Impact hosts Syracuse Wednesday

Impact players have not had an easy time against the Salty Dogs, a team that is into its second A-League season. They have never lost to Syracuse (3-0-2), but the last two meetings against them have ended in 0-0 ties.

And although the Salty Dogs are under the .500 mark (6-7-3), they can still hope to earn a playoff spot. Their 1-0 win over the Charleston Battery, Monday, put them nine points away from fourth place and the Richmond Kickers. They have two games in hand over the Kickers.

"It’s a big week for them, they have very important games and they’ll be looking to get positive results to earn a playoff spot. They’ll be wanting to get on a roll," said DeSantis about Syracuse, who beat Richmond 2-0 in their previous match-up, July 7.

"On our end, we’ll be starting this series at home and we have to take full advantage of it. We have to win all our games at home," added the Impact coach, whose team has a 3-0-2 record so far this season at Claude Robillard Stadium.

The Impact remains in a must-win situation: in spite of its two 1-0 wins over the Rochester Rhinos, last week, the Montreal club (10-2-4 record) remains tied on top of the Eastern Conference with the Rhinos (11-4-1) and the Atlanta Silverbacks (11-3-1).

Three Impact players will miss Wednesday’s game. Midfielder Sandro Grande will serve a one-game suspension for accumulation of yellow cards, while attacking midfielder Mauro Biello and defender Nevio Pizzolitto, who have been called up by the Canadian national team, will face English club Millwall, Wednesday in Vancouver.

"It’s never easy to do without starters, but that’s one of the reasons we recently signed new players," pointed out DeSantis, alluding to midfielder Yuri Lavrynenko and defender Adrian Cann, who were added to the roster last week. "It gives us some depth. Just like at every stage of the season, other players will have to step up."

Goalkeeper Greg Sutton and defender Gabriel Gervais, who like Biello and Pizzolitto played in Canada’s 1-1 tie against Scottish club Hearts, Monday in Vancouver, will be back in time for Wednesday’s game against the Salty Dogs.



Stéphane Banfi
514-328-3668 (ext. 27)