DC United vs. Montreal Impact | MLS Match Preview
D.C. UNITED vs MONTRÉAL IMPACT
RFK MEMORIAL STADIUM, Washington, D.C.
March 7, 2015 (WEEK 1, MLS Game #2)
3 p.m. ET (RDS; CSN-MA)
Two clubs who have already kicked off their competitive campaigns for 2015 meet in their MLS season openers as D.C. United play host to the Montréal Impact on Saturday afternoon at RFK Stadium. The Impact recorded a stunning result in their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal, getting a last-gasp goal to eliminate Mexico’s Pachuca CF, while United were dispatched by Costa Rica’s LD Alajuelense. United finished atop the Eastern Conference last year before they were knocked out by the New York Red Bulls; the Impact were not able to build upon their first MLS Cup Playoffs appearance in their third year of MLS play.
REFEREE: Mark Geiger. AR1 (bench): Greg Barkey; AR2 (opposite): Matthew Nelson; 4th: Mark Kadlecik
MLS Career: 129 games; FC/gm: 26.7; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 31; pens: 42
SUSPENDED: DC: Fabian Espindola (through March 15)
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (8 meetings): United 3 wins, 14 goals … Impact 2 wins, 11 goals … Ties 3
AT RFK STADIUM (4 meetings): United 2 wins, 8 goal … Impact 0 wins, 3 goals … Ties 2
RETURN MATCHES: 8/8: Montreal Impact vs. D.C. United, 8 p.m. ET; 9/26: Montreal Impact vs. D.C. United, 5 p.m. ET
LAST YEAR (MLS)
5/17: DC 1, MTL 1 (Johnson 85 – McInerney 56)
6/11: MTL 2, DC 4 (McInerney 11; Romero 20 – Silva 5, 38, 49; DeLeon 22)
10/25: MTL 1, DC 1 (Di Vaio 26 – Espindola 86)
- United were undefeated in their three meetings with the Impact a year ago. The teams played to a pair of 1-1 draws, while United claimed a 4-2 victory on June 11 at Stade Saputo, the only victory by a road team in the series history.
- United have won two of the four meetings lifetime at RFK Stadium, with two draws.
- Coaches record: Ben Olsen vs. MTL: P8 W3 L2 D3 … Frank Klopas vs. DC: P10 W4 L2 D4
D.C. United capped a wonderful worst-to-first campaign a year ago with the Eastern Conference regular season title and 59 points, before seeing their season end in the conference quarterfinals at the hands of their archrivals from New York. Ben Olsen is back for his fifth full season in charge after having won league Coach of the Year honors last year.
- United were eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League by Costa Rican outfit LD Alajuelense by a 6-4 score on aggregate, winning the return leg 2-1 at RFK Stadium on Wednesday evening. Jairo Arrieta gave United a glimmer of hope with a first-half goal; Fabian Espíndola netted a late penalty kick for the final scoreline.
- Here’s the United team: Bill Hamid – Bobby Boswell, Chris Korb, Sean Franklin, Steve Birnbaum; Chris Pontius (Chris Rolfe 58), Davy Arnaud (Michael Farfan 73), Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen; Fabian Espindola, Jairo Arrieta (Conor Doyle 69)
- “This is about the first leg,” United head coach Ben Olsen. “It’s the second time we’ve done it and we need to learn that lesson that in this competition format, such as the MLS playoffs, you have to show up both legs and go about it in a dire way. We didn’t do that.”
- Said United midfielder Chris Pontius: “It’s two first legs in the past six months that we’ve started out this way, started out in a bad way and then we’re scrambling in the second leg. I thought we had them on the run here and then they got that deflected goal. It’s unfortunate but we simply can’t put ourselves down three goals going into these return legs.”
- United fell 5-2 in the first leg in Alajuela on Feb. 26. The United goals came from Fabian Espíndola and Steven Birnbaum.
- Here’s the United team for the first leg in Costa Rica: Andrew Dykstra; Sean Franklin, Steven Birnbaum, Bobby Boswell, Taylor Kemp; Nick DeLeon, Davy Arnaud (Michael Farfan 81’), Perry Kitchen, Chris Rolfe (Miguel Aguilar 71’); Fabián Espíndola, Chris Pontius (Jairo Arrieta 57’)
- Goalkeeper Bill Hamid missed out on the first leg through injury, but returned to training in time for the return match.
