The hazards of competition will add more games to an already heavy schedule. But a 1-0 win vs the San Jose Earthquakes was supposed to be that boost of energy Marco Schallibaum prescribed for his players. Cure to all sports ailments, or almost, winning in MLS has become urgent for the Montreal Impact.
The good news is that the Impact will play the next 2 games at home against D.C. United and the Houston Dynamo. The ''bad news'' is a road trip to Guatemala against C.D. Heredia in CONCACAF Champions League.
Back to Chicago, Schallibaum fielded a familiar team with Marco Di Vaio starting the game on the bench. Squad rotation needed, the Impact still had the players to be able to beat a weakened Fire team without the current MLS Golden Boot, Mike Magee.
Two early first half goals by Joel Lindpere and Dilly Duka put the Impact in a difficult situation. Six minutes in, Lindpere's shot is deflected off Daniele Paponi. The shot wrong footed Troy Perkins and the Fire takes a psychological advantage over the Impact.
Davy Arnaud gets the blame as he was behind the foul that gave Chicago the free kick, that eventually got the goal. The #IMFC fans most favorite scapegoat will not escape the wrath of fans, if ever.
Fifteen minutes later, Dilly Duka emulates Eric Alexander of the New York Red Bulls and dribbles his way into the box. Alessandro Nesta should have had Duka covered but is loose on his clearance and actually tries to control the ball instead of clearing it. Duka's momemtum and hunger gives him a favorable rebound and shoots a low shot that beats Perkins.
Justin Mapp almost cut the lead by 1 goal when his shot is saved by a quick and impressive Seam Johnson. Sanna Nyassi finds space on the left side of the box when he dribbles past Jalil Anibaba. He finds Daniele Paponi who directs the pass directly towards Justin Mapp. But Sean Johnson makes a great save.
Early in the second half, Marco Di Vaio and Felipe Martins came in to add some life to an otherwise anemic offense. The Brazlian made an immediate impact when his one-timed shot found the lower corner of the Chicago goal. It took Felipe's left foot and a nice play by Sanna Nyassi to beat a hot Sean Johnson.
Taking over the game, with over 60% of ball possession, the Impact almost tied the game twice when Felipe's attempt was blocked by Austin Berry. In stoppage time, Matteo Ferrari header was a guaranteed goal but Chris Rolfe cleared the ball off the line.
The Montreal Impact have not had a significant win in MLS since beating the Houston Dynamo back in June. EVen if there was a recent 1-0 win against Sporting Kansas City, the game was more of a tie but Schallibaum will take all the wins he can get.
- 34 Goals For vs 34 Goals Against:
The Montreal Impact has scored quite come goals but have conceded too many to claim a top MLS team title. Add to that an increased risk of not making the playoffs, Marco Schallibaum needs to get the club on a winning momentum or else.
- Is Ball Possession a bad thing?
The more ball possession the Impact has the less efficient they seem to be. This might seem like an odd sentence to read but I have found the Impact to be much more dangerous in counter attacking situations. Even more at Stade Saputo, going for quick attacks seems to be a fit for Montreal.
The upcoming week for Montreal
Monday August 12th: Day Off
Tuesday August 13th: 10:30 AM EST practice at Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard
Wednesday August 14th: 10:30 AM EST practice at Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard
Thursday Augsut 15th: 10:30 AM EST practice at Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard
Friday August 16th : 4:00 PM EST closed practice at Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard
Saturday August 17th: D.C. United at Stade Saputo at 7:00 pm EST