Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact | MLS Match Preview
TORONTO FC vs MONTRÉAL IMPACT
BMO FIELD, Toronto, Ont.
Oct. 18, 2014 (WEEK 32, MLS Game #307)
2 p.m. ET (TSN/RDS; UDN)
Toronto FC face their biggest match of the season against their most bitter rivals, as they play host to the Montréal Impact on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. For Toronto FC to have any chance to claim the first playoff berth in club history, the task is simple – win both remaining games (and hope Columbus loses both of theirs), following a 3-1 loss at the New York Red Bulls last weekend. The Impact have had their playoff hopes for 2014 put to an end, coming off a 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution at Stade Saputo last Saturday.
REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. AR1 (bench): Greg Barkey; AR2 (opposite): Gianni Facchini; 4th: Geoff Gamble
Toledo's MLS Career: 184 games; FC/gm: 25.1; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 63; pens: 69
SUSPENDED: TOR -- Nick Hagglund (through Oct. 19); Michael Bradley (caution accumulation; through Oct. 19)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: MTL -- Matteo Ferrari, Krzysztof Krol, Karl Ouimette … TOR -- Warren Creavalle
FINED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: TOR -- Steven Caldwell, Jackson, Dominic Oduro, Justin Morrow, Collen Warner, Gilberto … MTL -- Hernan Bernardello, Andres Romero, Dilly Duka, Wandrille Lefevre, Hassoun Camara
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (MLS) (7 meetings): Toronto FC 3 wins, 11 goals … Impact 2 wins, 7 goals … Ties 2
AT TORONTO (3 meetings): Toronto FC 1 win, 4 goals … Impact 0 wins, 3 goals … Ties 2
8/2: MTL 0, TOR 2 (Gilberto 11; Moore 54)
- The teams are meeting for the second time this season in league play. Gilberto and Luke Moore scored second-half goals to lead Toronto FC to a 2-0 win, Aug. 2 at Stade Saputo.
- Since coming to MLS, the Impact have not won in Toronto, with two losses and three draws in five meetings in all competitions at BMO Field.
- The teams also met in the Canadian Championship, the Impact winning the title by defeating TFC 2-1 on aggregate in the final. It was the second consecutive season the Impact defeated Toronto FC in the Canadian Championship winning 6-2 on aggregate in the semifinals the year previous (TFC advanced in a semifinal meeting in 2012).
- Coaches record: Greg Vanney vs. MTL: first game … Frank Klopas vs. TOR: P7 W5 L1 T1
LAST MEETING (MLS)
- Toronto FC opened the scoring in the 11th minute. On the ball in front of the Montreal box, Michael Bradley picked out Dominic Oduro on the right, and he cut the ball back to Gilberto, who blasted his first-time effort on frame. The shot hit Montreal goalkeeper Troy Perkins and bounced off the underside of the bar before landing on the turf just over the line.
- TFC hit for the second in the in the 54th minute. With a magnificent long service, Bradley found Oduro sprinting behind the Montreal line on the right. Oduro carried the ball into the box, bouncing a cross off a defender and into the path of an onrushing Luke Moore, who tapped in from close range.
- MONTREAL IMPACT (4-4-2): Troy Perkins - Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Mamadou Danso (Felipe Martins 51), Krzysztof Krol - Justin Mapp (Dilly Duka 74), Eric Miller, Patrice Bernier, Andres Romero - Marco Di Vaio, Jack McInerney (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 65).
- TORONTO FC (4-4-2): Joseph Bendik - Warren Creavalle, Doneil Henry, Nick Hagglund, Justin Morrow - Dominic Oduro (Jackson 74), Collen Warner (Kyle Bekker 84), Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio - Gilberto (Daniel Lovitz 90), Luke Moore.
Toronto FC fell to their third consecutive loss down the stretch, falling 3-1 to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. TFC sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, with 40 points from 32 matches.
