The Montreal Impact fell short Saturday night in the Big Apple losing 3-1 to MLS expansion side New York City FC. After winning their first road game last weekend in Columbus the Impact were not able to make it two in a row after a sloppy performance. Going into the match Saturday night New York City was sitting in last place in the MLS.
Sloppy First Half:
"In the first half, I thought we turned the ball over too much and we were off with our passes, so we never got into some kind of rhythm" - Frank Klopas
This is not the first time the Impact have come out slow in the last couple of weeks (even when they have won games). Montreal were not able to break out of their own half with any measure of success and turned the ball over too often. New York fired the first warning shot in the 12th-minute as David Villa unleashed a close range shot that Belgian defender Laurent Ciman blocked. The Impact were finally broken down in the 31st-minute as a nice passing play unlocked the Montreal defence and David Villa slotted home the opening goal.
Change of Formation to Start the Second Half:
"When you make mistakes against a talented forward like David Villa, you will pay for it." - Laurent Ciman
Frank Klopas tried to shake things up in the second half as Anthony Jackson-Hamel was brought in for Victor Cabrera. However the change in formation did not change much. The Impact were able to claw back some of the possession midway through the second half but it did not translate into quality scoring opportunities. New York made it two in the 76th-minute from Mix Diskerud after a defensive turnover by Wandrille Lefèvre led to the opportunity and goal. Lefèvre was able to get his first ever MLS goal in the 88th-minute off a set piece to bring the Impact to back within one. However another defensive error in the 90th-minute by Patrice Bernier gifted New York their third and final goal through Poku.
Back to the Drawing Board:
It's a tough pill to swallow, but will have to move on quickly if we want to have a fresh start against Orlando." - Laurent Ciman
Although the Impact have put together some positive results over the last month, Saturday night was a grim reminder that Montreal might not be out of the woods yet. Saturday night was an opportunity to build on some of the positive vibes and take the game to New York however they appeared to sit back and try absorb the pressure, something they have been doing since March. This team lives and dies by the counter attack, a strategy that can break down quickly if the first goal is conceded.
The Impact return to Stade Saputo next Saturday to take on the other MLS expansion team Orlando City SC. The Impact will be looking to win their fourth game in a row at home. Donadel will be eligible to return from suspension and Dominic Oduro could see a return to the starting lineup after recovering from injury.
Game Statistics and Quotes Courtesy of the Montreal Impact:
MTL - GK-Evan Bush; D-Victor Cabrera (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 46'), Laurent Ciman, Wandrille Lefèvre, Donny Toia; M-Nigel Reo-Coker, Calum Mallace (Patrice Bernier 70'), Eric Alexander, Ignacio Piatti (Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé 78'), Andrés Romero; F-Jack McInerney
Subs not used: GK-Eric Kronberg; D-Bakary Soumare; M-Dominic Oduro; F-Romario Williams
NYC - GK-Josh Saunders; D-RJ Allen, Jason Hernandez, Shay Facey, Chris Wingert (Jeb Brovsky 78'); M-Andrew Jacobson, Mehdi Ballouchy (Mix Diskerud 65'), Thomas McNamara, Ned Grabavoy; F-David Villa, Patrick Mullins (Kwadwo Poku 75')
Subs not used: GK-Ryan Meara; M-Sebastian Velasquez, Matthew Dunn, Pablo Alvarez
NYC - Villa (Ballouchy, Mullins) 31'
NYC - Diskerud (Poku) 76'
MTL - Lefèvre (Ciman) 88'
NYC - Poku (Villa) 90'
NYC - Allen 52'