Preview: Impact, Chivas square off looking for momentum
CHIVAS USA vs MONTRÉAL IMPACT
THE HOME DEPOT CENTER, Carson, Calif.
June 20, 2012 (WEEK 16, MLS Game #136)
7:30 p.m. PT (PT; TVA)
Chivas USA and the Montréal Impact meet for the first time ever when the clubs play in a interconference clash Wednesday at The Home Depot Center. Chivas saw its four-game unbeaten streak come to an end at home last weekend in a 3-0 loss to Real Salt Lake. Montréal hit the road quickly after a triumphant opening to their new-look Stade Saputo, rolling to a 4-1 win against Seattle Sounders FC.
REFEREE: Allen Chapman. SAR (bench): Ian Anderson; JAR (opposite): Anthony Vasoli; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 2 games; FC/gm: 17.0; Y/gm: 2.0; R: 0; pens: 0
CHIVAS USA – OUT: MF Marvin Iraheta (L knee ACL); MF Nick Labrocca (L hamstring strain); DOUBTFUL: FW Tristen Bowen (R ankle); QUESTIONABLE: FW Jose Correa (R hamstring strain); MF Miller Bolanos (L hamstring strain)
MONTREAL IMPACT – OUT: DF Hassoun Camara (R hamstring strain); PROBABLE: DF Nelson Rivas (L knee sprain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CHV: Oswaldo Minda
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: MTL: Felipe Martins, Bernardo Corradi, Sanna Nyassi, Tyson Wahl
ALL-TIME: First meeting.
ALL-TIME: First meeting.
- This is the only league meeting between the clubs this season.
- Impact head coach Jesse Marsch returns to the club where he was captain during a four-year span from 2006- 09, capping his 14-year MLS playing career.
- Coaches' records: Robin Fraser vs. MTL: first game … Jesse Marsch vs. CHV: first game
Chivas USA saw their four-game undefeated streak put an swift end, falling to a 3-0 defeat by Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at The Home Depot Center. Chivas USA are in sixth place in the Western Conference with 15 points from 14 games.
- Real opened the scoring in the 35th minute. From the midfield, Kyle Beckerman put a 35-yard pass right onto Fabian Espindola's head after he slipped past the Chivas defense, and his header left goalkeeper Dan Kennedy no chance.
- Espindola added another in the 54th minute after a Ned Grabavoy through-ball him in stride. Espindola then left defender Rauwshan McKenzie waving at air with a step-over before slotting a close-range shot past Kennedy.
- RSL added a third deep into stoppage time. A clever buildup was finished off when Beckerman slid the ball to substitute Javier Morales, whose quick turn found Will Johnson in the left of the area, and he curled a shot home inside the far post.
- Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser made five changes to the team that played to a 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC at The Home Depot Center. Rauwshan McKenzie came in for John Valencia in the back, Ben Zemanski, Oswaldo Minda and Blair Gavin started in midfield for Laurent Courtois, Peter Vagenas and Ryan Smith, and Juan Pablo Angel came in for José Correa up top.
- CHIVAS USA (4-3-1-2): Dan Kennedy - James Riley, Rauwshan McKenzie, Danny Califf, Ante Jazic - Ben Zemanski, Oswaldo Minda (Cesar Romero 77), Blair Gavin (Ryan Smith 60) - Alejandro Moreno - Juan Agudelo, Juan Pablo Angel.
- Chivas USA lost for the sixth time in eight games (with one draw) this season at The Home Depot Center in the 3-0 loss to Real Salt Lake.
- “I think we have something to prove to ourselves,” said Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser. “We had a decent run and at times tonight it was good. But the execution wasn’t good enough and certainly that is a thing that we as a group have to get back to sooner rather than later.”
- The three goals allowed were second-most by Chivas this season, after conceding four in a shutout defeat by the Colorado Rapids on April 28.
- “As the game wore on, it became a bit of a game of mistakes and we paid the price for our mistakes for sure,” said Fraser. “At times it was very good, but it’s a 90-minute game and it’s not good enough for it to be ‘just good’ at times. In the end, as I said, we became a victim of our own mistakes.”
- Chivas were also shut out on the attacking end for the sixth time this season. They have scored more than one goal in just one game this season (2-1 vs. Portland, April 7). Chivas USA’s nine goals this season is ahead of only Philadelphia and Toronto FC (eight each).
- “Certainly we have players that we think are good players and we have to be able to execute,” said Fraser. “(Against RSL) I felt like we didn’t execute the attacking end. We took stretches of possession and didn’t turn them into dangerous chances.”
- Ben Zemanski made his first appearance since April 14 in a league game, missing more than two months with an MCL sprain in his knee.
