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Vancouver Whitecaps vs Montreal Impact Preview: Je me souviens

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BC Place Stadium, a gorgeous CFL and MLS stadium, where the Montreal Impact will begin its historical MLS debut.
BC Place Stadium, a gorgeous CFL and MLS stadium, where the Montreal Impact will begin its historical MLS debut.

Remember, Remember the 10th of March. Well it does not rhyme like in the movie V for Vendetta, but you might see some grudges and animosity between both teams since their pre-season game in Orlando, Florida. Since the 3-0 preseason loss to the Whitecaps, Jesse Marsch has made the necessary adjustments and finished the preseason with a good performance (1-1 tie) vs the Houston Dynamo. With a squad of MLS veterans and young wolves eager to prove themselves, Jesse Marsch will build this team in his image: intense, compact as a unit and always to the service of the team aka a blue collar team.

From the USL/NASL to the MLS , the Montreal - Vancouver rivalry has its nasty side but will still be a good thing for both clubs and for the league... Je Me Souviens

When,What,Where:
BC Place Stadium on March 10th at 6pm EST. The game will be broadcasted all over Canada via TSN/RDS and in the USA via MLS Live (take note of any blackouts in your region via MLS Live website and iPhone application. You can also listen to the game on the radio on CJAD 800 radio.

Storyline:
The Montreal Impact are obviously starting their historical adventure in Major League Soccer and what better way to start the festivities than a good old canadian rivalry; coast to coast. In the image of their head coach, Jesse Marsch, the Montreal Impact have set the tone in pre-season with a physical aspect to their game with constant pressing and interesting ball control in the midfield

The Vancouver Whitecaps went Monopoly on the league by going on a shopping spree for star-level players including Sebastien Le toux upfront and Young-Pyo Lee at the back. Many experts are giving the Vancouver Whitecaps two thumbs up on their progress since their expansion season, last year.

Battle of the rookies: Andrew Wenger vs Darren Mattocks , Duke vs Akron. After scoring a goal in preseason vs Montreal, Darren Mattock declared that the Impact made a mistake by not drafting him. This short-lived controversy will probably create a constant comparison between both rookies throughout the year. The scrutiny has grown since the SuperDraft as Andrew Wenger was officially tagged as a Forward/Striker by Jesse Marsch.

Montreal Impact

Formation : 4-4-2

Possible Lineup (Left to Right) : Donovan Ricketts - Josh Gardner , Tyson Wahl , Matteo Ferrari , Jeb Brovsky - Justin Mapp , Patrice Bernier , Felipe Martins , Davy Arnaud (c) - Justin Braun , Sanna Nyassi

Goalkeeper: Donovan Ricketts is getting paid the big bucks for his skills and experience. The Jamaican international will be the big boss of the Montreal Impact defense and will be kept busy. Athletic with excellent reflexes, Ricketts will be busy on Saturday and for the rest of the season.

Defense: The Wahl-Ferrari will be sought to stop the central attacks and will need to be strong on their man to man coverage as well anticipating Vancouver attacks. The central defence role will also be to start the offensive initiative of the team making their first pass extremely important. Brovsky will likely start at right back with a more defensive role and Gardner who likes to go up as the left back.

Midfield: Already tagged "crowded", the Montreal midfield (like for any soccer team you might say) will be key in creating the offense. The Bernier-Felipe duo was a revelation during preseason with both being able to keep ball possession and distribute correctly and smartly North-East-South-West. Mapp and Arnaud on the sides will not bring winger-type speed but their ability to cross and find the gaps for pin point passing will be key.

Attack: Braun will play the central pivot position with his size and athleticism but you should see him roam around left and right to give support offensively and defensively. Nyassi should have a support striker role but the Gambian international can score goals and defy the Vancouver defence.

Vancouver Whitecaps

Formation: 4-3-3

Possible Lineup (Left to Right) : Joe Cannon - Alain Rochat, Jay DeMerit (c), Martin Bonjour, Young-Pyo Lee - Davide Chiumiento , Jun Marques Davidson , Gershon Koffie - Camilo , Eric Hassli, Sebastien Le Toux

Goalkeeper: Joe Cannon is a MLS veteran and will be called upon to defend his net as the starter for the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Defence: Jay DeMerit and Martin Bonjour will be bringing a physical game to their opponents. The Young-Pyo Lee signing is close to genius as the South Korean international will bring more than just solid defense. His smart and fast runs will tire any team plus his vision of the game will be apparent with smart passing and always looking for the 1-2 combination. Alain Rochat is also a working bee, a player that will bring it every game while staying consistent.

Midfield: Chiumiento is extremely skilled and is tagged as the most important player of the team and one of the best in the league. Davidson will patrol the defensive sector of the midfield but in a 4-3-3 will be involved in the offensive sector. Koffie or Mattocks? It is Koffie that will be the right midfielder

Attack: Camilo - Hassli - Le Toux, a big order for any team to face. Camilo is a very quick attacking player that has shown a great finishing touch. Le Toux is a proven striker in Major League Soccer and will gladly let Hassli score the goals as he tallies up assists. Hassli will be as dominant if not more with a stronger supporting cast from Young-Pyo Lee to Letoux. Barring injuries, he will score a lot of goals for the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Pre-game comments at BC Place courtesy of ImpactMontreal.com