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IMFC vs NYRB : Taking the Bull By The Horns

HARRISON, NJ - MARCH 31:  Kenny Cooper #33 of the New York Red Bulls is challenged by Tyson Wahl #5 of the Montreal Impact at Red Bull Arena on March 31, 2012 in Harrison, New Jersey.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
HARRISON, NJ - MARCH 31: Kenny Cooper #33 of the New York Red Bulls is challenged by Tyson Wahl #5 of the Montreal Impact at Red Bull Arena on March 31, 2012 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
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5-2 for the New York Red Bulls was the score of the last game between both teams. The Montreal Impact had a 2-1 lead in that game, a game that some bad defending from the NYRB and efficiency from the Montreal Impact. That only lasted 1 half as Thierry Henry and a nervous Impact defense combined for 3 goals for NY and a 5-2 win.

Since then, both teams have changed:

  • Outside a debacle vs DC United, New York have had better performances from its defense and a stellar Ryan Meara between the posts has not been a bad thing to have at all.
  • The Montreal Impact has tightened up their defense allowing 5 goals in 6 MLS games since playing the Red Bulls and add the recent comeback Nelson '' Tyson '' Rivas to the central defense sector and you have a recipe for success

The offensive and defensive success for both does not solely rely on the teams' respective forwards and defenders but to a much bigger picture in which credit must be given to both coaches who understood their teams from the beginning and knew how to dynamically adapt during a game and during the course of this young season.

Even without their 2 Designated Players (Rafa Marquez and Thierry Henry), the NYRB are still a dangerous team.

Follow the link and jump over to read more about game 12 for the Montreal Impact against the New York Red Bulls




Montreal Impact

3-5-3 (W-L-T) - 7th in MLS




New York Red Bulls

7-3-1 ( W-L-T) - 1st in MLS

Where: Stade Olympique - Olympic Stadium

When: 19:30 EST

Broadcast: TVA/MSG on TV , CJAD Sports on the radio

Referee crew: Ismail Elfath. SAR (bench): Peter Manikowski; JAR (opposite): Craig Lowry; 4th: Terry Vaughn MLS Career: First game.

Injury Report (May 18th update at 11:10 PM EST):

Montreal Impact: OUT: DF Zarek Valentin (R calf contusion); DF Josh Gardner (L hamstring tendinitis); FW Evan James (nose fracture); DOUBTFUL: MF Justin Mapp (R calf strain) PROBABLE: MF Sinisa Ubiparipovic (L Groin Strain)

New York Red Bulls: OUT: FW Thierry Henry (R hamstring strain); DF Wilman Conde (L groin strain); DF Stephen Keel (back strain); MF Teemu Tainio (R knee sprain); FW Jose Angulo (R knee sprain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Jan Gunnar Solli (L quadriceps injury) , DF Rafa Marquez (L Achilles injury)

Probable Lineups:

Montreal: Ricketts - Brovsky , Rivas, Ferrari, Wahl - Nyassi, Warner, Felipe , Arnaud - Montano, Corradi

New York: Meara - Barklage, Holgersson, Pearce, Miller - Marquez, Lindpere, McCarty, Palsson - Richards, Cooper


The NY Red Bulls players and coach have expressed happiness in being top of the East in Major League Soccer but like any good and humble team (at least you would be the humble factor), it kept some space for improvement and mentioning keywords like handwork and execution. In a different way, the Montreal Impact are on a good streak themselves having not lost 1 game at home and will hope to continue that threat. The NYRB has the lead in the east but can feel the breath of Sporting Kansas City and DC United, both 1 point behind them. NYRB will want to continue winning as no lead is ever big enough, especially when a win converts to 3 points.

The Impact are not in a playoff spot anymore and understand the importance of getting those 3 points to get back in the hunt for the playoffs. The closer you stay to your opponents in the standings, the more pressure you can put on them and let them feel the heat for once.

The Impact's Defensive play vs NYRB offensive potential

It will come to more than just 4 defenders at the back to stop any team in professional soccer.The good news is that Nelson Rivas has looked good against the LA Galaxy and don't be fooled by his ''chunky'' form as that Colombian defender can run and he can play. His association with Matteo Ferrari is the key to stop Kenny Cooper who will be more present up front, in a more central pivot position. But he will be helped out by either or both Richards and Ballouchy and Cooper can easily drop off on the side on outside the box, something that he likes to do.

