MATCH PREVIEW: Portland looks to build momentum on the road in Montreal
The Montréal Impact put their home undefeated record when they meet the Portland Timbers for the first time on Saturday afternoon at Olympic Stadium. The Impact return to action after a 10-day layoff, coming away with their first road point in their last match, a 1-1 draw at D.C. United. The Timbers put an end to their four-game losing run and Sporting Kansas City perfect start to the season, in a 1-0 home win last weekend.
The Portland Timbers put an end to their MLS club-record losing streak at four games, ending Sporting Kansas City’s undefeated start to the season in a 1-0 victory Saturday evening at JELD-WEN Field. The Timbers are in ninth place in the Western Conference with 7 points from 6 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Timbers shut out SKC
- The game's only goal came after 40 minutes. Portland's Kris Boyd ran down a long pass to the right corner and put in a cross. Defenders Chance Myers and Julio Cesar collided while trying to clear, leading to Myers heading the ball into his own net.
- Timbers head coach John Spencer made one change to the team that went down to a 3-1 loss to the LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center. Jorge Perlaza started in place of Eric Alexander.
- PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-4-2): Troy Perkins - Steve Purdy (Freddie Braun 78), Hanyer Mosquera, Eric Brunner, Mike Chabala - Darlington Nagbe (Franck Songo'o 89), Lovel Palmer, Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara - Jorge Perlaza (Eric Alexander 84), Kris Boyd.
The Timbers were able to hold out for a shutout – their first of the season – and put an end to their losing run while also ending Sporting KC’s bid to create history for the longest winning streak to start a season.
“I think we’ve got to take a lot of pride in our performance,” Timbers head coach John Spencer said. “We’ve got to go to Montreal next weekend in another difficult game. There are no easy games in this league. I think that everybody here is starting to realize that on the field and off the field.”
In the three previous games, the Timbers had allowed the deciding goal in every contest in the final 10 minutes.
- “We kind of got everybody together and said, ‘Hey, it’s time that we’ve got to prove it not only to ourselves but to everyone else that we can close teams out and get a shutout,’” Timbers midfielder Jack Jewsbury said. “That was very important for us tonight.”
Training 2012: Timbers arrive in Montreal
Said defender Steve Purdy: “The last 17 minutes took forever. It’s definitely a big thing that it’s off our shoulder finally. The last few weeks have been really difficult.”
Spencer made a change in tactical assignments for the SKC match, putting Lovel Palmer – nominally a fullback – into a holding midfield role, and moving Diego Chara to the flank in midfield. Chara had played outside earlier this season, swapping spots with Darlington Nagbe.
“We just felt that, from the video and watching [KC’s Graham Zusi] two or three times, everything that comes through him usually leads to goals or assists,” Spencer said. “ … I thought [Palmer] did a tremendous job. It was probably his best game as a Portland Timber.”
Jorge Perlaza made his first start in three games, coming in to partner Kris Boyd in attack. Boyd saw his two-game goalscoring streak come to an end.
“Jorge and Boyd, they worked hard. We never got them a lot of good, quality services except for the one that Diego cleared across the 18, but I don't think we can really single anybody out,” Spencer said. “I think the performance was a good, solid performance. ... But I think we have a lot more quality to come, that's for sure."
The Montréal Impact return to action after a weekend off, after playing to a 1-1 draw at D.C. United on April 18. The Impact are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 5 points from 8 matches.
HIGHLIGHTS: Impact earn point at DC
- The goals came four minutes apart in the second half. Bernardo Corradi put Montreal ahead in the 69th minute. Freed by Justin Mapp on the right, Lamar Neagle found Corradi at the far post, and the Italian made no mistake with the header from the pinpoint cross.
- But United were level in the 73th minute through substitute Maicon Santos. The Brazilian striker found time and space in the Montreal half, and with the ball on his left foot, fired a shot from 30 yards out that beat Donovan Ricketts low inside the left post.
- Impact head coach Jesse Marsch made one change to the team that fell to a 2-1 loss to FC Dallas in Frisco. Sanna Nyassi came back into the team for Lamar Neagle.
- MONTREAL IMPACT (4-4-2): Donovan Ricketts - Zarek Valentin, Shavar Thomas, Matteo Ferrari, Tyson Wahl - Davy Arnaud, Felipe Martins, Collen Warner, Justin Mapp (Patrice Bernier 73) - Bernardo Corradi (Justin Braun 82), Sanna Nyassi (Lamar Neagle 65).
While the Impact were able to gain their first road point, they are still looking for their first shutout in MLS. With 15 goals conceded, they have allowed the most in the league this season.
“We didn’t manage the last game well,” Patrice Bernier said. “Having taken the lead, my goal was, since we’ve not played as well in the later stages of games recently as we do in the early stages, to come on and calm things down, start to build up plays again. We knew the other team would push and allow us to counter. Unfortunately we allowed the 1-1 goal as I was coming on. We had to make sure we left with a point and not relive the Dallas scenario.”
Bernardo Corradi scored for the second consecutive match vs. D.C. United, days after netting his first from the penalty spot in a tribute to fallen Italian player and friend Piermario Morosini, who died during a Serie B match.
“With a player of my characteristics, I think you can use me with long balls, to flick balls into the other side and help the wide players to go in and face the goalie. You can use me when you make deliveries from the wings, so any time you put the ball in the box it could be dangerous for the other team,: Corradi said. “I would love to get many deliveries like the one Lamar [Neagle] made.”
The Portland game starts a run of three of the next four league games at home, at Olympic Stadium. The Impact have taken four points from their two home games.
“The way we played, it feels like, for long stretches of time, we play good possession, control the game, and then there's always a kind of lapse,” Neagle said. “We need to find a way to put together a full 90 minutes, control the game and play the way we want to play.”
The Impact return to action following a 10-day break, with a very busy stretch ahead. Next week, they will begin their Canadian Championship with a home match against Toronto FC in the first leg of that semifinal series.
“We'll see how different performances play out,” head coach Jesse Marsch said. “The fact is that certain guys are better in games, certain guys are better in training, certain guys know how to make big plays, certain guys are prone to mistakes. A lot of guys are going to get a shot and it’ll be important for them to do well when they get their shot. Then we’ll see how things fit into place after May.”
During the time off, the Impact traded forward Mike Fucito to the Timbers for a future draft pick. However, under the terms of the deal, Fucito will not be able to play this weekend against his now-former team.
- “We had some big hopes for Mike coming in,” Marsch said. “In the end, I think he thought that the combination of him not wanting to be here and him seeing that there’s a lot of competition at that position meant that he felt his future might be somewhere else.”
REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez. SAR (bench): Philippe Briere; JAR (opposite): Claudio Badea; 4th: Jose Carlos Rivero
MLS Career: 78 games; FC/gm: 24.7; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 23; pens: 22
- MONTREAL IMPACT – OUT: FW Miguel Montano (proximal tib fib sprain); DOUBTFUL: DF Gienir Garcia (L knee contusion); QUESTIONABLE: DF Nelson Rivas (L hamstring strain)
- PORTLAND TIMBERS – DOUBTFUL: MF Kalif Alhassan (R knee sprain); GK Jake Gleeson (R knee IT band tightness); QUESTIONABLE: DF David Horst (R hip surgery)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: MTL: Sanna Nyassi, Felipe Martins, Bernardo Corradi
ALL-TIME: First meeting.
- This is the only league meeting between the clubs this season.
Coaches record: Jesse Marsch vs. POR: first game … John Spencer vs. MTL: first game