Preview: Impact up for challenge vs. league-leading SJ
MONTRÉAL IMPACT vs SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
STADE SAPUTO, Montréal, Qué.
August 18, 2012 (WEEK 24, MLS Game #228)
7:30 p.m. ET (TVA; CSN-CA+)
The Montréal Impact will face a massive test in their bid to pull themselves back into a playoff position when they play host to MLS Supporters' Shield leaders San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Stade Saputo. The Impact enter the weekend just three points out of fifth place and the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, after their 1-0 win at New England last weekend. The Earthquakes solidified their hold on the Western Conference lead and the MLS overall table with yet another late win, a 2-1 home victory of Seattle.
REFEREE: Armando Villarreal. AR1 (bench): Greg Barkey; AR2 (opposite): Scott Kachmarik; 4th: Hilario Grajeda
MLS Career: 5 games; FC/gm: 23.2; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 2; pens: 0
- MONTREAL IMPACT – OUT: DF Zarek Valentin (L ankle sprain); FW Bernardo Corradi (L knee ACL tear); FW Eduardo Sebrango (L shoulder separation); QUESTIONABLE: DF Alessandro Nesta (R knee sprain)
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES – OUT: MF Jean-Marc Alexandre (R knee MCL sprain); MF Joey Gjertsen (R knee surgery); DF Tim Ward (L non-specific soft tissue injury); MF Shea Salinas (L hamstring strain); MF Cesar Diaz Pizarro (R groin strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: MTL: Nelson Rivas (through Aug. 25) … SJ: Alan Gordon (through Aug. 18)
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: MTL: Patrice Bernier … SJ: Victor Bernardez
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: MTL: Bernardo Corradi, Patrice Bernier, Collen Warner … SJ: Rafael Baca, Mehdi Ballouchy. Marvin Chavez, Ramiro Corrales, Steven Lenhart
ALL-TIME: First meeting.
• This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
• Coaches record: Frank Yallop vs. MTL: first game … Jesse Marsch vs. SJ: first game
The Montréal Impact snapped a long road winless streak, defeating the New England Revolution 1-0 on Sunday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Impact are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 33 points from 26 matches.
HIGHLIGHTS: NE 0, MTL 1
• The game's lone goal came in the 61st minute. Sanna Nyassi collected the ball with a timely tackle inside his own half, surged through midfield with the ball at his feet and thundered his effort past Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis to give his side all three points.
• Impact head coach Jesse Marsch made four changes to the team that defeated Philadelphia Union 2-0 at Stade Saputo. Jeb Brovsky and Dennis Iapichino came into the back four for Alessandro Nesta and Nelson Rivas, Marco Di Vaio started up top in place of Andrew Wenger, and Troy Perkins made his Impact debut for the player he was traded for, Donovan Ricketts.
• MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Troy Perkins - Jeb Brovsky, Matteo Ferrari, Hassoun Camara, Dennis Iapichino - Collen Warner, Patrice Bernier - Davy Arnaud (Lamar Neagle 87), Felipe Martins, Justin Mapp (Sanna Nyassi 46) - Marco Di Vaio (Andrew Wenger 76).
• The Impact have won three games in a row, their longest winning streak in MLS, after the victory at New England.
• It was the first road win since the 2-0 triumph at Sporting Kansas City on May 5, and just the second away win for the Impact in their inaugural MLS season. The win snapped a five-game road losing streak.
• “The table is so hard to interpret with the games in hand, which is almost good for us, because we can just focus on one game at a time and we don’t have to look and worry and everything else,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “It’s just one game at a time, and we keep moving ourselves along and we’ll see where it all ends up.”
WATCH: Impact preview home match with SJ
• Sanna Nyassi scored his third goal in the last five games, his second game-winner in that run (also netting the winner in the 2-1 home win vs. New England on July 18).
• “I want to say it’s the goal of the year, because what he did was magnificent,” defender Hassoun Camara said. “How far he started that run, the fact that we were away from home, where we absolutely needed to score… it’s an incredible goal. It should be the goal of the week, and right up there with the goals of the year.”
• Two of Nyassi’s goals in his recent run have come after entering the game as a second-half substitute – he’s come off the bench for three consecutive matches.
• “I think Sanna’s in a confident place for sure. He understands we have a lot of confidence in him even though we’ve been using him from the bench,” said Marsch. “When he comes into the game he provides a real spark to the game and he’s a threat, a real threat.”
