On Saturday afternoon the Montreal Impact returned to MLS play for the first time since April 11 and suffered yet another defeat, this time 2-1. Although it has almost been a month since the Impact played Houston, the outcome was the same on Saturday. Portland, a team battling to get back into the playoff picture in the Western Conference, will be thrilled to take all three points on the road.
The first half was a little lethargic for both teams and I think it had to with the humidity - Frank Klopas
The excuse of starting slow is becoming a depressing mantra of the Impact. Last Wednesday after the victory over TFC in the Amway Canadian Championship, Klopas also lamented a slow start for his team due to the CONCACAF Champions League run. Montreal saw the return on Evan Bush in net, Bakary Soumaré, Donadel, Piatti, and Romero. Similar to Wednesday the Impact was able to maintain possession of the ball for long stretches, but not generate much in the final third.
A curling free-kick from Marco Donadel highlighted the best scoring opportunity for Montreal at the 31st minute.
Seven Minutes of Madness:
The first goal is so important, so it's difficult to be trailing in games - Evan Bush
As is so familiar this season, when the Impact give up one goal there is probably another one on the way quick. Portland opened the scoring in the 64th-minute through Nat Borchers after a poor clearing attempt (followed by some poor marking) by the Impact in their own box. Borchers was left unmarked and able to tap in an easy header.
Six minutes later the game fell to pieces for the Impact as Argentinian Diego Valeri slotted in a beautiful curling shot past Bush. Oduro came on as a substitute in the 69th-minute and scored in the 70th but it was not enough.
As a torrent of rain lashed down on Stade Saputo during the last ten minutes of the match, the 13,000 people that showed up for the game ran to the exits. Almost everything about Saturday afternoon was reminiscent of the 2014 season, with the exception of a few new faces on the field.
Klopas, NRC, Romero, Bush, they all talked about accountability. Said something is not clicking for the team mentally. #IMFC— Pablo A. Ortiz (@PabloJinko) May 9, 2015
Tough Week Ahead:
By this time next week the Impact could be in a very difficult place. On Wednesday Montreal travels to BMO Field in Toronto for the second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship. TFC brought their B team to Stade Saputo and the Impact was only able to put one goal by them. Montreal has never had much success in Toronto and with a stronger Toronto lineup in the forecast it will be a challenge for the Impact.
Next Saturday the Impact are back at Stade Saputo to face Real Salt Lake. If the Impact drop another three points at home it will be difficult for them to get back into the playoff picture.
Match Statistics and Quotes
Courtesy of the Montreal Impact:
MTL - GK-Evan Bush; D-Nigel Reo-Coker, Bakary Soumare, Laurent Ciman, Eric Miller; M-Marco Donadel, Calum Mallace (Eric Alexander 61'), Dilly Duka (Dominic Oduro 69'), Ignacio Piatti, Andrés Romero; F-Jack McInerney (Kenny Cooper 86')
Subs not used: GK-Eric Kronberg; D-Wandrille Lefèvre; M-Patrice Bernier, Maxim Tissot
POR - GK-Adam Kwasarey; D-Alvas Powell, Jorge Villafana, Liam Ridgewell, Nat Borchers, M-Darlington Nagbe. Diego Valeri (Dairon Asprilla 72'), Jack Jewsbury, Rodney Wallace (Ishmael Yartey 81'); F-Fanendo Adi (Maximiliano Urruti 86')
Subs not used: GK-Andrew Weber; D-Jeanderson, Norbero Paparatto; M-George Fochive
POR - Borchers 64'
POR - Valeri (Wallace) 70'
MTL - Oduro 71'
MTL - Romero 78'