At this point, it will be important for Good Communication when defending for Montreal, something that Jesse Marsch has insisted on all season long. What's dangerous about the offensive aspect of NYRB is its ability to bring players in number around the box and the offensive support of the midfielders. The hottest player on the field is probably Joel Lindpere. The Estonian attacking midfielder has been more and more present after switching from a pure winger earlier in the season to a more central offensive midfield role. Expect a lot of movement from the NYRB North-South and East-West and more numbers around the box but this is based on an assumption that NY team will have more of the ball than Montreal.

This is where the possession game comes in for the defensive work of the Montreal Impact. Dax McCarty has settled in at the holding midfield position but can still generate offense from the back. With Palsson and Lindpere on his side, he will have options to give the ball away quickly and the side midfielders can also find Cooper, Ballouchy and Richards up front. This is where Felipe and Warner come in to stop the bleeding quickly with the same aggressiveness that Jesse Marsch wants his central midfielders to play with. Pressing the midfield and winning that battle will be key to the game..yet again. Without sounding too repetitive, if Montreal gives away the ball too easily to the NYRB midfield, there is so much that Rivas and Ferrari can do.

While having a strong united defensive core, having the ball and using it efficiently is key. The Impact could repeat a similar performance when they played Sporting Kansas City and the LA Galaxy by only having 30-40% of ball possession but if the NYRB are 1/3 as efficient as they are, it could hurt, it will hurt.

The Impact's Offensive play: Efficiency...Efficiency...Efficiency

Bernardo Corradi: The Impact`s central offensive pivot will work hard again making himself available to his teammates in the air or on the ground. He can handle many of the MLS defenders to hold off the ball long enough to give it back to his teammates in a offensive setting. Davy Arnaud and Sanna Nyassi will need to give him proper support and availability so they can receive passes from him or send him a pass for a run towards the box. Its the combination and movement that is important but it will also depend on the how the midfield will control and distribute the ball.

Miguel Montano seems to be the 2nd striker to play alongside Corradi and that might be a good thing. Marsch usually rewards his players that show more and more in practice and Montano might get the nod for this game. He is very technical player with good speed , something that Nyassi has a lot of but has not used very well as a 2nd striker in the past. Nyassi seems more suited on the wing or in a wider position with more space to to run as to provoke and challenge his vis-a-vis.

As Lindpere might do, Davy Arnaud should continue being that 2nd/3rd striker when needed. His physical presence in the box and speed can bring and has brought a lot to Montreal and this task will continue to be his. As he seems more suited in a more offensive central midfield position, he has done well on the right and should giveconfidence to Brovsky (Valentin before) to come up to give offensive support.

Tyson Wahl might be back at left back and this might mean that Jesse Marsch is looking more offensive support on the left side from his outside back and Jeb Brosvky might have the same task. Both player can deliver quality crosses but if they have to defend more than they attack, you might see a more flat defensive line.

Another factor to take into account is that the NYRB have acquired U.S. National Team defender Heath Pearce, allocation money and future considerations from Chivas USA in exchange for forward Juan Agudelo. Pearce will bring experience and versatility and should be playing vs Montreal. This adds more difficulty to the Impact as they will try to score goals but its not Mission Impossible.

I still think that the NYRB is not great but if it keeps its game simple, it could be hard to score a goal,against them but there is hope in the Impact's ability to be more efficient in scoring and the NYRB might be their victim.

Donovan Ricketts vs Ryan Meara : Statistical View

Donovan Ricketts 11 11 990 55 36 16 1.45 65
Ryan Meara 11 11 990 58 41 16 1.45 71

Legend: GP: Games Played ; GS: Games Started ; MINS: Minutes Played; SHTS: Shots ; SV: Saves ; GA: Goals Against ; GAA: Goals Against Average ; Sv%: Save Percentage

Montreal Impact Pre-Game comments

New York Red Bulls Pre-Game comments