LAKE MARY, Florida – In its first action of the preseason, the Impact defeated Orlando City SC 2-1 on Sunday, at the Seminole Soccer Complex. Midfielder Andres Romero and newcomer Santiago Gonzalez scored in the win.
Head coach Frank Klopas used two completely different lineups in each half, with the only constant being goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau who played the full 90 minutes.
After a tougher first half, the Impact progressed in the second, creating a number of scoring chances.
In the 56th minute, Romero, playing down the left flank, put a through ball behind the Orlando defence that found Marco Di Vaio. The Italian striker flicked the ball into the box to Gonzalez, who took one touch to the right before beating the keeper with a low shot back in the opposite direction.
Orlando tied things up in the 66th minute, but a minute later, the Impact found the back of the net yet again. This time, Sanna Nyassi broke in alone on goal, chasing the ball deep near the goal line after it got away from him. He played it back outside the box to Romero, who curled it into the top corner.
“Playing a game like this to get things started is good because we get to shake out all the cobwebs,” said defender Karl W. Ouimette. “The second half was a little better and we need to use games like this to get back into the rhythm. Now we continue to work.”
“It was not easy for the group today but it was good to get out there,” said defender Eric Miller.
The Impact will play its first game of the Disney Soccer Classic on Wednesday, February 19, at 8pm, against Fluminense U23 FC. Watch it live on impactmontreal.com and MLSsoccer.com.