Preview: Impact faces Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium Saturday
Houston Dynamo – Montreal Impact
Saturday, July 21, 2012 – 8:30pm (ET)
BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston
Broadcast: TVA Sports
Also available on: illico web, illico mobile, MLS Live
MONTREAL, Quebec – The Montreal Impact (7-12-3) visits the lone star state to take on the Houston Dynamo (8-5-7) on Saturday, at 8:30pm (ET) at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Impact sits in 6th place in the Eastern Conference, seven points behind the Dynamo which is holding down the fourth spot.
The Impact will conclude a sequence of 10 regular season games in only 36 days, which started with the first game at Stade Saputo, on June 16.
This will be the second meeting between the two clubs this season. The first, played at Stade Saputo back on June 23, ended in a 4-2 win. Midfielders Sanna Nyassi, Davy Arnaud, Patrice Bernier, along with defender Hassoun Camara scored in that victory.
“We are going down to Houston with the mentality that it’s going to be a real battle,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “This is an important game for both teams. We have to go down there and be ready for a fight. I expect a lot of emotion based on what it means for both teams and the way it ended last game.”
“There is a lot of heat in Houston, and they are strong at home, so it’s going to be a very tough game,” said midfielder Patrice Bernier. “It is conference rival, so if we beat them, we get closer to them in the standings. They may have last game in the back of their minds, but for us, all games are important at this stage.”
“We understand the importance of this game and we are well prepared,” said Impact midfielder Felipe, who was on the end of a dangerous foul that resulted in a red card for Houston midfielder Adam Moffat during the last meeting. “We know that last game was physical, but we can’t worry about them. We have to make sure we play our game and when we do, we get results.”
The Impact won its second home game in a row on Wednesday, beating the New England Revolution 2-1 at Stade Saputo. Nyassi (3G, 2A) scored on a nice volley, while Bernier (6G, 5A) scored his team-leading 6th goal of the season on a PK. Despite the home success, the Impact is still looking for its second win on the road.
In its last game on the road, the Impact fell to the Philadelphia Union 2-1 last Saturday, having given up the winning goal in stoppage time.
The Impact has allowed only four goals over the past three games and has already scored 30 goals this season, 10 goals short of the expansion record set by the Portland Timbers in 2011 with 40.
The Impact's new acquisition, Italian defender Alessandro Nesta, has made the trip to Texas.
The Houston Dynamo is also coming off of a victory Wednesday night, defeating Sporting Kansas City 2-1 at BBVA Compass Stadium. With the win, the Dynamo is unbeaten at home in 2012 (6-0-3). Over the nine games, the Dynamo has scored 17 goals, having allowed just eight against, with only one of those games ending with more than a single goal conceded for the visitors. The victory extended the Dynamo’s league home unbeaten streak to 17 games, tied for the fifth-longest in MLS history.
The matchup will feature Brian Ching, originally selected by the Impact in the 2011 Expansion Draft. The former U.S. international has scored 97 goals in over 200 games in MLS, but has scored only three times in 19 appearances this season.
Ching’s attacking partner, Will Bruin, continues to roll, having now scored 10 goals, which has him tied in third place in the league with the Red Bulls’ Thierry Henry and RSL’s Alvaro Saborio.
Dynamo defender Andre Hainault, who hails from Quebec, should also be part of the starting lineup.
Honduran international Boniek Garcia joined the Dynamo after the transfer window opened in June as a Designated Player. Garcia has played five games with the Dynamo, scoring one goal and adding two assists. It won’t be the first time that Garcia will face the Impact. The midfielder took part in both group stage matches of the 2008-2009 CONCACAF Champions League for Hondurian club C.D. Olimpia.
Defender Geoff Cameron is on the verge of signing with English Premier League club Stoke City. "The transfer agreement we will sign is pending the player reaching a contract with Stoke City and the player obtaining a work permit”, said Club president Chris Canetti to MLSsoccer.com
The Impact returns home to take on Olympique Lyonnais in an international matchup this Tuesday at Stade Saputo, at 7:30pm (ET). Tickets for that game are $25 or less and are available through the Admission Network or the Impact ticket offices. Hot dogs will be available for only $1 from 6 to 7:30pm
Then, Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls visit Montreal for the third and final encounter between these two clubs this season, on Saturday, July 28, at Stade Saputo, at 7:30pm.
Group packages, as well as 3 or 6 game partial plans are still available for the 2012 season by calling 514-328-3668.
The Impact U21 team will host Brampton City United this Saturday at the College St-Jean-Vianney. Admission is free. On the next day, the Impact U21 embarks on a tour of France to play games against the reserve sides of first division clubs from Ligue 1; returning on August 3.
- 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)
- Swiss defender Dennis Iapichino earned his first assist in MLS in his first start on Wednesday versus the Revolution.
- The Montreal Impact is currently first among MLS teams with seven goals on penalty kicks and 279 fouls committed.
- Seven different players have scored winning goal for the Impact, including Hassoun Camara, Patrice Bernier, Felipe, Sanna Nyassi, Justin Mapp, Bernardo Corradi and Andrew Wenger.
- With seven wins so far this season, the Impact has already surpassed the win total of Toronto FC (6 in 2007) and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC (6 in 2011) during their expansion year.
- After receiving 39 cautions in the first 19 games, the Impact has not received a yellow card in its last two games.
- Midfielder Davy Arnaud was born and raised in Nederland, Texas. He played his college soccer at West Texas A&M.
- Defender Shavar Thomas needs 31 minutes to reach 15,000 career minutes in MLS.