Montreal hosts Vancouver for the first time in MLS
By: Giordano Cescutti
Coming off a loss at Fortress Saputo for just the second time this season, and suffering a devastating defeat mid-week in San Jose that all but wraps up its short stint in CONCACAF, the Impact will look to stop the bleeding this afternoon when it faces the Whitecaps for the first time ever at home in MLS.
"Every time you lose a game you need some reaction. We did very well in home games. We made a lot of points so we must get back to the roots" passionately explained Head Coach Marco Schallibaum ahead of the all-Canadian clash.
Since joining Major League Soccer in 2012, Montreal has lost back-to-back games at home just once, a stat that bodes well for the fiery Swiss Manager.
The Impact has amassed 45 points, three back of the Red Bulls for first place with two games in hand.
While the clubs have a storied rivalry prior to joining Major League Soccer, they've faced off only once before in regular season play in Montreal's inaugural MLS game at BC Place. Their most recent battle, a two-legged nail-biter back in May for the Amway Canadian Championship. After a nil-nil opening leg at Saputo Stadium, Montreal found a late equalizer in Vancouver to win the trophy on away goals.
Former Whitecap Jeb Brovsky who left the first leg of the Championship with a bloodied broken nose, is looking forward to playing his ex-team. The permanent fixture at left-back now with the Impact has made an effort as of late to expand his game offensively.
"I've been making a personal point to help the team in attack. It just adds another element to my game. WIth a guy like Matteo [Ferrari] next to me I have some freedom to get up there and I think we have a good relationship that way" said Brovsky in preparation for the Whitecaps.
With Montreal aiming to get back to winning ways and regain their spot atop the Eastern Conference, Vancouver is desperate to simply book a ticket to the postseason. The Whitecaps sit in 7th in the West, 6 points back of the LA Galaxy with the same number of games left to play in the season.
Vancouver will have to make due without three key starters in Russell Teibert, and the centre-back tandem of Andy O'Brien and Johnny Leveron. With both central defenders on the shelf, team captain Jay DeMerit is set to make his first start since rupturing his achilles in the team's season opener on March 2nd.
MLS leading scorer Marco Di Vaio has scored in three-straight home games (five goals) and will surely test the American defender early and often.
Probable lineup: (4-2-3-1): Perkins; Camara, Nesta, Ferrari, Brovsky; Bernier, Arnaud; Mapp, Felipe, Romero; Di Vaio.
News: Sporting Director Nick De Santis has been suspended for today's game for "continued aggresive, confrontational and irresponsible behaviour" towards match officials in last Saturday's 2-1 loss to Columbus.
CJAD800 is proud to host an Impact-Alouettes doubleheader this afternoon with the action kicking off at 1:45 at Saputo Stadium with Brian Wilde and Grant Needham, followed by the Alouettes and Hamilton game from Moncton with Rick Moffat and Dave Mudge.