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Turn Back Time - 23 June: A Good Date for Impact Past

MLS wins recorded on this date over Houston & Orlando.

Houston Dynamo v Montreal Impact
Patrice Bernier emerges from the challenge of Will Bruin in the match against Houston Dynamo at Stade Saputo eight years ago today.
Photo by Francois Laplante/Getty Images

23 June has traditionally been a positive date for the Impact in MLS with wins recorded over Houston Dynamo (2012) and Orlando City (2018).

Back in 2012, it was the club’s second-ever MLS match at Stade Saputo and for the second successive time at home they hit four goals (it’s happened only once since), following up a 4-1 success over Seattle Sounders with a 4-2 demolition of Houston Dynamo.

Impact’s goals came from Sanna Nyassi (4), captain Davy Arnaud (21), Hassoun Camara (60), his first-ever in MLS and Patrice Bernier (68 pk). Bernier also had an assist on the opening goal.

In reply for Houston Brad Davis levelled on 16 mins (1-1) as did Will Bruin, assisted by the unpopular Brian Ching on the stroke of half-time for 2-2.

I missed the game having still been a continent away watching the Euros, where earlier in the day Spain defeated France 2-0 in the quarter-finals, thanks to a double from Xabi Alonso.

The Saturday evening game was played in front of Impact’s 5th lowest-ever home crowd for an MLS fixture. Just 12,537 turned up.

Montreal Impact v Houston Dynamo
Gambian international Sanna Nyassi, tangling here with Houston’s Kofi Sardokie, got the Impact rolling with an early goal in their 4-2 success over Houston Dynamo.
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Elsewhere in MLS that day, Jack McInerny had a lively first half for Philadelphia Union netting twice against Sporting Kansas, as his side ran out comfortable 4-0 victors. Another future Impact player in Dominic Oduro was also in the headlines, scoring a 26th min winner for Frank KlopasChicago Fire over Columbus Crew in Illinois. The Fire had played with 10 men from the 29th minute after a straight red card was shown to Gonzalo Segares by referee Armando Villareal.

Three players with Impact connections played in that evening’s Cascadia derby, all for Portland Timbers who won the game 2-1, with former Glasgow Rangers striker Kris Boyd grabbing the winner. Troy Perkins was between the sticks, Futty Danso was incumbent at centre-back, and in the attack Timbers deployed Mike Fucito, who had appeared for the Impact previously that season in its first-ever MLS match.

Only one of the other Canadian sides was in action, Vancouver Whitecaps being thumped 3-0 at LA Galaxy, all goals arriving in the first-half from Mike Magee, Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan.

Fast forwarding to this day in 2018, and the Impact having had a torrid opening to the reign of Remi Garde, travelled to Orlando City, whom they had beaten 3-0 at Stade Saputo ten days earlier.

It turned out to be another clean sheet for Evan Bush and a second away win of the season, set-up by Lamine Sane’s OG after 13 mins. Ignacio Piatti, who seemed always to score against Orlando for fun, sealed matters with six mins left to play (0-2). A healthy 23,498 watched the proceedings.

MLS: Montreal Impact at Orlando City SC
Evan Bush maintains his second successive clean sheet, smothering the ball on the goal-line against Orlando City this day in 2018. Team-mate Samuel Piette looks on.
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The result represented somewhat of a turnaround in fortunes that season for the Impact. It was their second win in run of four straight victories, but ultimately not enough to produce a successful challenge for a play-off spot.

Toronto FC were the only other Canadian club in action on the same evening, losing 1-2 at New York City FC after securing a first-half lead through Victor Vazquez.

Elsewhere former Impact centre-back Laurent Ciman, left out of the Belgian squad for the on-going World Cup, scored an early goal for LAFC to set up a 2-0 victory over Columbus Crew.

Ciman’s country had earlier in the day comprehensively defeated Tunisia 5-2 in Moscow, including two goals apiece for Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard.

Belgium v Tunisia: Group G - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Eden Hazard celebrates scoring from the penalty-spot against Tunisia at the 2018 World Cup finals.
Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Mexico defeated South Korea 2-1 in Rostov-on-Don, including a Carlos Vela penalty-kick, and reigning World Champions Germany squeezed past Sweden 2-1, with a 95th minute winner from Toni Kroos. It was the Germans only win at the tournament, in which they surprisingly failed to emerge from the group stages.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our brief nostalgic trip back into the not-too-distant past.