Montreal Impact vs. Sporting Kansas City | MLS Match Preview
MONTRÉAL IMPACT vs SPORTING KANSAS CITY
STADE SAPUTO, Montréal, P.Q.
July 12, 2014 (WEEK 18, MLS Game #164)
7:30 p.m. ET (TSN2/RDS; KMCI-38, watch FREE in US on MLSsoccer.com Stream of the Week)
The Montréal Impact return home looking to score their first goal of the season in three tries vs. Sporting Kansas City when the Eastern Conference foes face off Saturday evening at Stade Saputo. The Impact have lost by 3-0 and 4-0 scorelines to SKC in their first two meetings this season. Montréal returns home off a late 1-0 loss at Chivas USA, while Sporting are coming off a 1-1 home draw with Chicago that followed back-to-back shutout road victories.
REFEREE: Hilario Grajeda. AR1 (bench): Brian Dunn; AR2 (opposite): Claudio Badea; 4th: Robert Sibiga
MLS Career: 109 games; FC/gm: 24.1; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 18; pens: 18
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: MTL: Karl Ouimette … KC: Benny Feilhaber, Paulo Nagamura
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: MTL: Matteo Ferrari, Hernan Bernardello … KC: Antonio Dovale, Eric Kronberg, Seth Sinovic, Kevin Ellis, Dom Dwyer
DISABLED LIST: KC: Peterson Joseph, Ike Opara, Chance Myers
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (7 meetings): Impact 3 wins, 6 goals … Sporting 4 wins, 13 goals … Ties 1
AT MONTRÉAL (4 meetings): Impact 1 win, 2 goals … Sporting 2 wins, 7 goals … Ties 1
4/19: KC 4, MTL 0 (own goal 31; Collin 71; Dwyer 74, 86)
5/10: MTL 0, KC 3 (Dwyer 18, 64; Nagamura 34)
• The teams are meeting for the third time this season, and Sporting have cruised to wins in the first two. Dom Dwyer scored a pair of late goals to cap an SKC 4-0 victory on April 19 at Sporting Park, then he scored two more goals to lead KC to a 3-0 triumph on May 10 at Stade Saputo.
• Coaches record: Frank Klopas vs. KC: P9 W3 L4 D2 … Peter Vermes vs. MTL: P8 W4 L3 D1
LAST MEETING (MLS):
• The match turned after just 17 minutes. A long throw into the area was sent goalward by SKC's Oriol Rosell, and as he fell Impact midfielder Collen Warner clawed the ball away from the line. Referee Jair Marrufo produced a red card for Warner and pointed to the spot, and Dom Dwyer put the resulting penalty kick to the bottom left corner past goalkeeper Troy Perkins, who had guessed correctly.
• Sporting KC doubled their lead in the 34th minute when a low cross from Chance Myers sailed all the way through the area to Paulo Nagamura at the back post, and he then finished back across goal past a scrambling Perkins.
• The rout was complete in the 64th minute. Toni Dovale released Dwyer through on goal between the Montreal centerbacks, and he made no mistake in front of Perkins, slotting the ball home to the ‘keeper’s left.
• KC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg was credited with two saves in recording his league-leading fifth shutout.
• MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Troy Perkins - Jeb Brovsky, Karl Ouimette, Wandrille Lefevre, Maxim Tissot - Collen Warner (ejected 17), Hernan Bernardello - Justin Mapp, Felipe Martins (Patrice Bernier 70), Sanna Nyassi (Andres Romero 61) - Jack McInerney (Santiago Gonzalez 69).
• SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-2-3-1): Eric Kronberg - Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic - Paulo Nagamura, Oriol Rosell - Jacob Peterson (Antonio Dovale 57), Benny Feilhaber, Graham Zusi (Soony Saad 75) - Dom Dwyer (Claudio Bieler 70).
The Montréal Impact remained winless on the road for the season, dropping a 1-0 decision against Chivas USA on Saturday evening at StubHub Center. The Impact are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points from 15 games.
• The game's only goal came four minutes into stoppage time. After a cross was not cleared from the penalty area, Erick Torres launched himself into a dramatic bicycle kick, beating Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins inside his left-hand post.
• Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy was credited with three saves in recording a third consecutive 1-0 victory.
• Impact head coach Frank Klopas made three changes to the team that strolled to a 3-0 win against the Houston Dynamo at Stade Saputo. Karl Ouimette came in at left back for Eric Miller, and Justin Mapp and Marco Di Vaio returned to the side in place of Gorka Larrea and Maxim Tissot.
• MONTREAL IMPACT (4-1-3-2): Troy Perkins - Hassoun Camara, Heath Pearce, Matteo Ferrari, Karl Ouimette (Maxim Tissot 80) - Patrice Bernier (Calum Mallace 80) - Justin Mapp, Felipe Martins, Andres Romero - Marco Di Vaio, Jack McInerney (Gorka Larrea 90).
• The Impact remained winless away from Stade Saputo with the defeat at Chivas USA, now 0-5-3 on the road in league games, the only team in MLS still without a road win.
• “We just know we have to pick up points on the road. I felt that we did enough to get those points. It’s difficult because the second half of the season is starting and every game is very important. For us now, it’s going to be a difficult stretch,” Impact head coach Frank Klopas said. “We got to find ways to get points and results on the road and I felt that [Chivas] was a great opportunity. I thought we did enough to do so and sometimes this game is cruel and we just got to put it behind us as fast as we can.
