THE GAME AT A GLANCE
• This is the first of four consecutive games the Impact will play on the road.
• The Impact has not lost in its last four games (2-0-2).
• With 35 points, the Impact is only five points behind first place in the United Soccer Leagues First Division standings, held by the Portland Timbers.
• Forward Charles Gbeke leads the team in points with 14 (7-0-14). He also leads the club in goals (7), game-winning goals (3), shots (54) and fouls (40).
• This is only the second all-time game between both clubs. On July 1, in Quebec City, the Impact was shut out 2-0 by the Victory. Josh Hansen and Yuri Morales had scored the two goals.
• This is the 25th game of the season for the California Victory.
• The Victory was shut out in its last three games: August 11 in Charleston (1-0 loss), August 3 in Carolina (2-0 loss) and July 28 against Puerto Rico (1-0 loss).
• The Victory is 11th in the USL D1 standings with 19 points, tied with the Minnesota Thunder.
• The Victory is last in the standings both offensively and defensively. The Victory has scored only 17 goals so far this season and has conceded 34 goals.
HEAD COACH NICK DE SANTIS
“We want to start this trip with a positive result in California to give confidence and to keep the spirits up in the team. In our first game against California, we lost at home, so there is a sense of pride in wanting to win this time. Even though this team is at the bottom of the standings, it’s important to approach this game like all the other ones, because there is a lot of parity in the league, and so we have to respect all teams.”
TEAM CAPTAIN MAURO BIELLO
“They beat us 2-0 earlier this season, so we can’t take them lightly. We must get some points on their field. Vancouver is our great Canadian rival. Even though they are going through a difficult phase, we know that they will be ready. These are two important games and if we can get more points, it will help us for the last games of the season.”
MIDFIELDER PATRICK LEDUC
“Even though we are approaching the end of the season, all games are important. Being on the road has often brought us closer and more focused on an objective. In this case, it will be to bring back many points, if possible six. When we are closer as a team, we are more concentrated and we play better, so things are looking well.”
• The Impact leads the league, having lost only once on the road, on July 15, in a 3-0 loss in Minnesota against the Thunder. It was also the only time that the Impact was shut out on the road.
• Goalkeeper Jon Paul Piques, defenders David Fronimadis, Hicham Aaboubou and Alex Surprenant, midfielders Antonio Ribeiro, as well as forwards Massimo Di Ioia, Sita-Taty Matondo and Frederico Moojen did not travel with the team on the West Coast.
• Defender Gabriel Gervais is only one game away from the 150 games played in the USL First Division. Note that Gervais played 15 games with the Rochester Rhinos in 2000 and 2001.
• Midfielder Patrick Leduc has played in 20 games for the sixth straight season. The 29-year old veteran is the player who has seen the most action so far this season with 1765 minutes played.
• The Impact is still undefeated this season (6-0-4) when defender Gabriel Gervais starts the game. The team has not lost this year (6-0-5) when team captain Mauro Biello is on the starting line-up.
• The Impact is also undefeated (5-0-3, 10 GF – 2 GA) this season when defenders Mauricio Vincello, Andres Arango, Gabriel Gervais and Simon Gatti are starting the game.
• The first eight out of 12 teams in the standings will take part in post-season play and, as opposed to last year, a bye will no longer be awarded for finishing first or second. The top seeded team will square off against the eighth, the second against the seventh – and so on – in a home and away series on total goals scored. The quarterfinal games should be played September 14 and 16. After the quarterfinal round, teams will be reseeded according to their place in the final standings, with the top remaining seeds playing against the lowest ones. The semi-final games should be played September 21 and 23. The single-game championship final will take place September 29.
Player - Position – Injury – Status – Games missed
Antonio Ribeiro - Midfielder - Groin - Day to day - 0
David Fronimadis - Defender - Knee contusion - Day to day - 5
Jason DiTullio - Defender - Knee - Return unknown - 21
ELSEWHERE IN THE LEAGUE
• Thursday, August 16 – Portland @ Minnesota – James Griffin Stadium – 8:05 pm
• Saturday, August 18, 2007 – Impact @ Vancouver – Swangard Stadium – 10 pm (USLlive.com)
• Friday, August 24, 2007 – Impact @ Rochester – Paetec Park – 8 pm (Radio-Canada, FSW, Sirius, CJAD, USLlive.com)
• Sunday, August 26, 2007 – Impact @ Carolina – SAS Stadium – 6 pm (CJAD, USLlive.com)
• Friday, August 31, 2007 – Rochester @ Impact – Claude-Robillard Sports Complex – 8 pm (Radio-Canada, FSW, Sirius, CJAD, USLlive.com)
Source: Patrick Vallée, Montreal Impact
Info: 514-328-3668, ext. 27
THE GAME AT A GLANCE