ORLANDO, Florida - The Montreal Impact tied the Houston Dynamo 1-1, on Wednesday night, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, in its third and final group stage game of the Disney Pro Classic tournament in Orlando, Florida.
With the draw, the Impact ends the tournament in third spot in its conference with a record of 0-1-2 (2pts, -3GD), therefore not qualifying for the next round. The Vancouver Whitecaps FC finished first with a record of 3-0-0 (9pts, +7GD), while the Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City conclude the tournament with the same record as the Impact (0-1-2). Houston will play the consolation finale due to a better goal differential.
“I think it was another game that was very good for our team,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “It felt like a real game and had edge to it. It was certainly competitive and overall our performance was pretty good. You’re starting to see our team come together. Now we just have to keep working at it.”
The Dynamo opened the scoring at the 50th minute mark when midfielder Colin Clark crossed the ball into the box, far post, from the right side of the field. Forward Will Bruin headed the ball opposite post, beating goalkeeper Greg Sutton to his left.
The Impact then equalized in the 56th minute when midfielder Patrice Bernier, who was wearing the captain’s armband for the game, fired a rising free kick from just outside the centre of the box, over the wall and into the top right corner.
“At that distance, it’s about precision,” said Bernier. “My wife will be happy. She tells me all the time that I should shoot more. But all joking aside, I think we could have easily won this game. The result is good for our morale as we played well.”
“I think we took a good step forward,” added Matteo Ferrari, the Italian central defender who played all 90 minutes. “We played last season’s Cup finalists, so they are a good side. I think it was a good result, but we can still improve as a group.”
The Impact came out strong creating a few good scoring chances in the first minutes of the game, the best of which came at the 11 minute mark. Defender Tyson Wahl played a deep ball from centre field down the left flank, where defender Josh Gardner was making a run. The left back cut toward the penalty spot and played a ball through the box that was blocked out by a Houston defender.
Then in the 26th minute, Brazilian midfielder Felipe played the ball from the right wing to forward Justin Braun, who back heeled it to midfielder Davy Arnaud near the corner of the box. Playing the right side, Arnaud crosses the ball back to Braun behind the defence, but the forward’s volley went wide.
At the 31st minute, Patrice Bernier sent a long cross from the left flank towards the right corner of the box. Arnaud crossed it to Felipe, but his shot sailed over the net.
The Impact had a chance to take the lead in the 73rd minute when Arnaud beat his marker one-on-one to the outside, right of the box, and crossed the ball to substitute Lamar Neagle alone near the penalty area, but his one-time shot sailed over the net.
The Impact played the last two minutes of the game with one man down following the ejection of midfielder Collen Warner.
Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts played the first half, while Greg Sutton came in at halftime.
Win against U.S U20 national team
The Impact also played a 60-minute exhibition game against the U.S. U20 men’s National Team, winning 2-1 earlier in the day.
Eduardo Sebrango scored both goals for the Impact in the first half, converting a cross from forward Steven Miller in the 7th minute, and then taking advantage of a deep through ball down the right side in the 10th minute.
The U.S. scored at the midpoint of the second half, but the Impact managed most of the possession on the game.
The Impact now has a record of 5-3-7 in preseason action since the start of training camp.
The Impact and the Whitecaps will meet on March 10, at B.C. Place, in Vancouver, as Montreal will play its first ever regular season game in Major League Soccer. The Impact will then play its home opener at Olympic Stadium on March 17, against the Chicago Fire, at 2pm.
Season tickets are available online at impactmontreal.com or by calling 514-328-3668 while individual tickets for the five games presented at Olympic Stadium are available through Admission.
Montreal - GK-Donovan Ricketts (Greg Sutton 45’), D-Jeb Brovsky (Calum Mallace 77’), D-Matteo Ferrari, D-Tyson Wahl, D-Josh Gardner, M-Davy Arnaud, M-Patrice Bernier, M-Felipe, M-Sinisa Ubiparipovic (Collen Warner 77’), F-Justin Braun (Lamar Neagle 63’), F-Mike Fucito (Miguel Montano 55’)
Houston - Tally Hall; Warren Creavalle, Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Corey Ashe; Colin Clark (Calen Carr 86), Adam Moffat, Luiz Camargo (Nathan Sturgis 63), Brad Davis (Youssouf Hersi); Brian Ching (Cam Weaver 70), Will Bruin (Macoumba Kandji 75).
HOU - Will Bruin (Clark) 50’
MTL - Patrice Bernier 56’
HOU - Adam Moffat 20'
MTL - Tyson Wahl 22’
HOU - Corey Ashe 34'
HOU - Andre Hainault 41'
MTL - Collen Warner 88’
Line-up vs. U20: GK-Evan Bush, D-Karl Ouimette, D-Shavar Thomas, D-Hassoun Camara, D-(U.S. U20 player), M-Lucas Acosta, M-Gerson Mayen, M-Bryan Arguez, M-Aaron Schoenfeld, F-Eduardo Sebrango, F-Steven Miller