• The Torres goal was the first allowed by the Impact since stoppage time of the first half vs. D.C. United on June 11, ending a run of 315 minutes without conceding, third-longest such streak in MLS this season.
• “I definitely felt that we should’ve walked away with points. It’s heartbreaking the way you’re seconds away and you give up a goal like that,” said Klopas. “I feel for my players and sometimes the game is cruel because they put a lot into the game. I’m not saying we should’ve walked away with three [points], but definitely with at least one point.”
• The Impact were also shut out on the road for a second consecutive match, now having gone 181 minutes since their last away goal.
• “More than anything, I just felt that our decision-making could have been better in the first half,” Klopas said. “We had chances in transition when they were pushing forward, but once they were set, we kept forcing a little bit too much of the ball for every play to be almost like the perfect pass. We could have been a little bit better in possession.”
• After coming off the substitutes’ bench for his first appearance following a two-match absence in the Houston game, Justin Mapp made his first start since May 24.
• “We created some half chances. We had one right across the goalmouth, we almost got on the end of it and as sharp as we could’ve been in the final third, and if we were a little bit better, we could’ve gotten the goal that we needed. That’s how it goes sometimes and we just move on,” Mapp said.
• Jack McInerney and Marco Di Vaio again reprised their strike partnership from the start, the first time they’d started together up top since May 31 and just the second time over the last eight matches.
• “A game like this hurts because at the end of the day, I think we put a lot into the game, the group and we had our moments,” Klopas said. “If you score some of those chances early, it could be a different game, but the way things happened, it’s heartbreaking. You feel for the group, it’s a difficult one to swallow this one.”
SPORTING KANSAS CITY
Sporting Kansas City returned home and extended their undefeated run to three games, gaining a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire on Sunday afternoon at Sporting Park. Sporting are in second place in the Eastern Conference with 26 points from 17 games.
• Sporting took the lead in the 33rd minute. Dom Dwyer took the ball away from Fire center back Patrick Ianni 25 yards out from goal, with a clear run at Chicago 'keeper Sean Johnson, and slotted his attempt home from the edge of the area.
• The Fire wasted little time in responding, equalizing seven minutes later. Mike Magee slipped through a gap in the Sporting back line, took Alex's pass in space and calmly finished past SKC 'keeper Eric Kronberg from the center of the box.
• Sporting manager Peter Vermes made one change to the team that defeated the Portland Timbers 1-0 at Providence Park. Benny Feilhaber came back into the team in place of Sal Zizzo.
• SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-1-2-3): Eric Kronberg - Igor Juliao, Kevin Ellis, Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic - Lawrence Olum - Benny Feilhaber, Paulo Nagamura (Sal Zizzo 80) - Jacob Peterson, Dom Dwyer (C.J. Sapong 80), Soony Saad (Graham Zusi 62).
• While Sporting did extend their current undefeated run to three games, they have still gone four home games without a victory, with just three points from 12 at Sporting Park since May 14.
• “I think for us, especially, we feel like we should get three points at home every time,” said Graham Zusi. “[Sunday] was no different. According to our standards, three points is the way to go. But a point's a point as well. It's better than losing.”
• Added midfielder Benny Feilhaber: “As you saw last year and probably this year again, it's going to be where every single point's going to matter big-time. We didn't win the Supporters Shield by a point or something, and we had homefield advantage in the [MLS Cup] finals by a point. Maybe this is the point that does it. So we'll keep going. It's important not to lose.”
• Sporting saw their shutout streak come to an end after 282 minutes, the Magee goal their first allowed in league play since May 31, equaling the club’s longest shutout streak this season (and the fifth-longest streak in MLS this year).
• “We obviously gave a goal away,” SKC manager Peter Vermes said. “They had one other chance besides that. We lost a ball, a very easy ball right at the beginning of the final third. We lose the ball and we’re a little stretched out and they get an easy tap-in at the end of the day. So we give that up, then obviously we drove the game, in and around their box quite a bit.”
• Dom Dwyer netted his 12th goal of the season – tied for second in the MLS Golden Boot standings – then celebrated by taking a selfie, for which he earned a yellow card.
• “It’s nice to get on the score sheet. I was more excited that I cleared one off the line, to be honest. I really wanted to keep a clean sheet today and was gutted when we allowed one. I thought we defended well throughout the whole game, so I’m a little disappointed there,” said Dwyer.
• Sporting welcomed back Graham Zusi, as he came off the substitutes’ bench for the final 28 minutes for his first league appearance since May 14, following his return from the U.S. national team and the FIFA World Cup.
• Center back Matt Besler also rejoined the club, but he did not feature in the Chicago match. “Zusi felt good to go in and play, and Matt felt he needed a couple more days (to rest). Really simple,” Vermes said.
• Feilhaber missed just one match following a shoulder injury that forced him off at halftime of the June 6 match vs. Houston.
• Sporting suffered a significant blow when goalkeeper Eric Kronberg suffered a fractured metacarpal in his right hand in training during the week and will be out for about 8 weeks. Kronberg is the leading goalkeeper statistically in Major League Soccer with an 0.88 goals against average.