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Columbus Crew vs. Montreal Impact | MLS Match Preview

COLUMBUS CREW vs MONTRÉAL IMPACT
COLUMBUS CREW STADIUM, Columbus, Ohio
July 19, 2014 (WEEK 19, MLS Game #175)
7:30 p.m. ET (TWCS-OH; TVA)

Two Eastern Conference clubs in real need of victories meet when the Columbus Crew face the Montréal Impact on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. The Crew had their current league winless run extended to seven games in heartbreaking fashion, falling 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City in stoppage time at midweek. The Impact enter the match with the fewest points overall in Major League Soccer, coming off a 2-1 home loss of their own to Sporting KC last weekend.

REFEREE: David Gantar. SAR (bench): Greg Barkey; JAR (opposite): Gianni Facchini; 4th: Alan Kelly
MLS Career: 28 games; FC/gm: 25.5; Y/gm: 2.7; R: 11; pens: 3

SUSPENDED: CLB: Wil Trapp (through July 20)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CLB: Bernardo Anor, Tony Tchani, Wil Trapp … MTL: Karl Ouimette
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: MTL: Matteo Ferrari, Hernan Bernardello, Felipe Martins, Andres Romero
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (6 meetings): Crew 4 wins, 10 goals … Impact 1 win, 5 goals … Ties 1
AT COLUMBUS (3 meetings): Crew 3 wins, 6 goals … Impact 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 0
RETURN MATCHES: 8/30: Montreal Impact vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m. ET; 9/27: Columbus Crew vs. Montreal Impact, 7:30 p.m. ET

LAST YEAR (MLS):
4/14: MTL 1, CLB 1 (Di Vaio 68 – Oduro 72)
6/15: CLB 2, MTL 0 (Sanchez 6; Oduro 22)
9/14: MTL 1, CLB 2 (Di Vaio 23 – Marshall 66; Oduro 78)
• The Crew won 2-1 last Sept. 14 at Stade Saputo, the first victory by the away team in six meetings in the all-time series.
• The Crew have won all three encounters lifetime in Columbus, including a 2-0 victory in the only Crew Stadium matchup a year ago, on June 15.
• Coaches record: Frank Klopas vs. MTL: P8 W6 L2 D0 … Gregg Berhalter vs. MTL: first game

COLUMBUS CREW

The Columbus Crew had their winless run stretched to seven matches in cruel fashion, Sporting Kansas City hitting for a stoppage-time winner for a 2-1 result on Wednesday evening at Crew Stadium. The Crew are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, with 20 points from 18 matches.

LAST MATCH

• The opener came just before the halftime interval. Benny Feilhaber sent in a corner from the left and C.J. Sapong slammed a free header into the back of the net from inside the six-yard box.
• Sporting went a man down in the 55th minute when defender Aurelien Collin was sent off as referee Edvin Jurisevic showed a straight red card, after he went into a challenge with Crew substitute Adam Bedell, who came down bloodied.
• The Crew pulled even in the in the 69th minute through some good fortune. Chad Barson put in an optimistic cross, but SKC's Igor Juliao hit the cross with his shoulder as he frantically backtracked and his own goal leveled terms.
• When the match seeming destined for a 1-1 finish, Igor Juliao got a little redemption in the 93rd minute. He raced down the right touchline and pulled back a rolling cross that was helped on by Jacob Peterson for Benny Feilhaber to race in and hammer goalward first-time, the ball slamming off the bar into the goal for the winner.
• Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter made four changes to the team that fell 4-1 to the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Giancarlo Gonzalez and Waylon Francis returned to the team, coming into the back four in place of Eric Gehrig and the suspended Bernardo Anor, and Daniel Paladini and Justin Meram came into the team in place of Ben Speas and Jairo Arrieta.
• COLUMBUS CREW (4-2-3-1): Steve Clark - Chad Barson, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Michael Parkhurst, Waylon Francis - Wil Trapp (ejected 89), Tony Tchani - Ethan Finlay, Daniel Paladini (Adam Bedell 46), Justin Meram (Bernardo Anor 46) - Federico Higuain.

TEAM NEWS

• It was a second consecutive loss for the Crew and extended their current league winless run to seven games (0-3-4). The Crew’s last MLS win coming May 24; they have won just once since opening the season with three consecutive victories.
• “The way we performed we didn't deserve to win that game and it wasn't a pretty soccer game all around. The whole thing wasn't pretty,” said Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter. “Our job is to come out here and entertain the fans and play attractive soccer and we didn't do that we didn't live up to our end of the bargain. It was hesitancy, it was guys not moving and it's too bad because especially when they got the red card we could have gotten more out of that and we didn't.”
• After Jairo Arrieta was forced off injured in the New York match, nominal playmaker Federico Higuain was moved forward into a role as the lone out-and-out striker.
• Higuaín was making his second consecutive start after playing just two contests over a five-game span in league play from May 31-July 4, totaling just 66 minutes.
• “He's doing good. He was out for a while and he's putting two 90 minute shifts in,” said Berhalter. “If there is one guy you can't fault it's him. He's out there pounding away and he's not 100 percent fit and he's still going after it.”
• Daniel Paladini made his first start since May 31, his second league start in a Crew uniform, playing in a central midfield role. Justin Meram also returned to the Crew lineup, coming into a wide midfield role.
• “You could see in the first half that guys weren't confident and that's what needs to improve. When they are playing their best they can be a very competitive team,” Berhalter said. “I think we just need to get the guys confident and that's part of our job. We need to build them up and get them to where they need to be for Saturday.”
• There was a tactical shift at halftime as Adam Bedell came into a forward spot, after scoring his first professional goal in the New York match. Bernardo Anor, who had made five consecutive starts, came off the substitutes’ bench in a wide midfield spot.
• “What we wanted to do was use our wide guys a little bit higher and draw [Higuaín] more in the middle and created an advantage in the middle. Through the lack of movement we weren't successful in doing that. When you're standing you aren't successful in creating space,” said Berhalter. “I didn't think that was successful and we needed to change things up so we brought Adam [Bedell] in. I think he had a good effect in the game. There was a lot more urgency in the second half and I was much more pleased with the performance in the second half than in the first.”
• Defenders Giancarlo Gonzalez and Waylon Francis started their first games for the club since mid-May following their return from the Costa Rican national team and the FIFA World Cup.
• “I think the back line did well. They hadn't been playing together in two months. I think a little bit of rust in their communications and build-up but that's fine. I think they did a good job,” Berhalter said.

