Montreal Impact vs. Orlando City SC | 2017 MLS Match Preview
Montreal Impact vs. Orlando City SC
2017 MLS Match Preview
Stade Saputo – Montreal
Saturday, August 5 – 7:30 pm ET
WATCH: MLS LIVE in US; TVA Sports in Canada
Much of the attention that will be given to the matchup between the Montreal Impact and Orlando City SC will rightly be given to the Lions' new striker, Dom Dwyer. The newly-minted US national team forward was traded to Orlando last week in a record deal and made his first appearance for Jason Kreis' team in a 1-1 draw at Atlanta United on Saturday. Dwyer played 73 minutes, 62 coming with Canada national team striker Cyle Larin, and did not take a shot while completing five of his 10 passes. But at Stade Saputo, Dwyer and Orlando will be facing off an Impact team needing to take care of business at home with a star midfielder looking to make his mark on MLS.
Blerim Dzemaili has been a star for Mauro Biello's team since arriving in Montreal back in May, registering four goals and four assists in just 10 games. He was able to put up those numbers despite the fact that All-Star winger Ignacio Piatti has started just five games with him. With Dzemaili starting, the Impact have won 40 percent of their games. When he has not, they have won just 20 percent. With Piatti set to return to the starting XI, it could be time for Dzemaili and the Impact to make their push above the playoff line.
Montreal enters Saturday's match against Orlando after a 4-0 trouncing at the hands of the New York Red Bulls last weekend. That loss pushed the Impact further down the Eastern Conference standings with 14 games left on their schedule. That number is the most of any East team, and gives the Impact an opportunity to get back in the playoff race.
Their 1.2 points per game average is good for ninth, with Columbus Crew SC in sixth with an average of 1.39 points per game. One team ahead of them is of course Orlando, and a win on Saturday would bring Montreal almost level with the Lions in terms of points per game.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT: D Ambroise Oyongo (right knee surgery)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): GK: Evan Bush – Chris Duvall, Laurent Ciman, Kyle Fisher, Daniel Lovitz – Hernan Bernardello, Patrice Bernier – Michael Salazar, Blerim Dzemaili, Ignacio Piatti – Anthony Jackson-Hamel
Notes: The Impact have conceded eight goals from outside the box this season, the most of any team in the league.
Orlando City SC
Dwyer didn't produce much at all on Saturday, with Orlando's only goal coming from a flick-on by Larin and a scorcher off of Kaká's right foot. The attack could be an issue again against Montreal as Dwyer and Kaká will be returning from the 2017 MLS All-Star Game, presented by Target in Chicago. That could result in those two not being in Jason Kreis' starting XI.
One player who should be in the lineup is left back Donny Toia. Toia spent the previous two seasons with Montreal, playing in 48 games with the Impact. Toia featured in the 3-3 home draw against the Impact back in June and will be visiting Montreal for the first time since being selected in the Expansion Draft and traded to Orlando.
“It’ll be interesting,” Toia said with a laugh when talking about his to return to Montreal, per OrlandoCitySC.com. “Obviously I played there for two years and got to know some of the guys pretty well, so it’ll be good to see them and hopefully get a result there too.”
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: QUESTIONABLE: D Rafael Ramos (hamstring strain), D Kevin Alston (hamstring)
Projected Starting XI (4-4-2): GK: Joe Bendik — Scott Sutter, Jose Aja, Jonathan Spector, Donny Toia — Antonio Nocerino, Will Johnson, Cristian Higuita, Kaká — Dom Dwyer, Cyle Larin
Notes: Orlando conceded in the 85th minute or later in consecutive weeks to drop points. Since they joined MLS, they have conceded 35 goals in the last 15 minutes of matches. Only three other teams have conceded more than 33 in that time.
- Overall: Orlando lead 3-2-2
- At Montreal: Series tied 1-1-1
Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistant Referees: Claudiu Badea, Craig Lowry
Fourth Official: Geoff Gamble
VAR: Ted Unkel