- The Red Bulls opened the scoring in the 26th minute. Bradley Wright-Phillips tapped home a low Kosuke Kimura cross from the heart of the goal area for his 25th goal of the season, two away from the all-time single-season record.
- Ten minutes later, the Red Bulls had doubled their lead. Thierry Henry whipped in a ball that was not properly cleared, and Ruben Bover pounced on the loose ball and bundled it home near the 6-yard box.
- Wright-Phillips went from scorer to provider just before halftime. He attempted to fire a low shot from the edge of the box on the right that veered wide, but instead found Dax McCarty all alone at the back post and he deflected home for a commanding 3-0 lead.
- Toronto FC pulled a goal back in the 55th minute. Michael Bradley fed Luke Moore on the left, and he put in a cross for Jonathan Osorio to knock in with ease from close range.
- But TFC ended the game a man down as referee Hilario Grajeda sent off defender Nick Hagglund in the 86th minute after an aerial battle with Armando.
- TFC head coach Greg Vanney made one changes to the team that dropped a 1-0 decision to the Houston Dynamo at BMO Field. Warren Creavalle came into the back four for Mark Bloom.
- TORONTO FC (4-4-2): Joseph Bendik - Warren Creavalle (Dwayne De Rosario 83), Steven Caldwell, Nick Hagglund (ejected 86), Justin Morrow - Jackson (Dominic Oduro 46), Kyle Bekker (Gilberto 46), Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio - Jermain Defoe, Luke Moore.
- Toronto FC have lost three games in a row, matching their longest losing slide of the season (also: April 12-May 3, and Aug. 30-Sept. 6).
- “Doesn’t have anything to do with coaches or personnel it’s yourself and you’re play and commitment and effort you put into it to better yourself, so there’s no time for excuses,” said defender Steven Caldwell. “We had the talent to be in the playoffs and it’s very difficult for me to analyze it properly just you know I’m obviously bitterly disappointed and obviously with the result and the situation.”
- With a TFC tie or a defeat vs. Montréal, or a Columbus Crew win or draw in their match at the New York Red Bulls, Toronto FC will miss out on the MLS Cup Playoffs for the eighth time in their eight-year history.
- “I think we have the makings of a team that is definitely playoff caliber,” TFC head coach Greg Vanney said. “It’s easy at the beginning of the year when you make some big signings and then, on paper, you look at things and go, ‘Oh yeah, this is a playoff team.’ But there’s so many things that happen over the course of those eight to nine months that actually make up the body of work that is a season.”
- Said Michael Bradley: “To put it simply, we’ve tied too many games that we should’ve won and lost too many games on days that we should’ve tied. When you get to the end of the year you start adding up points and you’re short. When you look back so far 32 games, we had more than enough chances to win games, to tie games, to get ourselves the points that we needed.”
- Jonathan Osorio scored the TFC goal in the New York match, his first goal since Aug. 9, and the club’s first goal in three games, since the 3-2 win vs. Portland on Sept. 27, ending a 235-minute goalless stretch.
- “I give credit to the team for putting a lot of energy and effort out there and the defenders scrambled there the whole second half to try and keep things out of the goal,” said Vanney. “Joe [Bendik] made a couple of saves, but it’s weird to say but we actually had enough chances to scratch ourselves back into the game but we just couldn’t make do of them but it was good to see us get one back early on to try and make a game out of it the rest of the night.”
- Toronto FC also conceded three goals in the defeat, the second time in the last three matches they’ve allowed three goals, and the sixth time conceding three or more goals in a game this season. Toronto FC have allowed 1.63 goals per game, sixth-most in MLS.
- “We’ve taken some goals early where we start to get a little pessimistic. You know what happens for me is the outside backs weren’t getting higher up the field, they were able to clog up the middle of the field so we could no longer find our strikers, we couldn’t really get wide, and really our shape was what was kind of hurting us,” said Vanney. “Part of it was we were turning balls over quickly and we weren’t allowing ourselves to get into our attacking shape to try and open them up a little bit so we could connect because we were taking a little bit of a defensive posture.”
