Preview: Impact faces Columbus at Stade Saputo Sunday at 7:30pm
Montreal Impact – Columbus Crew
Sunday, July 8, 2012 – 7:30pm (ET)
Broadcast: TVA Sports, CJAD 800
Also available on: illico web, illico mobile, MLS Live
MONTREAL, Quebec – The Montreal Impact (5-11-3) plays its second game in a stretch of seven matches in the month July, versus the Columbus Crew (6-5-4) on Sunday, at Stade Saputo, at 7:30pm (ET).
Individual tickets and new special promotions are available for all games at Stade Saputo via impactmontreal.com, or by calling 514-328-3668.
WATCH: Preview vs Columbus
Notes and Quotes
Montreal will try to end a three-game losing streak after consecutive 3-0 losses against Toronto, at home on June 27 and D.C. United last Saturday in Washington, followed up by a 3-1 defeat to Sporting Kansas City last Wednesday. Midfielder Patrice Bernier opened the scoring versus SKC with his fourth goal of the season to tie him for the team lead, before two consecutive penalty kicks were awarded against the Montreal side.
This will be the second matchup of the season for these two clubs. The Impact fell to the Crew on March 24 by a 2-0 score, at Crew Stadium. The Impact went down a man in the early going after defender Jeb Brovsky was shown a red card. The Crew’s midfielder Milovan Mirosevic scored the first goal a few minutes later on a penalty kick.
“Columbus is a physical team,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “They compete and play hard. They are good on set pieces, like a lot of teams in this league. They can command the game. Both teams have grown since the last time we met.”
“We have to go out there and play our game,” said defender Zarek Valentin. “It’s simple, if we make more plays than them, we will win. We have to use the home grass to our advantage. If we get everyone on the same page, we will be successful.”
Defenders Matteo Ferrari and Nelson Rivas, as well as forwards Bernardo Corradi (4G, 1A) and Andrew Wenger (3G) will all miss the game due to injuries.
Midfielders Felipe (3G, 5A) and captain Davy Arnaud (3G, 3A) will also miss the game due to a mandatory one-game suspension following an accumulation of five yellow cards.
“Having Davy and Felipe out will be something we will have to deal with, but we have some magic guys up front,” said defender Jeb Brovsky. “Guys from top to bottom are ready to step in. We need to be a little bit more creative and try to get our lateral defenders to support the attack more.”
Newcomer Alessandro Nesta will not be available for Sunday’s matchup as he is expected to take at least two weeks to return to game form after officially joining the team on Thursday.
The Crew is coming off a 2-0 shutout victory over Real Salt Lake on June 30, with goals by midfielder Tony Tchani, scoring his second in as many games, and forward Eddie Gaven, who’s fourth of the season put in him the team lead.
The Crew recorded a third defensive shutout in the last five games, and have lost just once since the start of May (4-1-3).
The Crew has the stingiest defence in the entire league, having allowed just 15 goals against in 15 games, but has scored only 16. They sit only four points ahead of the Impact in the Eastern Conference standings.
The black and gold may see some of its injured players return to action as Chad Marshall, Dilly Duka, and Carlos Mendes have all participated in training this week.
In addition, the Crew will count on a few new faces in their lineup since these two teams last met. MLS veteran defender, formerly of the LA Galaxy, Chris Birchall (two assists in three games) was brought into the fold, while new signing, Costa Rican striker Jairo Arrieta, will be ready to make his debut for the Crew against the Impact.
The Impact will then play its next game on the road on Saturday, July 14, versus the Philadelphia Union at 7:30pm (ET). The game will be broadcast live on TVA sports, and will be available on illico web, illico mobile and MLS Live.
The club then returns home on Wednesday, July 18, to host the New England Revolution at Stade Saputo, at 8pm. Group packages, as well as 3 or 6 game partial plans are available for the 2012 season by calling 514-328-3668.
The Impact U21 team will play its next game this Sunday at College St-Jean-Vianney, at 2pm, versus the Mississauga Eagles FC, looking to improve on its second place standing in the Canadian Soccer League at 5-1-3. The game is open to the public and admission is free.
INJURY REPORT: OUT - D Matteo Ferrari (Right quad strain), Nelson Rivas (left knee) F Bernardo Corradi (Left knee torn ACL), Andrew Wenger (Left hamstring strain), Evan James (Left ankle sprain).
The Impact has a 3-0-1 record when the team leads at halftime.
Impact Designated Player Marco Di Vaio made his second start in three matches since joining the club, playing his longest shift in MLS with 71 minutes of play against Kansas City.
Midfielder Lamar Neagle, who could start on Sunday, has scored three career goals against Columbus.
Defender Zarek Valentin recorded his first MLS career assist and point last Wednesday, against Kansas City.
The Montreal Impact is currently first among MLS teams with 263 fouls committed, third with 250 shots and sixth with 25 goals
Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts is currently second amongst MLS goalkeepers with 83 shots against and tenth with 48 saves.
Midfielder Davy Arnaud is first in the league with 52 fouls suffered.
Midfielder Sanna Nyassi has already been shown four yellow cards in regular season play, and will have to serve a one-game suspension following his next caution.