CCL Preview : Impact looks to take control of the group with crucial game in San Jose
Scroll to 1:29 to hear Marco Schällibaum's comments in English
SANTA CLARA, California - The Montreal Impact (1-1-0) plays its third of four CONCACAF Champions League group stage matches this Tuesday, against the San Jose Earthquakes (0-0-2), at Buck Shaw Stadium at Santa Clara University, in California. The game will be broadcast live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
The Impact took the first matchup between these two sides at Stade Saputo back on August 7, thanks to 1-0 shutout victory. Defender Hassoun Camara scored a header off of a free-kick. Then a week later, on August 21, the Impact travelled to Guatemala to take on CD Heredia, falling 1-0 after forward Charles Cordova found an 88th minute marker. The Impact was forced to play the entire second half with a man down after Adrian Lopez was issued a red card.
The Impact is second in the group standings with three points. CD Heredia tops the group with two victories, both at home, while the Quakes have lost their first two games.
The matchup will be do-or-die for the Quakes, as anything less than three points will eliminate the MLS side from CCL competition.
Following Tuesday's game, the Impact will face CD Heredia, next Tuesday at Stade Saputo for the final game of the group phase.
The Montreal Impact lost for the first time in five matches last Saturday, at Stade Saputo, falling 2-1 to the Columbus Crew. Designated Player Marco Di Vaio found his league leading 18th goal of the season in the loss.
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However, the Impact is undefeated in its last two road games, tying the Philadelphia Union 0-0 on August 31 before topping the New England Revolution 4-2 on September 8.
In addition, the Impact has never lost to the Earthquakes in three matches played since joining MLS, including a 3-1 victory at Stade Saputo last season, on August 18, as well as a 2-2 draw in San Jose on May 4 and the 1-0 CCL victory at home last month.
Midfielder Collen Warner, who has started both CCL matches so far, is suspended for Tuesday's matchup due to yellow card accumulation (2).
Following a 2012 season that saw the Earthquakes take home the supporters Shield as top team in MLS and forward Chris Wondolowski winning the scoring race with 27, tying the league's all-time single season record, both he and club have struggle in 2013. The team sits in a tie for 7th place with 38 points, five out of a playoff spot, while Wondolowski has managed to find the back of the net just nine times in 2013.
In a game that both teams desperately needed to win, the San Jose Earthquakes and Vancouver Whitecaps played to a 0-0 draw at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday night.
Despite the home draw, San Jose remains unbeaten in their last 14 home matches, having won six straight prior to its matchup with the Whitecaps.
One part of the team's struggles is due to lapses on the defensive side of the ball. The team has allowed 40 goals this season, third worst in the entire league.
Champions League news
Following a 0-0 tie in the first leg in Montreal and a 2-2 tie in the return leg in Vancouver, the Impact won the Voyageurs Cup against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and punched its ticket for the CONCACAF Champions League as Amway Canadian Champions.
In the group phase, the Impact faces the San Jose Earthquakes, winners of the 2012 MLS Supporters Shield, and Guatemalean club CD Heredia, finalists in the Clausura championship after Communicaciones already qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League, over two legs.
The Impact won the first edition of the Canadian championship in 2008 and went on to reach the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal, winning the home leg against Mexican first division club Santos Laguna in front of 55,571 spectators at Olympic Stadium, on February 25, 2009.
The Impact will then return to Stade Saputo to host the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, September 21, at 2pm ET, in a regular season matchup, before taking the field once again at home to host CD Heredia on Tuesday, at 8pm in CCL play.