With the season winding down for both the Montreal Impact and the Chicago Fire, the teams played to a dull 0-0 draw this evening at Toyota Park in Chicago. The Chicago Fire and the Montreal Impact both sit in the basement of the Eastern Conference. The draw still leaves Montreal looking for their first victory on the road this season.
With the 0-0 draw tonight, the Chicago Fire set an MLS single season record for draws with 17. The fact they have not been able to turn some of those draws into victories has them sitting in second last in the Eastern Conference.
The two teams last met on August 16 when new designated player Ignacio Piatti made his debut for the Impact in a 1-0 victory. Di Vaio scored the winner late in that game to clinch the victory. The game tonight very much looked like a carbon copy of the game in August minus the Di Vaio winner.
Montreal Impact manager Frank Klopas had to watch this game from the press box after being sent off last weekend in Columbus.
This would have been Klopas's first game back in Chicago after joining the Impact in the last off season. Instead the Impact manager was able to have a birds eye view from the rafters of Toyota Park to evaluate his players going into next season.
The game this evening resembled that of a reserve game with neither team able to assert themselves nor find the back of the net.
Unfortunately, the game lacked any sort of emotion or intensity which did not help things. Tonight was proof again of how different the Impact can be Piatti and Di Vaio in the starting lineup.
Justin Mapp made his return to the first team for the Impact after missing significant time recently due to an injury. With all the question marks going into next season, Mapp should be considered a safe bet to retain his spot on the Impact.
The Fire outshot the Impact 8-2 and had more opportunities from corner kicks 7-1. The Impact have certainly shored up the defence in the last couple of months, not leaking goals like they were earlier in the summer. A big part of this also can be credited to the play of keeper Evan Bush.
Evan Bush stood out as the clear favourite as the best player on the night for the Impact. Bush kept the Impact in the game during the first half when the Fire were generating dangerous scoring opportunities. Without Bush tonight the Impact would not have left Chicago with the point. With Troy Perkins no longer in the picture, Evan Bush is continuing to make a case for himself to be the starting keeper next year.
Montreal slowly improved as the game progressed and almost came up with a winner late in the game after Nakajima-Farran perfectly weighted a pass into Di Vaio. However the Chicago keeper Sean Johnson rushed out of his box in order to beat Di Vaio to the ball.
The Impact return to Stade Saputo next Saturday to take on the red hot New England Revolution.