KANSAS CITY, KS - MAY 05: Mid fielder Felipe Martins #7 of the Montreal Impact carries caption Patrice Bernier #8 off the field after scoring on a penalty kick against Sporting Kansas City during the second half on May 5, 2012 at LiveStrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. Montreal defeated Sporting Kansas City 2-0. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
The Montreal Impact won their first road game of the season and in MLS history on Saturday against MLS powerhouse Sporting Kansas City. Scoring 2 goals and conceding none (Felipe Martins at the 30th minute and Patrice Bernier at the 64th minute), the Impact might have played one of their most best game of the season in terms of efficiency and defensive heroics. Sporting KC is still an excellent and enjoyed a majority of ball possession but were asphyxiated by Montreal, who found a way to control the rhythm of the game.
With this victory, a streak will continue and the victorious momentum will push the team to continue to better itself, to improve as Jesse Marsch promised internal competition, a deep squad and a united group. J.Marsch and his staff will continue talking about being humble and that this win does not mean that the team is set for life. The team will continue to stay humble and down to earth as it continues to build its foundation with a clear philosophy of playing, managing and building.
The game against Sporting Kansas City was not the most exciting offensively, even though the Montreal Impact scored 2 goals. The game statistics tell a different story than the final score.
|Sporting Kansas City||Montreal Impact|
|22||Attempts on Goal||6|
|4||Shots on Target||2|
|13||Shots off Target||3|
|18||Open Play Crosses||2|
|53%||Duels Won %||46%|
|81%||Passing Accuracy %||66%|
288 passes vs 566 passes -- 33.90% of possession vs 66.10% of possession -- 2 shots on target vs 4 shots on target . Sporting Kansas City continued its possession dominance against other MLS opposition. That possession dominance might have been a tad skewed by the Impact's decision to field new players and a desire to defend and counter attack from the beginning. But the fact still stands that Sporting KC is a strong MLS with great player and cohesive squad but they faced another cohesive squad led by a man that hates losing more than he likes winning...Marsch on
New Defensive Triangle
As he decided to field his strongest squad against Toronto FC for the 2012 Amway Canadian Championship home and away semi-finals, Jesse Marsch decided to line up new players including a '' rehaul '' of the defensive nucleus : Hassoun Camara and Nelson Rivas at central defence and Patrice Bernier in the defensive midfielder position.
Hassoun Camara and Nelson were playing their first MLS minutes in their career and were monsters. They both combined 18 clearances, 7 won tackles and 8 interceptions. They both brought a physical aspect to the game and did not let up one minute against C.J Sapong and whoever else decided to come their way. A important factor in their play was the important first clean pass that both Rivas and Camara were able to execute, showing that they are more than just defensive bulldogs. Add poise and calmness in their game and the Montreal Impact have just doubled their eligible starting central defenders to 4. Imagine the eagerness of Montreal Impact fans to see Nelson Rivas and Matteo Ferrari start side by side.
Patrice Bernier started next to a familiar face, Felipe Martins, and did not show much rust in his game as he continued being physical (13 recoveries) but was also under control in his passing and combined well with the side midfielders and outside backs (most of his successful passes were charted there). The cherry on top on the cake was sealing the deal with the team's second goal on a PK won by Lamar Neagle (tackled in the box by Aurelien Collin .
No need to describe the PK , you can just watch it again and again and enjoy Bernier's fake step in his stride..Joga Bonito
You can congratulate all of the players that played against SKC including Felipe Martins who scored from outside the box with a left curling shot, a consecration to the body of his work and deservedly gets a goal. The hard-working Italo-Brazilian is a center piece of the Montreal Impact's game and continues to repay the confidence given to him by Jesse Marsch.
Davy Arnaud comes back home
Another nice story in the game was the return of Davy Arnaud to Sporting Kansas City, his only MLS team since he joined the league in 2002. He received a video tribute that aired on the stadium video screens at Livestrong Sporting Park. Subbed in at the 70th minute, Davy Arnaud also received a warm ovation from SKC fans as they recognize one of their own and give tribute to the team's all-time leader in games played with 240 games. This must have been a special moment for Arnaud as he stepped into the field as a Montreal Impact, a team that he has already embraced as his own. Only Davy Arnaud knows exactly what he felt coming back to Kansas City and he will keep and cherish that moment for a long time.
We feel a victorious momentum and goal efficiency beyond expectations against one of the league's best for the Montreal Impact. It still means that the team needs to continue working hard and improving in the process of building a successful MLS franchise.