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Pre-game report from Montreal Impact website

MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact (9-10-5) plays the first of two home matches against the Carolina RailHawks (14-5-6) Sunday at Saputo Stadium, at 3:30 pm (Radio-Canada, CKAC Sports, THE TEAM 990, USLlive.com).

The Impact has won its last two matches: 2-1 in Cleveland, August 18 and 2-0 against Austin, August 23. With a third consecutive win, the Impact would be playing at the .500 mark for the first time since July 5. [That sums it all...]

"Everything is going well for us now and the confidence is there," declared Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos. "The players are more conscious that they need to play to their maximum during the 90 minutes and especially that they have to end their matches on a strong note." [it's about time...]

It will be the first of three matches between both teams this season. In seven matches played against the RailHawks, which joined the league in 2007, the Impact has a 5-1-1 record (14GF – 4GA).

However, the North Carolina squad has not lost in its last eight matches (5-0-3). In their last game, the RailHawks crushed the Miami FC 9-0, Wednesday, at WakeMed Soccer Park.

"After its win against Miami, I don't think that Carolina will come here overconfident," added Dos Santos. "They will be focused and will probably have forgotten their last match. This is a team that goes on the road with a strong attitude and which has a very organized system of play. Due to their speed, they can be very dangerous, especially in counterattack."

Since the season start, no less than 110 matches have been missed by Impact players, due to injuries. Sunday, only Simon Gatti should miss the match due to a thigh injury. [Where is Brillant ?]

"It feels good to see that almost everybody is healthy,” said Dos Santos. “It was tough this season to have to change our lineup at every game. A number of less experienced players had to play key roles. We hope of course to avoid injuries from now to the playoffs."

Midfielder David Testo, who missed a few training sessions this week due to a light ankle injury against Austin, should be in the lineup against the RailHawks. He will become the first player on the team to reach the 2,000 minutes played mark this season. He has up to now registered 1,987 minutes in 23 matches.

“It will be a very tough game because we are going to face a team at its best,” said Testo. “Since the end of last season, they have grown as a club with a new coach and they have a solid group. Everything is falling into place for them and it shows in their results. On Sunday, both teams on the field will have to play with intensity in order to get the three points.”

The Montreal team is sixth in the USL First Division standings, with 32 points, one point over Vancouver and two behind Rochester. [O Rochester is full of sh*t... [8D] and Vancouver too [:P] ] Vancouver and Rochester will match up tomorrow at Swangard Stadium, at 10 pm (Eastern time).

“Two wins against the RailHawks would almost guarantee us a spot in the playoffs,” noted Impact team captain Mauro Biello. “It would build our confidence for the last season matches. As they did against Miami, we want to send a message to the other clubs in the league that we are better than a 6th place team.”

Both teams will match up again at Saputo Stadium Wednesday at 7:30 pm (CKAC Sports, THE TEAM 990, USLlive.com).

Tickets for both games against Carolina are still available through Admission (514-790-1245 / admission.com) or at the Saputo Stadium ticketing office.


• In 2008, the Impact won its three games against Carolina by shutout: 3-0, June 22 at Saputo Stadium and 2-0 twice in Cary, August 8 and August 30.

• Midfielder Patrick Leduc, who has recovered from his foot injury, is getting back his rhythm. He should not play Sunday.

• Defender Nevio Pizzolitto, who did not play against Austin, should play his 250th in career with the Impact. Only Mauro Biello has played more matches with Montreal (338).

The RailHawks are ranked second in the league both offensively (38 goals scored) and defensively (14 goals allowed).

No less than six RailHawks players have scored four goals or more up to now this season: Sallieu Bundu, Joseph Kabwe, Gregory Richardson, Andriy Budnyy, Luke Kreamalmeyer and Daniel Paladini.