• After going 14 games without a clean sheet – allowing multiple goals in nine of those – the Impact have recorded back-to-back shutouts.
• The game was the Montréal debut for goalkeeper Troy Perkins, acquired from the Portland Timbers in exchange for goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts. The Impact’s consecutive shutouts have come with each in net for one.
• “I think what you saw is a goalie that is very sure in how he makes his plays. I don’t think we need to talk about anything else right now but Troy [Perkins]. We’re happy to have him here. We think he makes us a better team. I think he makes a really big save on the header and bails us out. And for the most part he was very sharp on the night,” said Marsch. “ … And if you have a confident goalie behind you and if you have confidence in him, then I think that gives our center backs, specifically, a lot of confidence that they can be aggressive to make plays.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes once again provided late dramatics to secure a result, getting yet another goal in stoppage time for a 2-1 victory against Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes lead the Western Conference with 47 points from 24 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: SJ 2, SEA 1
• The Earthquakes took the lead in the 71st minute of an end-to-end match. Simon Dawkins wheeled on a headed pass from Steven Lenhart and beat Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning to the near post from 12 yards.
• But Sounders FC evened the score in stoppage time when Sam Cronin couldn’t get enough on his attempted clearance of a long Seattle throw-in and Fredy Montero stabbed it home from point-blank range.
• But the Quakes’ comeback tradition continued when Steven Lenhart delivering the game-winner less than a minute later, heading home a Shea Salinas corner.
• Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop made two changes to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire at Buck Shaw Stadium. Steven Beitashour returned from suspension in place of Jed Zayner, Shea Salinas started in midfield in favor of Marvin Chavez, and Steven Lenhart came in up top for the suspended Alan Gordon.
• SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow - Marvin Chavez (Shea Salinas 87), Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Simon Dawkins - Steven Lenhart, Chris Wondolowski.
• For the second consecutive match, Steven Lenhart scored the goal in stoppage time to give the Quakes a result. His goal eight minutes into added time gave San Jose a 1-1 draw against Chicago on July 28, before scoring in the 93rd minute vs. Seattle.
• “It really is more about the team than it is about me scoring,” said Lenhart. “This team never gives up and keeps going all the way to the end. Shea [Salinas] played in a great ball and tonight it happened to be me that got on the end of it. The team went hard all game and we got the win.”
• It was, remarkably, the sixth goal scored in stoppage time to gain a victory or a draw this season by San Jose. The Quakes have scored 17 of their 47 total goals after the 76th minute.
• The six goals in stoppage time to gain a result is an MLS record. Three times previously a team had scored four goals in time added on to grab a win or draw, the last Philadelphia Union in 2010.
• "We are playing well as a team and we have a great attitude,” Lenhart said. “Whether it is the first minute or the last minute, we are playing hard and creating chances. We are playing for each other and we are having success. That shows at the end of games.”
• Said Simon Dawkins: “I want to say that I am surprised but it seems to be happen every game. We have a bunch of guys that keep pushing and we all believe that we will find a way in the end. You see it in training. We score a lot of goals there so when we get to the games, we all have confidence that we can score no matter what minute it is.”
• The Quakes have now scored a league-high eight goals from corner kicks this season, one more than Houston. They have won 138 corners, second in MLS [behind Sporting KC].
• “Whether that’s guys who can jump well, or they’re aggressive, we have guys that are dangerous in the air,” said Quakes assistant coach Mark Watson. “And our service has been fantastic this year. It’s a combination of two things: hard, sharp runs and great service.”
• “We’re just pushing and getting corners, and you’re bound to score on a couple of those, if you’re getting good balls in the box, which we are,” Lenhart said. “We have guys in there that are dangerous. [Against Seattle], it just happened to be pretty late in the game.”
• Winger Shea Salinas will be sidelined for 2-4 weeks after suffering a hamstring injury in a reserve match on Sunday. Salinas came on as a very late substitute Saturday, and put in the corner kick for the game-winning goal. It was his seventh assist of the season.
• “It’s disappointing, really. It’s not a complete rupture, which is fantastic. That’s what you’re dreading,” Quakes coach Frank Yallop said. “I thought he did great when he came on against Seattle, and he played well in the Chicago game [on July 28. It’s not too long, but it’s still a few weeks.”