Toronto FC-Impact Preview
The Montreal Impact seem to be enjoying playing at recently renovated Stade Saputo.
A visit from MLS-worst Toronto FC could give their home crowd plenty more to celebrate.
With their first-ever designated player Marco Di Vaio expected to make his debut, the Impact face Toronto on Wednesday night.
The Impact (5-8-3) beat Toronto 2-1 on April 7 at Olympic Stadium, where they went 2-1-2 before moving to their permanent home.
Montreal beat Seattle 4-1 in its first game at Stade Saputo on June 16 then used another high-scoring display to defeat Houston 4-2 on Saturday. Davy Arnaud and Patrice Bernier both had a goal and an assist as the Impact regrouped from last Wednesday's 2-1 road loss to Chivas USA.
"Letting in two goals was not ideal in the first half, but we were able to keep pushing and got the win," defender Hassoun Camara, who also scored, told the team's official website. "Maybe earlier in the season, we would have let it affect us, but we came out in the second and were determined to keep playing our game. We finished strong and had another good performance at home."
While Montreal would appear to have an advantage over Toronto FC (1-10-2), it isn't taking its Canadian rival lightly.
"We have to focus on the task at hand," midfielder Justin Mapp said. "They have dangerous players so if we are not ready, it will be a disappointing evening. Anyone can be beaten in this league, it doesn't matter where you are in the standings, if you're not ready to come out and play."
The Impact could prove even more difficult to slow down Wednesday with Di Vaio on the field. The veteran forward scored 64 goals in 135 starts over the last four seasons while with Bologna in Serie A.
"We are all excited for him being here," Mapp added. "His experience in the top leagues is invaluable, he's played a high level for a long time. He will add something great to our team."
Toronto FC will be trying to bounce back from another disappointing result. After allowing the tying goal in the 90th minute of last Wednesday's 3-all draw with Houston, Toronto dropped to 0-1-2 under coach Paul Mariner with Saturday's 2-all draw with New England.
Toronto took a 2-0 lead into halftime only to surrender its advantage in second-half stoppage time.
"Maybe the guys were tired, so they were just subconsciously going back and just (trying) to kill the time. But that's not killing time. Killing time is pressuring in their half and letting them make mistakes," goalkeeper Milos Kocic told the team's official website. "I don't think we're going to win many games like this.
"If we play the way we play in the first half, there's nobody can beat us in this league. It's a simple as that."
Toronto has been outscored 16-8 in going 0-5-1 as the visiting club.