- After coming on as a substitute for John Valencia with a quarter of the Seattle match remaining, Rauwshan McKenzie maintained his place in central defense.
- Forward José Erik Correa and midfielder Miller Bolaños both missed the Real match with hamstring strains and have yet to return to full training.
- Correa (left hamstring strain) missed Saturday’s defeat at the hands of Real Salt Lake and may be joining Nick LaBrocca (left hamstring strain) on an extended injury layoff.“I think that [they are] probably unlikely,” said Fraser. “I’m not a 100 percent sure, but they’re coming along and doing very well.”
The Montréal Impact made the MLS opening of Stade Saputo one to remember, rolling to 4-1 victory against Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday afternoon. The Impact are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 15 points rom 14 matches.
- The inaugural MLS goal at Stade Saputo came after 18 minutes. Patrice Bernier skirted around a defender on the outside of the box and dished to Felipe, who promptly curled a shot past goalkeeper Bryan Meredith from the heart of the area.
- The Impact doubled their lead in the 51st minute. Justin Mapp took a long crossfield pass and poured through the Seattle midfield from the left flank to the top of the box, where he coolly slotted a right-footed shot back inside the left post.
- It got worse for Sounders FC in the 56th minute, when Jhon Kennedy Hurtado cut down midfielder Collen Warner as he surged into space toward the Seattle penalty area, drawing a straight red card from referee Mark Geiger.
- The lead was 3-0 just two minutes later, again courtesy of a timely play from Bernier. He seized on a turnover from Seattle’s Álvaro Fernandez and funneled a pass into the box to a streaking Andrew Wenger, who rocketed a right-footed shot inside the near post.
- Seattle pulled a goal back in the 61st minute when Eddie Johnson ran onto a through ball from Fredy Montero and chipped it over goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts from the heart of the area.
- But the full margin was restored three minutes from the end when Lamar Neagle skipped through a couple of challenges in the area and poked home an angled shot.
- Impact head coach Jesse Marsch made two changes to the team that suffered a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Zarek Valentin came into the back four for Hassoun Camara, and Justin Mapp started in midfield for Sanna Nyassi.
- MONTREAL IMPACT (4-4-1-1): Donovan Ricketts - Zarek Valentin, Nelson Rivas, Matteo Ferrari (Shavar Thomas 33), Jeb Brovsky - Davy Arnaud, Collen Warner, Patrice Bernier (Bernardo Corradi 77), Justin Mapp (Lamar Neagle 62) - Felipe - Andrew Wenger.
- The game was the first MLS match played in the newly renovated and expanded Stade Saputo, located on the opposite corner of Olympic Park from Olympic Stadium, the home ground for the first five Impact MLS games.
- “I think it was hard to communicate on the field, but, you know, it was a lot of great energy,” Impact head coach Jesse Marsch said. “It kind of went in waves a little bit, but in the second half, you could feel the sense of pride in the fans. I think they’ve sort of seen some good things in our team and are almost waiting for it all to come together in the right way. We showed that it is coming along, that this is a good team and that we’re going to continue to get better."
- Patrice Bernier recorded three assists on the match, the most by an Impact player in the club’s inaugural MLS season.
- Bernier assisted on four consecutive Montréal goals, dating back to the second goal in the Colorado game, and was involved in five in a row after scoring the opener vs. the Rapids.
- “Things are going well for me now,” Bernier said. “I felt I had a good performance against Colorado, but the team lost. A victory like tonight makes it easier to appreciate a good outing personally because the most important thing is getting the three points.”
- Bernier was again in a three-man triangle in midfield, along with Felipe and Collen Warner, a tactical shift Marsch used for a second consecutive match.
- “He balanced us well. He defended well. He did a good job of initiating the attack, and we knew that was going to be important,” Marsch told reporters. “They do a pretty good job of putting initial pressure with their front four guys, but once we were able to link up with Patrice, and then Collen [Warner], and then find the next attacking player, that’s when we had space, and that’s when we were successful. Patrice was a big part of that tonight and, obviously, he set up a bunch of good attacking plays. I’m happy for him.”
- For the fourth time this season, the Impact saw an opposition player sent off. But after failing to close out the last two – both New York and Colorado scored the winning goal while a man down – the Impact saw out the win against Seattle.
- “I still think we are learning to manage the game when we are up a man. It takes a lot of hard work and we did that tonight,” said Marsch. Added defender Jeb Brovsky: “When that tackle on Collen Warner happened, we all came together and said; we’ve seen this three times now, so let’s focus and make sure that we take care of things defensively and keep going forward. … When they got a red card, we had to refocus. When they got their goal, we needed to refocus again because we wanted to finish strong and not lose the lead.”