Davy Arnaud celebration Andrea Pisanu Seattle
USA Today

Talking tactics - Quick transition key to scoring goals for Impact

Allowing just two goals in three games will definitely bring attention to the team’s defensive play, but the team’s resourcefulness in scoring goals may be even more impressive.

WATCH: Di Vaio rounds the keeper

Of the five goals scored by the Impact this season, all were created on a quick transition play, whether resulting in a goal from the run of play, from a free-kick or by creating a foul in the box and all were created from winning the ball down

Transition play

If you look at Di Vaio’s game winner from last weekend – nominated for Goal of the Week honours – the play originates from the defensive half of the field. Midfielder Patrice Bernier sees a hole open up in midfield and takes advantage, splitting the TFC midfielders with a pass.

The opening goal by Patrice Bernier - clutch from the penalty spot - was created by another quick transition play, which ironically enough was started by Bernier himself. The key here was that Andrés Romero used his one touch to play the ball into the danger area.

WATCH: Romero sets up Felipe

Quick passing

In the game againts the Timbers in Portland on March 9, midfielder Andrea Pisanu played a free-kick to the near corner of the 18, where four quick touches by four different players ended with Camara’s overhead half volley to beat keeper Donovan Ricketts far post.

For the game winner, pressure from Davy Arnaud here was key as he forced the Timbers defender to cough the ball in the offensive zone, and following some quick passes, Bernier spotted another hole between four Portland defenders to play a long through ball to Romero.

Supporting role for Di Vaio

WATCH: Arnaud puts Montreal on top

Another quick push forward from the defensive side of half led to the only goal against the Sounders on opening weekend.  The significance of this play is that forward Marco Di Vaio, who usually plays a much deeper role, came back to help the transition in midfield. Three players and six touches before the ball hit the back of the net.

With a stifling defensive style of play, the Impact managed to score all five goals on a quick transition with few touches in the offensive zone, which has proven to be a deadly combination for the top ranked team in MLS.