DC United vs. Montreal Impact | 2017 MLS Match Preview
D.C. United vs. Montreal Impact
2017 MLS Regular Season
RFK Stadium - Washington, D.C.
Saturday, May 6 - 7 p.m. ET
WATCH: MLS LIVE
It's just over two months into the 2017 MLS season, and the Montreal Impact are still looking for their first away victory. Then again, a victory anywhere right now would be welcome for a club sitting on seven points and in 10th place in the Eastern conference.
History is against them, though. Montreal are winless (0-3-3) in six regular-season visits to D.C. United, going into Saturday's meeting at RFK Stadium.
On the home side, things have been looking up for D.C. United since they started the year by going winless – and goalless, to boot – through the first three matches of the season. D.C. sit eighth in the East, one of three teams on 11 points, but they've also lost just one of their last five.
A victory on Saturday – combined with the right results elsewhere, of course – would put United back in the thick of things at the quarter-season mark. A loss for the Impact, on the other hand, would keep them in a pretty deep hole no matter how things shake out around the league.
In their last two outings, United have shown that they can take an early punch and still get a result – a marked difference from the early going, where if they got behind they stayed behind.
Most recently, they fell behind in the ninth minute at Atlanta United last weekend. But coach Ben Olsen stayed patient, and his team did the same. Atlanta's pushes forward created opportunities and space to hit back on the counter, and D.C. capitalized on their way to a 3-1 victory.
Why is this important? Because goalkeeper Bill Hamid is listed as day-to-day with a groin strain, and while Hamid continues to be one of the league's top goalkeepers, he has only one clean sheet this year. It's important because defender Steve Birnbaum has sat out the last two games because of a concussion. And it's important because Montreal haven't been shut out all year.
There's a decent chance that D.C. might have to play catch-up again, against a side badly in need of a three-point take. Whether the opportunity comes on the counter, or through Luciano Acosta's midfield skills in the run of play, the home side have the tools to turn a match around in a hurry.
- Suspended: None.
- International Duty: None.
- Injury report: OUT: M - Rob Vincent (left knee meniscus), GK - Eric Klenofsky (left knee meniscus injury), D - Steve Birnbaum (concussion), M - Patrick Nyarko (hamstring injury), M/D - Nick DeLeon (lower abdominal strain); DAY-TO-DAY: GK - Bill Hamid (groin injury) - REPORT
Probable Starting XI (4-3-3): Bill Hamid (GK) - Sean Franklin, Kofi Opare, Bobby Boswell, Taylor Kemp - Ian Harkes, Jared Jeffrey, Luciano Acosta - Lloyd Sam, Patrick Mullins, Lamar Neagle
Notes: D.C. United have lost only one of their last 13 MLS regular season home games (8W-4D). They are averaging 2.2 goals over these matches. ... Luciano Acosta completed seven dribbles against Atlanta United last weekend, tied for the most of any MLS player in a single game this year.
At least D.C. have a clean sheet this year. Montreal are still waiting for their first – a problem magnified away from home. The Impact have shipped 14 goals overall, nine of those in five road matches.
The bigger news this week, though, is the bad news they got up front.
Forwards Matteo Mancosu and Anthony Jackson-Hamel (whose three goals tie him for the team lead) are both listed as out for Saturday's game, Jackson-Hamel with an undisclosed injury and Mancosu with a thigh injury sustained early in last weekend's 2-1 home loss to Vancouver.
There go five of the Impact's 11 goals this season. Nobody's saying that they don't have the ability to pick up the slack, not with Ignacio Piatti's gifts for both creating and finishing opportunities, but the task has gotten harder.
International duty: None.
Injury report: OUT: M - Shamit Shome (foot injury), M - Andres Romero (hamstring injury), D - Victor Cabrera (ankle injury), F - Matteo Mancosu (thigh injury 4/29, out 6-8 weeks) - REPORT, F - Anthony Jackson-Hamel (undisclosed injury)
Probable Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Evan Bush (GK) - Ambroise Oyongo, Laurent Ciman, Hassoun Camara, Chris Duvall - Hernan Bernardello, Marco Donadel - Ignacio Piatti, Patrice Bernier, Ballou Tabla - Dominic Oduro
Notes: Montreal have not won in their last six regular season away games (3L-3D). They have been outscored 12-6 over these games ... Marco Donadel’s goal last week was his first in 41 MLS games, and just his second league goal for the Impact (52 MLS appearances).
D.C. have lost only three times in the series, winning five times and drawing another five.
- Overall: D.C. 5 wins, 18 goals; Montreal 3 wins, 15 goals; 5 draws
- In D.C. D.C. 3 wins, 10 goals; Montreal 0 wins, 4 goals; 3 draws.
- Referee: Robert Sibiga
- AR1: Jeremy Hanson
- AR2: Anthony Visoli
- Fourth official: Caleb Mendez