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Battery @ Impact - 1st Leg (R)

the biologist

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MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact (5th, 12-11-7) plays Thursday the first leg of the USL First Division quarterfinals against the Charleston Battery (4th, 14-5-11) at Saputo Stadium, at 7:30 pm (radio-canada.ca, CKAC Sports, THE TEAM 990, USLlive.com).

The Impact has a lifetime record in the playoffs of 17-17-5 (48GF-41GA) and won two championships, in 1994 and 2004.

“I think that the momentum is on our side at this moment,” mentioned team captain Mauro Biello, who won the two championships. “We have a good group with a number of players who have already won the championship. To win, we need to score against the Battery, which we haven’t done during the season. In the playoffs, you cannot make errors and you need to seize your chance when you get the occasion to score. It’s a question of execution.”

This is the first time that both teams match up in the playoffs. In regular season play, the Impact plays under the .500 mark in 20 matches against Charleston (8-10-2, 18 GF – 19 GA). The Impact has only won twice against the Battery in the last 10 games between both teams (2-6-2).

“If we do things well throughout the four halves against Charleston, we will obtain a positive result,” noted Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos. “We need to go one half at a time with intelligence. If we only play two or three halves out of four, it will not be sufficient to win this round.”

This season against its South Carolina rivals, the Impact played to a 0-0 draw on April 18 at Blackbaud Stadium and May 15 at Saputo Stadium, and lost 1-0 July 5, once again in Montreal. Former Impact player Dan Antoniuk scored the winning goal at the 68th minute by completing an action from Scott Buete. A total of 12 yellow cards were booked during these three matches.

“It will be difficult against Charleston, but even if we didn’t win against them during the season, this is a team that can be defeated,” declared defender Nevio Pizzolitto, who also won the championship with the Impact in 1994 and 2004. “They play very well defensively, so we will have to move the ball well to create as many occasions as possible. Thanks to our series of wins at the end of the season, the confidence and team spirit are very good.”

The Impact ended the regular season with only lost once in its last eight matches (5-1-2). Montreal finished the season with the second best defense at home in the league, having only conceded 9 goals in 15 matches at Saputo Stadium. [interesting... didn't realize that before]

“The Battery will not face the same team than at the beginning of the season,” added Dos Santos. “We are playing our best soccer of the season. The intensity during training is good and everybody wants to win. We are ready for the playoffs.”

In the second half of the season, Charleston only suffered three losses in 15 matches (7-3-5).

“Charleston has a stable defense, they have physical players, they are capable to distribute the ball well and they have speed in attack,” noted midfielder Patrick Leduc, who was playing for the Impact in 2004. “It’s a good team, but we are aware of their strengths and weaknesses.”

Forward Randi Patterson is the season points leader for the Battery with six goals and two assists, for 14 points in 27 matches. The Battery number one goalkeeper Dusty Hudock has a knee injury and will miss the rest of the season.

On the Impact side, defender Stefano Pesoli will miss the first playoff match after receiving an automatic one-game suspension for the red card he received in the last season game in Cary.

The second leg game of the aggregate goal series will be played Sunday at 7 pm at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina (FSW, CKAC Sports, THE TEAM 990).

Tickets for Thursday’s game are currently on sale. Tickets are available through Admission (514-790-1245 / 1-800-361-4595 / admission.com), at the Saputo Stadium ticketing office or at 514-328-3668 (group packages only).


• In 2008, after ending the season in third rank, the Impact eliminated in the quarterfinals the Seattle Sounders 4-3 on aggregate goals, before losing 2-1 against the Vancouver Whitecaps in the semifinals, 2-1 on aggregate goals.

• Last year in the playoffs, the Battery had been eliminated in the playoffs by the Rochester Rhinos 2-1 on aggregate goals.

The Impact owns a 12-2-2 record when the team scores the first goal of the match. On the other hand, Montreal has not won this season (0-9-2 [:0] ) when the opponent registered the first goal of the game.

• Forward Roberto Brown has earned for a second consecutive season the club’s points leader title with seven goals (five game winners) and three assists, for 17 points.



• Carolina @ Vancouver – Swangard Stadium – 10:30 pm

• Puerto Rico @ Rochester –Marina Auto Stadium – 7:05 pm


• Vancouver @ Carolina – WakeMed Soccer Park – 5 pm

• Rochester @ Puerto Rico – Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium – 6 pm

Source : Patrick Vallée, Montreal Impact

EDIT: According to Radio-Canada, they will start the game with Brown & Byers up front (looks like they're gonna stick with the 4-1-2-1-2 formation).

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Line up

1 - Matt Jordan (G)

3 - Adam Braz (D)

23 - Stephen deRoux (D)

26 - Cédric Joqueviel (D)

5 - Nevio Pizzolitto (D)

18 - Leonardo Di Lorenzo (M)

14 - Tony Donatelli (M)

17 - Joey Gjertsen (M)

7 - David Testo (M)

10 - Roberto Brown (F)

28 - Peter Byers (F)


22 - Srdjan Djekanovic (G)

20 - Mauro Biello (M)

24 - Simon Gatti (M)

15 - Patrick Leduc (M)

8 - Leighton O'Brien (M)

9 - Rocco Placentino (F)

12 - Eduardo Sebrango (F)

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So 1-nil Montreal at the half and the Battery at 10 men. See how this plays out from here on in but as is being mentioned Charleston may bunker for the 2nd half. A 1-nil lead going to Charleston wouldn't be a comfortable enough lead by any measure. Up a man or no bit of pressure on Montreal to get a 2nd goal.

Could see a 2nd coming for Montreal though, Charleston bunkering or no.

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quote:Originally posted by Cheeta

Bit difficult getting onto the USLLive site but has been good so far, as usual.

Decent crowd tonight, 11K or so. Too bad they aren't seeing a better match tonight.

Rochester winning tonight 2-1 by the way. Decent result but still a hard task ahead of them.

got onto the website just keeps buffering....


will broadcast the Whitecaps game hope that one works well

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FINAL Score Mtl 2 - Battery 0

2nd leg of the game on Sunday live webstream on Radio-Canada website @ 1930EST(1630PST)

Good game but considering that Battery lasted for what, 40minutes with 1man down then I must say Montreal HAD to score 1more otherwise the return leg would have been a pain.......

Now time for the Whitecaps game........

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Boy, that was an ugly 2nd half. Good grief, no wonder they sell beer at sporting events. Still Rocco puts Montreal in the driver seat going into the 2nd leg of the series just when things were looking a bit discouraging.

Have to say the Ultras have had a good year. Grown their numbers and had a "positive" influence at Stade Saputo. Times, especially tonight, when the entire stand behind the goal looked quite proper. Completely into the match. Good job.

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Good god I'm glad we got that 2nd goal because between the whole team taking the foot off the pedal for the entire second half, plus Dos Santos' inexplicable changes bringing in 2 additional holding mids while leaving Brillant and Placentino on the bench for most of the half it looked like they were content with the single goal. Which we all know too well is not enough after last year.

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