- United were missing two key components through injury for both CONCACAF matches – Markus Halsti (MCL sprain) and Luis Silva (hamstring) – and both are not expected to be available for the MLS season opener.
- Before departing for Central America, United faced MLS competition in a preseason match when they lost 3-1 to FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium in Frisco. The lone United goal came from Jairo Arrieta.
TRANSACTIONS IN: MF Thomas McNamara (Dispersal Draft); MF Andrew Driver (trade from Houston); MF Markus Halsti (free); FW Jairo Arrieta (trade from Orlando City); MF Michael Farfan (free); MF Miguel Aguilar (SuperDraft); GK Travis Worra (free)
TRANSACTIONS OUT: GK Joe Willis (traded to Houston); DF Samuel Inkoom (traded to Houston); DF Nana Attakora (option declined); MF Alex Caskey (option declined); DF Jeff Parke (option declined); MF Kyle Porter (option declined); DF Conor Shanosky (option declined); MF Lewis Neal (Expansion Draft to Orlando City); MF Thomas McNamara (Expansion Draft to NYCFC); MF Andrew Driver (out of contract)
The Montréal Impact begin their fourth MLS campaign looking to regain the glory of two years ago when they claimed a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs in just their second season in the league. Frank Klopas is back for a second season in charge of the club, after seeing his group finish in last place in the Eastern Conference a year ago with 28 points.
- The Impact reached the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League in dramatic fashion, advancing past Pachuca CF of Mexico following a last-gasp 1-1 draw at Olympic Stadium. The Impact advanced on away goals after the teams played to a 2-2 draw in Mexico.
- Rookie Cameron Porter scored the equalizer with nearly the final kick of the match deep in second-half stoppage time to send the Impact through. Pachuca had netted a penalty kick 10 minutes from time to give them a leg up.
- Impact head coach Frank Klopas made no changes to his team for the second leg in Montréal.
- Here’s the Impact team: Evan Bush; Donny Toia, Laurent Ciman, Bakary Soumare, Victor Cabrera; Marco Donadel (Calum Mallace 65’), Nigel Reo-Coker (Cameron Porter 85’); Dilly Duka, Ignacio Piatti, Justin Mapp; Dominic Oduro (Jack McInerney 78’)
- “I think we did a very good job with three key things: planning, preparation and the players we brought in,” said Impact head coach Frank Klopas. “When you get a group of players who are committed to the goals we set forth in the preseason and everyone understands the kind of commitment, dedication and hard work we need to buy into, that’s the winning mentality and grit that we were missing before.”
- The Impact set the stage for their quarterfinal series victory with the 2-2 draw at Estadio Hidalgo in Pachuca. Both Impact goals came from Dilly Duka in the first half.
- Here’s the Impact team for the first leg: Evan Bush; Donny Toia, Laurent Ciman, Bakary Soumare, Victor Cabrera (Hassoun Camara 70’); Marco Donadel (Calum Mallace 73’), Nigel Reo-Coker; Dilly Duka, Ignacio Piatti, Justin Mapp; Dominic Oduro (Cameron Porter 81)
TRANSACTIONS IN: DF Donny Toia (Dispersal Draft); MF Marco Donadel (free); MF Nigel Reo-Coker (Waiver Draft); GK Eric Kronberg (Re-Entry Stage 1 Draft); DF Bakary Soumare (Re-Entry Stage 2 Draft); DF Victor Cabrera (loan from River Plate); FW Romario Williams (SuperDraft); DF Laurent Ciman (free); MF Eric Alexander (trade from New York); DF Ambroise Oyongo (trade from New York); FW Dominic Oduro (trade from Toronto); GK Kristian Nicht (loan from Indy Eleven); FW Cameron Porter (SuperDraft)
TRANSACTIONS OUT: FW Marco Di Vaio (retired); DF Matteo Ferrari (option declined); DF Mamadou Danso (out of contract); MF James Bissue (option declined); MF Zakaria Messoudi (option declined); MF Gorka Larrea (option declined); GK Troy Perkins (out of contract); DF Gege Soriola (option declined); DF Heath Pearce (Expansion Draft to Orlando City); MF Issey Nakajima-Farran (waived); MF Felipe Martins (traded to New York); DF Karl Ouimette (waived); DF Krzysztof Krol (mutual termination)