Gomez Di Vaio Philadelphia Union vs Montreal Impact Preview English

Preview: Impact takes on Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on Saturday

Philadelphia Union – Montreal Impact
Saturday, July 14, 2012 – 7pm (ET)
PPL Park, Chester
Broadcast: TVA Sports
Also available on: illico web, illico mobile, MLS Live

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MONTREAL, Quebec – The Montreal Impact (6-11-3) hits the road to face the Philadelphia Union (5-9-2) for the first time this season, on Saturday, at PPL Park, at 7pm (ET). The Union sits four points behind the Impact in the Eastern Conference standings, but has four games in hand.

WATCH: Preview vs PHI

Notes and Quotes

“They are in really good form right now,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “Under their new head coach, there is a renewed energy within the group. They have a lot of youthful, mobile players that like to move the ball a lot. They are a version of the way we like to play. We match up well with them and it is an important game for both teams in the standings.”

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“I’m looking forward to going back there and see some of the guys,” said midfielder Justin Mapp, who played two years in Philadelphia after being acquired by the Union in 2010, where he scored four goals and eight assists in 44 games. “They made some changes recently, which have given them new life, and it’s a tough place to play as the crowd is pretty hostile against the visiting side.”

“It’s tough to win on the road, but we are playing a team right behind us in the standings,” said defender Hassoun Camara. “But it’s important to try and get points because it is the key to moving up in the standings. We have some momentum from our win on Sunday and we plan to use some of that to get a result in Philadelphia.”

Montreal ended a three-game winless streak by beating the Columbus Crew 2-1 last Sunday at Stade Saputo. Down 1-0, the home side came from behind for the first time this season to earn the three points. Defender Zarek Valentin scored his first career goal in Major League Soccer to even things up, while forward Marco Di Vaio, who played a full 90 minutes for the first time since joining the Impact, earned his first assist in MLS. 

Midfielder Patrice Bernier scored his team leading fifth of the season on a penalty kick in the game’s final minute to secure the win. Bernier, who is also tied for the team lead in assists with five, scored his second goal in as many games. 

Team news

Recently signed Swiss defender Dennis Iapichino, wearing jersey number 17, made the trip to Philadelphia and could see his first game action after officially joining the club on Wednesday.

WATCH: Mapp to face his previous team

Defenders Matteo Ferrari and Nelson Rivas, as well as forwards Bernardo Corradi (4G, 1A) and Andrew Wenger (3G) will all miss the game due to injuries.

Midfielders Felipe (3G, 5A) and captain Davy Arnaud (3G, 3A) will return to action following a one-game mandatory suspension resulting from an accumulation of five yellow cards. However, the Impact will be without forward Sanna Nyassi (2G, 2A) after being shown his fifth caution against the Crew last weekend.

Newcomer Alessandro Nesta did not make the trip as he is expected to take at least two weeks to return to game form after officially joining the team July 5.

Union news

Philadelphia fell to Sporting Kansas City at home Wednesday night, in Open Cup action, by a 2-0 score. However, the Union is unbeaten in two regular season MLS games, having bettered the LA Galaxy on the road 2-1 on July 4, and then put in one of its best performances of the season last Saturday, against Toronto at home, in a 3-0 trouncing of TFC. 

With Philadelphia’s 3-0 home win over Toronto FC, the club has now scored 15 goals in just seven games under interim head coach John Hackworth, and is 4-3-0 in all competitions. The Union had scored just eight goals on the season under the guidance of Peter Nowak.

Philadelphia midfielder Michael Farfan (1G, 3A) and forward Jack McInerney (1G, 2A) are on hot streaks, scoring points in the Union’s last two regular season games, while midfielder Freddy Adu dominated much of the game against TFC, scoring a goal. 

Former MLS Defender of the Year candidate Bakary Soumare may be ready to make his debut with the Union, who brought him into the fold June 26 after a trade with Vancouver to move up in the allocation order. The former MLS All-Star has played in the top divisions in France and Germany since 2008.

Upcoming match

The club returns home on Wednesday, July 18, to host the New England Revolution at Stade Saputo, at 8pm. Group packages, as well as 3 or 6 game partial plans are available for the 2012 season by calling 514-328-3668.

Game Notes

Download Game Notes (PDF)

  • INJURY REPORT: OUT - D Matteo Ferrari (Right quad strain), Nelson Rivas (left knee) F Bernardo Corradi (Left knee torn ACL), Andrew Wenger (Left hamstring strain), Evan James (Left ankle sprain).
  • The Impact announced on Wednesday the signing of Swiss defender Dennis Iapichino, who notably spent much of his development years with FC Basel, one of the most prestigious clubs in the Swiss first division, playing 29 games with the Under-21 team in 2008/2009 and 2009/2010.  
  • The team also acquired a conditional pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on Wednesday from Real Salt Lake for forward Justin Braun.
  • On Friday, the Montreal Impact acquired an international roster spot for the 2014 season from the Colorado Rapids for defender Tyson Wahl.
  • The Impact has a 3-0-1 record when the team leads at halftime.
  • Defender Zarek Valentin recorded his first MLS career goal last Sunday, versus Columbus.
  • Valentin and forward Andrew Wenger were born and raised in Lancaster, in Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia.
  • The Montreal Impact is currently first among MLS teams with 271 fouls committed, third with 275 shots and sixth with 27 goals.
  • Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts is currently fifth amongst MLS goalkeepers with 84 shots against and tenth with 48 saves.
  • Midfielder Davy Arnaud is first in the league with 52 fouls suffered.
  • Midfielder Patrice Bernier is tied for seventh in MLS with five assists.