THE GAME AT A GLANCE
• With a win Saturday, the Impact would mathematically clinch a playoff spot. Eight teams will take part in post-season play.
• This is the second of four consecutive games the Impact will play on the road. Thursday, goals from forward Roberto Brown (34th minute) and Mauricio Vincello (59th minute) led the Impact to a 2-0 win against the California Victory, at Kezar Stadium.
• The Impact has not lost in its last five games (3-0-2) and has lost only once on the road so far this season.
• The Impact has a 10-0-2 when it scored the first goal of a game.
• With 38 points, the Impact is only three points behind first place in the United Soccer Leagues First Division standings, held by the Portland Timbers.
• Since 1993, the year Vancouver joined the league (the 86ers eventually became the Whitecaps), the Impact has a regular season lifetime record of 19-7-4 against its Canadian rivals.
• On June 1, the two teams tied 0-0, in front of 12,103 spectators at Claude-Robillard Sports Complex.
• The Impact lost in last year’s playoff semi-final against the Whitecaps. The Whitecaps had won 2-0 in aggregate goals (0-0 in Vancouver and 0-2 in overtime in Montreal), before winning the league finale 3-0 against Rochester.
• This is the 24th game of the season for the Whitecaps.
• The Whitecaps have not won in their last 11 games (0-4-7). The last Vancouver victory dates back to June 22, a 1-0 win against the Miami FC, in Florida.
• Vancouver had started the season with seven games without a loss (5-0-2).
• The Caps are playing their last six games of the season at home.
• The Whitecaps are 6th in the USL D1 standings with 31 points.
• Forward Eduardo Sebrango leads the Whitecaps in goals (7-1-15).
• Defender Steve Kindel and team captain Jeff Clarke will miss Saturday’s game due to game suspensions. Kindel has to serve a three-game suspension after having received a red card, August 11, in Portland. Clarke will serve a one-game suspension due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
HEAD COACH NICK DE SANTIS
“The win Thursday against the Victory gave us confidence for tomorrow’s game. Team morale is good right now so it’s positive because it will be an important game for both teams. We recuperated well today and we are ready for this game. We will see if we will make changes to the line-up to bring more energy.”
MIDFIELDER PATRICK LEDUC
“We are expecting a different game than the one we played Thursday in California. The Whitecaps should close the open spaces in their zone so it should be harder to create scoring opportunities. A lot of players on both teams want to play well against their former team. This adds even more to the big rivalry that already exists between both teams.”
• Forward Joey Gjertsen and midfielder David Testo will play their first game against the Whitecaps, since the transaction on July 26 which sent them to Montreal in exchange for midfielder Zé Roberto and forward Alen Marcina.
• 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.
• Five Impact players were invited to join the Trois-Rivières Attak, the Impact reserve team, for Saturday’s game against the Italia Shooters, at Quebec University in Trois-Rivières in Trois-Rivières. They are: goalkeeper Jon Paul Piques, defender David Fronimadis as well as forwards Sita-Taty Matondo, Frederico Moojen and Massimo Di Ioia.
• The Impact is still undefeated this season (7-0-4) when defender Gabriel Gervais starts the game. The team has not lost this year (7-0-5) when team captain Mauro Biello is on the starting line-up.
• 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 1
Jason DiTullio Defender Knee Return unknown 22
ELSEWHERE IN THE LEAGUE
• Saturday, August 18 – Rochester @ Minnesota – James Griffin Stadium – 8:05 pm
• Saturday, August 18 – Seattle @ California – Kezar Stadium – 10 pm
• Friday, August 24, 2007 – Impact @ Rochester – Paetec Park – 8 pm (Radio-Canada, FSW, Sirius, CJAD 800)
• 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 800)
Source: Patrick Vallée, Montreal Impact
Info: 514-328-3668, ext. 27
THE GAME AT A GLANCE