• Wednesday, September 2 – Carolina @ IMPACT – Saputo Stadium – 7:30 pm (CKAC Sports, THE TEAM 990, USLlive.com)

• Saturday, September 5 – IMPACT @ Cleveland - Middlefield Cheese Stadium – 2 pm (USLlive.com)

• Wednesday, September 9 – Vancouver @ IMPACT –Saputo Stadium – 7:30 pm (CKAC Sports, THE TEAM 990, USLlive.com)

• Sunday, September 13 – Minnesota @ IMPACT –Saputo Stadium – 3:30 pm (CKAC Sports, THE TEAM 990, USLlive.com)

• Friday, September 18 – IMPACT @ Carolina – 7 pm (USLlive.com)

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They always play like crap in the 2nd half when they got the lead.


It's like they saw TFC's game saturday and said "this is not an obligation to play well in the second half in order to get a result". "If you score one, just give up only one too, simple as that".

How many leads have they squandered so far this year ? That's not only the tying goal itself that is $?%!*& annoying, but most of all the way they played leading up to the goal, giving the Railhawks corner after corner, never counter-attacking, forgetting it is legal to play the ball on the opposite third when you're in front, etc. They forgot again how they're supposed to play for a full 90 minutes. Then after the goal, all of a sudden, the alzheimer was all gone and they immediately won a corner, their first of the game actually. It's getting more and more f*cking frustrating. :(

The bright side in all of this is the way Byers is playing right now. He looks on a roll. :)

And what does Sebrango bring to the offence apart from shooting directly to the keeper's head, legs, even bulls-eye in the chest...

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quote:Originally posted by the biologist

They always play like crap in the 2nd half when they got the lead.

That is not quite accurate, they always play like crap in the 2nd half regardless of what the score of the game is. I think the club has a serious fitness problem. It is always interesting to note that many of the clubs we play against have a little training and fitness session on the field after the game, even those that win, while the Impact go immediately to the locker room even when they lose.

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^ Yeah, I read this from you already and I checked that at SS and you've got a point, this is so true. The overall fitness of the team was already bad from the start of the season when obviously they should have had an edge over the rest of the league since they were training since January and had to play two competitive games in February and March. Is the Impact the oldest club players-wise across the USLD1 ? We really don't have that much young talents developing with the big club right now. We start the veterans, they play average. Now MDS says we must start again the veterans cause we're in a hole and that's a veterans' job to get the team out of that hole they dug themselves.

Alex Surprenant anyone ? (just an example...)

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Djekanvic was warming up before the rest of the squad...and yeah, he was really struggling to catch his breath. But, overall in the game, I found that Montreal had better fitness than Carolina. Their coach was having to tell his defenders to move up the field on goal kicks!

Better fitness would always be good, but I was impressed with Tony Donatelli, Mauro Biello and Leighton Obrien, they all had some real class moments out there, and they havent been regular starters. And I am starting to warm to dos Santos, he played a good team today to a draw by keeping them defending in their own half for large parts of the game.

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quote:Originally posted by mtl-supporter23

Still scratching my head on how Mauro Biello is made to start critical games like this...


He played quite well in the first half. But yeah, I'm sure it had more to do with Ciaran O'Brien being punished for his outburst when he was taken off the last game.

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quote:Originally posted by Keano

He played quite well in the first half. But yeah, I'm sure it had more to do with Ciaran O'Brien being punished for his outburst when he was taken off the last game.

Mauro starting games just goes to show how wrong we were in our assesments of the Impact's depth. I for one lead the charge in that category having overwhelmingly praised our bench.

While Mauro did have a solid 1st half to the game vs Carolina he should only be playing coming off the bench and be given minimal minutes. Want another example, just take Peter "I run over my own two feet" Byers. While the man has played solid as of late he is not a quality striker even for a USL-1 division squad.

Besides for the Cunliffe goal (which I believed to be pretty spectacular) we enjoyed success in the 2nd half. Ball possesion belonged to Montreal the majority of time, however this goes back to our lack of depth and lack of finsihing with our strikers being unable to convert on golden opportunities.

oh well on to Wednesday...

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