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Impact Seek to Bounce Back After Solid Performance in Atlanta

The Impact return to Stade Saputo in a clash versus Minnesota United FC

MLS: Portland Timbers at Montreal Impact
The Impact celebrating Orji Orkwonkwos phenomenal strike against the Portland Timbers
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The second half of the MLS regular season is already two games deep, Montreal is now 1-1 in the second half of the season with a thrilling victory over a weak Timbers side and falling victim to Justin Meram in a spirited 2-1 loss at Mercedes Benz Stadium.

The Impact thus far have compiled a 9-8-3 record for 30 points putting the them third in the Eastern Conference standings. The side has gone through a massive amount of adversity this season playing 9 of their first 10 matches on the road, along with a shocking amount of injuries, most notably captain and designated player Ignacio Piatti’s long term injury keeping him sidelined until the end of August.

The squad was effected by recent International matches losing Jukka Raitala, Samuel Piette, Omar Browne, Zachary Brault-Guillard, Daniel Lovitz, and Michael Azira. The Impact emerged victorious 2-1 at Stade Saputo against a equally decimated squad in the Seattle Sounders before having a 3 week break giving the team a chance to heal the wounds suffered both mentally and physically.

Fast Forward almost a month since the break began, the team have recovered many players from injury and International duty. The Impact go into Saturday’s match missing Daniel Lovitz, Ignacio Piatti, Michael Azira and Clement Bayiha. This is the first time in over a month the squad is relatively healthy and with most players available for MLS play.

Saturday’s tilt on July 6th at Stade Saputo against Minnesota United seems like a good opportunity for the Impact to gain a pivotal three points in the standings. However, Minnesota United has been a respectable squad with a record of 7-7-3 for 24 points putting the Loons sixth in a tight Western Conference. Minnesota is relatively healthy and only missing three players M- Colin Martin, F- Abu Danladi and RB- Romain Mentanaire playing for surprise-packet, Madagascar, in AFCON. History appears to be against the Impact in this matchup as well, in two meetings Minnesota have won both, by a combined score of 5-2. The positive for Montreal being that the top scorer in the series, striker Christian Ramirez with two goals, is no longer with the team after moving to Bob Bradley’s impressive LAFC squad.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup-Minnesota United FC at Houston Dynamo
Minnesotas Jan Gregus against the Houston Dynamo. Gregus has become an impressive setup man for the Loons.
Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

This will be an intriguing matchup being that both sides have lethal players that can strike at any moment. Montreal will look to lean on Algerian International Saphir Taider (7 goals and an assist on the year) as well as Nigerian International Orji Orkwonkwo given recent heroics against the Portland Timbers at Stade Saputo.

The Loons have no shortage of fire power either with Colombian International Darwin Quintero scoring 5 goals and adding 5 assists in a seemingly “down” year. Keep in mind Quintero is only a season removed from a league MVP caliber season. The Loons also posses Jan Gregus a Slovakian international known for his passing as shown in his 1 goal and 7 assists. Minnesota has relied on a spread of scoring throughout the lineup much like the Impact who would like to see more goals from players like Maxi Urruti and Harry Novillo.

MLS: Portland Timbers at Montreal Impact
Orji Orkwonkwo does a backflip in celebration of his brace against the Portland Timbers
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

If you are a Montrealer looking for a fun and reasonably priced event to attend, an Impact game should be on your list. The weather will be around 24 degrees Celsius with sun around kickoff at 7:30 on the ground of Stade Saputo. The Impact have performed well this season despite the circumstances and deserve your support. Tickets can be purchased on the teams website. All at the Stadium. Allez Montreal

This weekend is a test. Will Montreal conquer the Loons or lay an egg at home? We will find out Saturday at 7:30.

Line-ups (projected) -

IMFC: Bush - Sagna, Cabrera, Camacho, Raitala - Shome, Piette, Krolicki - Browne, Jackson-Hamel, Taider

Minnesota: Mannone - Dotson, Opara, Boxall, Gasper - Gregus, Alonso - Finlay, Quintero, Miguel Ibarra - Rodriguez

Match Officials -
Referee - Alan Kelly
Asst Refs - Claudiu Badea, Gianni Facchini
4th Official - Pierre-Luc Lauziere
VAR - Chico Grajeda


Will the Impact earn their first ever victory against Minnesota United FC this Saturday at Stade Saputo?

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