San Jose Earthquakes vs. Montreal Impact | 2017 MLS Match Preview
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Montreal Impact
2017 MLS Regular Season
Avaya Stadium - San Jose, CA
Saturday, March 4 - 10 pm ET
WATCH: MLS Live in the US | TSN1, TSN4, TSN5 in Canada
The 2017 Major League Soccer season kicks off for both teams in this cross-conference clash, with the San Jose Earthquakes looking to rebound from four straight years of missing the playoffs while the Impact want to pick up where they left off late last season, as their veteran side pushed all the way into extra time of the Eastern Conference Championship before bowing out to Toronto FC.
San Jose have reinforced their roster with a boatload of new signings and a new general manager, while for the first time in their MLS history the Impact remained largely stable throughout the offseason. Didier Drogba is gone, but Ignacio Piatti and the rest of the mostly veteran crew who stole headlines last November are still on the scene, and expect big things in 2017.
The Impact are undefeated all-time against San Jose, with three wins at home (including a 3-1 win at Stade Saputo last season) and two draws on the road. The teams also met twice in the 2013 CONCACAF Champions League, with each team winning on their home ground.
SJ-MTL All-Time MLS Meetings (5 matches since May 28, 2011):
- at San Jose (2 meetings): Tied 0-0-2 (3-3 in goals)
- at Montreal (3 meetings): Montreal lead 3-0-0 (8-2 in goals)
Referees: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: Corey Parker (bench side), Gianni Facchini (far side)
Fourth Official: Daniel Radford
San Jose Earthquakes
After an offseason which saw the club undergo something of a makeover, with imports from Europe, Latin America and their own academy, the Quakes will look to get back to the playoffs for the first time in half a decade. Dom Kinnear is still the man on the sidelines, and he has a host of choices to make – especially in midfield, where youngsters Tommy Thompson and Jackson Yueill have pushed their elders for roles all preseason long.
Up top, Costa Rican int'l Marcos Ureña and Dutch import Danny Hoesen will compete to lead the line ahead of Chris Wondolowski, who returns for his eighth season in the South Bay with hopes of extending his league record for consecutive double-digit goal seasons.
- Suspended: none
- Int’l Duty: none
- Injury Report: Quincy Amarikwa (knee surgery), Marvell Wynne (heart abnormality), Harold Cummings (sports hernia injury), Marc Pelosi (left knee injruy)
Projected starting XI (4-4-2): David Bingham — Nick Lima, Victor Bernardez, Florian Jungwirth, Shaun Francis — Jahmir Hyka, Anibal Godoy, Fatai Alashe, Simon Dawkins — Chris Wondolowski, Marco Ureña
Consistent productivity from the front line was the key for the Impact in late summer and autumn last year, as Piatti combined with newcomer Matteo Mancosu and veteran Dominic Oduro to form one of the most fearsome counterattacking teams in the league. They made virtually no changes to that formula over the offseason, and should be expected to look much the same in terms of both personnel and style in 2017, even though head coach Mauro Biello has been toying with both a 4-2-3-1 and a 3-5-2 in the preseason.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: None
Projected starting XI (4-3-3): Evan Bush — Hassoun Camara, Victor Cabrera, Laurent Ciman, Ambroise Oyongo — Marco Donadel, Hernan Bernardello, Patrice Bernier — Dominic Oduro, Matteo Mancosu, Ignacio Piatti