MONTREAL IMPACT

The Montréal Impact lost their second consecutive match, falling 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening at Stade Saputo. The Impact are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points from 16 games.

LAST MATCH

• Sporting took the lead in just the fourth minute. From near the right corner, Matt Besler sent in a long throw-in and Dom Dwyer headed it home from the top of the six-yard box.
• But the home side were even in the 28th minute. Justin Mapp claimed a cross from Patrice Bernier, then centered the ball for Marco Di Vaio who expertly headed it into the far bottom corner.
• Yet Sporting and Dwyer hit for the winner in the 89th minute, after miscommunication between goalkeeper Troy Perkins and Heath Pearce on a ball rolling near Montreal's box allowed Dwyer to pounce, curling the ball into an open net for his second of the game and sixth goal this season vs. the Impact.
• Impact head coach Frank Klopas made one change to the team that dropped a 1-0 decision against Chivas USA at StubHub Center. Krzysztof Krol came in at left back for Karl Ouimette.
• MONTREAL IMPACT (4-4-2): Troy Perkins - Hassoun Camara, Heath Pearce, Matteo Ferrari, Krzysztof Krol - Justin Mapp, Felipe Martins (Gorka Larrea 71), Patrice Bernier, Andres Romero (Issey Nakajima-Farran 67) - Marco Di Vaio, Jack McInerney (Calum Mallace 87).

TEAM NEWS

• It’s back-to-back losses for the Impact for the first time since losing their opening three league matches of the season. The Impact opened the season with an 0-4-3 record.
• “We had a good performance, but in the end, I think we should have walked away with points,” Impact head coach Frank Klopas said. “You look at the last two games, it was the same thing. I don’t know how we find ways to lose games like this. Sometimes, some breaks aren’t going our way right now. It’s a difficult one. I feel bad for the guys, but it’s my responsibility to find solutions and I’m going to keep trying to do so.”
• Said midfielder Patrice Bernier: “This is a tough loss to swallow. We give up a gift goal and we hurt ourselves. A game like today where we came back after going down early hurts even more. It’s those little mistakes that keep us from winning or earning points that we deserve.”
• It was the second time in as many weeks the Impact conceded a goal after the 89th minute to lose the game.
• “When you give up goals like that at the end of a game, twice now, it’s hard to accept,” said Klopas. “I thought we deserved a point in a solid performance, despite a first half where we forced the ball a little too much. We had good moments, but I feel for the guys.” Added Bernier: “We have to keep our heads high, because we can’t say they outplayed us, controlled and could have won 3-0. The game could have gone either way. A tie would have been ideal. We have to keep going, keep our heads high and maintain that standard of performance. But we have to stay alert 95, 96, 97 minutes in.”
• Marco Di Vaio scored his second goal in the last three games, in the starting lineup in league play for back-to-back games for the first time since the end of April.
• Justin Mapp had his second assist in the last three games, after missing a pair of games through injury.
• Defender Adrian Lopez – who has yet to make his MLS debut for the Impact – will be out for the remainder of the season after suffered a second tear of his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in as many years.
• “It’s a big blow to us as a team and, I think, to him as a player,” Klopas said. “I’ve been through it before where I went through two ACL [surgeries]. It’s unfortunate for a guy [who worked] so hard, for him and for our team – it was looking really good in the reserve matches and it was just a matter of time, now. He’s a quality player that would have given us good depth, especially now with a lot of games coming up.”

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Current Form

Columbus
Montreal

Season Goal Leaders

Season Stats

Columbus Crew SCMontreal Impact
19Games Played17
4Wins3
7Losses9
8Draws5
21Goals17
25Goals Conceded29
196Shots166
78Shots on Target79
229Fouls Lost235
200Fouls Won177
50Offside52
104Corners76

Goals Scored

01234+TotalAvg
CLB67420211.1
MTL66410171.0
01234+Avg
CLB342000.9
MTL233101.3
01234+Avg
CLB332201.3
MTL431000.6

Goals Conceded

01234+TotalAvg
CLB49321251.3
MTL45323291.7
01234+Avg
CLB252001.0
MTL313111.6
01234+Avg
CLB241211.6
MTL140121.9
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