The Montreal Impact reached their second consecutive draw, playing to a 2-2 result with the New England Revolution on Saturday afternoon at Stade Saputo. The Impact are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 26 points from 32 games.
- The Impact hit for the opener in the 12th minute. Calum Mallace, on the ball near the halfway line, picked out Marco Di Vaio making a run past the Revolution’s high defensive line. On his first touch of the ball, Di Vaio whacked it past Revs ‘keeper Bobby Shuttleworth from inside the area.
- The Revolution equalized four minutes later. On the edge of the area, Kelyn Rowe played a one-two with Charlie Davies and ended up alone in front of goal before finishing coolly to the right of goalkeeper Evan Bush.
- The Impact nosed back in front in the 40th minute. Another long ball, this time from Andres Romero on the left, again found Di Vaio running just right of center. He let the ball run across his body, turning a Revs defender before blasting a shot in off the far post from the heart of the box.
- But the visitors hit for the leveler in the 69th minute. Substitute Scott Caldwell dribbled and cut inside from the left only to face a wall of Montreal defenders. He left the ball to Lee Nguyen, whose attempt from outside the area deflected off a defender’s foot, looping over Bush and tucking into the back of the net.
- Impact head coach Frank Klopas made three changes to the team that reached a scoreless draw with the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Krzysztof Krol came into the back four for Eric Miller, Felipe Martins started in midfield for Gorka Larrea, and Marco Di Vaio came in up top for Jack McInerney.
- MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Evan Bush - Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Heath Pearce, Krzysztof Krol - Felipe Martins (Patrice Bernier 77), Calum Mallace -Justin Mapp (Maxim Tissot 65), Dilly Duka (Jack McInerney 72), Andres Romero - Marco Di Vaio.
- The Impact reached their second consecutive draw, since their bid to reach the MLS Cup Playoffs a second consecutive season was put to an end.
- “We can’t go back in time, but we can learn from this and get better for next season. We’re a different team at the moment then we were at the beginning and seeing the score tonight with a team that’s 25 points in front of us makes us scratch our heads on what could have been if we started the season on this foot,” said Impact head coach Frank Klopas. “Definitely the continuity and the changes that we’ve made have helped our team and from now on we will move forward.”
- Marco Di Vaio scored a pair of goals, his fifth multiple-goal game in his three MLS seasons, and his first this season. Di Vaio was making his first start since Sept. 10; he has announced his retirement following the 2014 season.
- “I told him we’ve got to sign him for three more years. It was great to see,” Klopas said. “Obviously, we talked about the last two games, finishing strong and trying to get two wins, especially for Marco. The goals that he scored today were great.”
- Said Di Vaio: “I am happy with my performance not only for myself but for the team also. We had some good opportunities in the first half and we shut down a lot of their games. I gave it my all every time I went up on the field today, so I’m happy.”
- The Di Vaio goal to open the scoring put an end to a 193-minute goalless drought for the Impact, their first since the 2-0 win vs. San Jose on Sept. 20.
- “We do a lot of pattern play and I think depending on the teams we play and the way we look to attack different teams. That’s where we see the players meshing better together. We create continuity and in a game like this we had very good movement and the ability to play the ball quick and early,” said Klopas. “With a guy like Marco, when you give him an opportunity like that he’s not going to miss and I urge all of our fans to come to the last game to say farewell to a great human being and a great player.”
- Said midfielder Calum Mallace: “He’s an inspiration to all of us. Everyone wants to play for as long as possible and for him to still be able to do it at his age and still be a dangerous player is inspiring to all of us.”
- Krzysztof Krol returned to the back four for the first time since Sept. 13, coming in at left back, while Felipe Martins came back into the team after coming off the substitutes’ bench in the Chicago match.