Preview: Impact takes on the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park this Saturday
Chicago Fire – Montreal Impact
Saturday, September 15, 8:30pm (ET)
Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Illinois
Broadcast: TVA Sports
Also available on: illico web, illico mobile, MLS Live
BRIDGEVIEW, Illinois – With only five games to play in the regular season, the Montreal Impact (12-14-3) will continue to fight for a playoff spot as it visits the Chicago Fire (14-8-5) on Saturday, at 8:30pm (ET), at Toyota Park in Bridgeview Illinois. The game will be broadcast live on TVA sports and is available on illico web, illico mobile and MLS Live.
The Impact currently sits in 7th spot with 39 points, three points only from a playoff spot. Chicago is second in the Eastern conference with 47 points. The Fire is 5-1 in its last six games, and has won its last five games at home, with a record of 9-2-2 overall at Toyota Park.
This will be the second and final matchup of the season between these two clubs. The Impact played the Fire way back on March 27 in its home opener at Olympic Stadium. Impact captain Davy Arnaud scored the club’s first ever goal in MLS, while Dominic Oduro equalized for the Fire.
Preview: Three points on the table for MTL
The Impact is coming off of two-week regular season break that followed its first loss in six games. In its last match, the Impact lost 2-1 versus the Crew in Columbus, on September 1.
Prior to the loss, the Impact went on a five-game winning streak, including a second road win this season back on August 12 in a 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution. Midfielder Sana Nyassi (5G) scored the game-winning goal on an individual effort that earned him Goal of the Week honours.
Defender Nelson Rivas made his return to the starting lineup following a three-game suspension. Defender Hassoun Camara will also be available for the first time since serving a two-game suspension that resulted from a red card ejection versus the San Jose Earthquakes.
Midfielder Patrice Bernier, who was named the MLS Player of the Month as well as Canada Soccer’s Player of the Month for August, and defender Shavar Thomas returned on Wednesday from national team duty.
Midfielder Justin Mapp is expected to make his return to the lineup following a groin injury that has sidelined him for almost four weeks.
Impact head coach Jesse Marsch returns to Chicago for the first time as a coach in MLS. The U.S. midfielder played the better part of seven seasons with the Fire, winning five titles, including the MLS Cup in the club’s expansion season in 1998.
Chicago is coming off a midweek fixture versus Toronto FC at BMO Field, beating the Reds 2-1 off of goals by midseason acquisitions Alvaro Fernandez and Chris Rolfe. The win brings the Fire within four points of first place in the Eastern Conference.
Fernandez was acquired from the Seattle Sounders back on July 27 in return for allocation money. The Uruguayan midfielder became the second Designated Player to join the fire that week as the club signed Dutch striker Sherjill MacDonald. Fernandez has one goal in six games for Chicago, while MacDonald has a goal and two assists in seven games played.
The club also brought back Rolfe from a two-year stint in Denmark in April. In 15 games this season, the striker has scored six goals, adding one assist, and is one of the club’s all-time leading scorers with 42 career goals. He has scored five of his six goals this season since his return to Major League Soccer over the last seven games.
Former German international defender Arne Friedrich also joined the Fire in April. The 32-year-old has played in 17 games for the Fire, scoring once, and commanding Chicago’s backline.
The Impact will return home to play its second to last regular season game at Stade Saputo against Sporting Kansas City on September 22, at 1pm (ET). Individual tickets for games at Stade Saputo are available via the Admission Network. The Impact and Centraide are organizing a celebrity game that will be played right after the matchup versus Kansas City.
Academy in action this weekend
The Montreal Impact U21 team (8-3-5) hopes to improve on its three game winning streak as it travels to Toronto to play two games in two days this weekend. The U21s will face TFC Academy (10-4-4) on Friday night, 8pm ET, at Downsview Park, and then travel to Kalar to take on Niagara United (7-8-3) on Saturday, at 7pm ET.
The Montreal Impact U16 and U18 teams will play their first ever home opener in the US Development Academy this Sunday at Saint-Jean-Vianney Sports Complex, against FC Bolts Celtic. The U18 side plays at noon, while the U16 squad hits the field at 2pm.
Both games are open to the public and admission is free.
- The Impact has won seven of its last 10 games.
- 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.
- Midfielder Felipe leads the team and is sixth in the league with 10 assists, while teammate Patrice Bernier is tied for ninth with eight assists.
- Bernier is also tied for third in the league with four game-winning assists.
- Goalkeeper Troy Perkins is currently tied for sixth in MLS with 81 saves and seventh with 122 shots faced.
- Designated Player Marco Di Vaio is currently on a three-game goal scoring streak, tying a club record set earlier this season by Bernardo Corradi.
- Midfielder Collen Warner has played in the Impact’s last 19 games, tying a club record set earlier this season by Davy Arnaud and Felipe.