20,000 minutes played plateau last game against D.C. United. He also needs two more appearances to reach 250 career games.
  • The Montreal Impact is currently first in MLS with 123 fouls committed, while sitting in second place for shots on goal with 40 and third in total shots with 110.
  • Impact midfielder Collen Warner scored two goals in six games with the Portland Timbers U23’s of the USL Premier Development League in 2009. He also played three years with the University of Portland, concluding his career with 20 goals and 20 assists for a total of 60 points in 79 games.
  • The Timbers announced on Wednesday that the club signed Scottish defender Steven Smith. Smith, 26, will be added to Portland’s roster pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC). Midfielder James Marcelin was waived in conjunction with Smith’s signing.
  • Timbers forward Eddie Johnson announced his retirement from professional soccer on April 20. Johnson, 27, retires after a 10-year professional career, playing for clubs in England and the United States.
  • Timbers assistant coach Cameron Knowles played for both the Timbers (2007-2010) and the Impact (2011) in the second division.
  • Injury Report: OUT: FW Miguel Montano (proximal tib fib sprain); DOUBTFUL: D Gienir Garcia, (left knee contusion), F Justin Braun (left knee sprain); QUESTIONABLE: D Nelson Rivas (L hamstring strain).
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