Colorado Rapids vs. Montreal Impact | MLS Match Preview

Your guide to the Rapids latest home game, against the Impact this Saturday, May 24

COLORADO RAPIDS vs MONTRÉAL IMPACT
DICK’S SPORTING GOODS PARK, Commerce City, Colo.
May 24, 2014 (WEEK 12, MLS Game #110) 7 p.m. MT (Altitude)

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The Colorado Rapids and Montréal Impact meet in an interconference matchup as the clubs face off Saturday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids return home after back-to-back losses, most recently a 2-1 defeat by Real Salt Lake last weekend. The Impact are looking for their second win of the 2014 season, continuing their road swing following a 1-1 draw at D.C. United a week ago.

REFEREE: Chris Penso. AR1 (bench): Jeff Muschik; AR2 (opposite): Brian Poeschel; 4th: Ricardo Salazar
MLS Career: 51 games; FC/gm: 23.1; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 14; pens: 16

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: MTL: Matteo Ferrari, Hernan Bernardello
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (2 meetings): Rapids 2 wins, 7 goals … Impact 0 wins, 5 goals … Ties 0
AT COLORADO (1 meeting): Rapids 1 win, 3 goals … Impact 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 0

LAST YEAR (MLS)
6/29: MTL 3, COL 4 (Camara 38; Paponi 42, 72 – Harris 24; Powers 59; Brown 77; Cascio 96+)

  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • The Rapids have won both meetings with the Impact all-time, a 3-2 win in 2012 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park,and a 4-2 victory last June 29 at Stade Saputo in the only meeting between the teams.
  • Coaches record: Pablo Mastroeni vs. MTL: first game … Frank Klopas vs. COL: P3 W2 L1 D0

COLORADO RAPIDS

The Colorado Rapids suffered their second consecutive loss, falling 2-1 to Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Rapids are in fifth place in the Western Conference with 15 points from 11 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Real took the lead in the 23rd minute, following a nice passing sequence from right to left. Tony Beltran sent a nice pass to Devon Sandoval, who gave a nice pass to Javier Morales, who set up Joao Plata beautifully for a left-footed drive from the left side of the box, across the goal and inside the right post.
  • Five minutes into the second half, RSL doubled the lead. Sandoval was taken down by Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin and referee Mark Geiger pointed to the spot, and Morales stepped up and put it in the upper right cornerof the goal.
  • There was another late answer from the Rapids, when in the 83rd minute, center back Drew Moor cut the lead in half with a header off Dillon Serna's free kick.
  • Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni made five changes to the team that lost 3-1 win to Chivas USA at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Christopher Klute and Drew Moor came into the back four for Thomas Piermayr and Shane O'Neill, Nathan Sturgis and Dillon Powers started in the midfield in place of Marlon and Jose Mari, and Edson Buddle came in up top to replace Danny Mwanga.
  • COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-2): Clint Irwin - Chris Klute, Drew Moor, Marvell Wynne, Marc Burch (Danny Mwanga 89) - Dillon Serna, Nathan Sturgis (Kamani Hill 49), Dillon Powers (Marlon Hairston 73), Nick LaBrocca - Edson Buddle, Deshorn Brown.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Rapids have lost back-to-back games for the first time under coach Pablo Mastroeni, seeing their winless streak extended to three games at Real Salt Lake.
  • “This is all a process,” Mastroeni said. “It's not about doing really well one week, and the other week not showing up. It's about how do you become more consistent. It's a fairly new group, fairly new coach, and the idea is to every week get better as a team, whether it's defensively or offensively, and now, [the question is] how do we sustain this type of offense.”
  • Center back Drew Moor scored his first goal for 2014, and extended his streak to nine consecutive years with a goal in league play. He did not score a goal only in his rookie season of 2005, with Dallas.
  • “We can't wait to take a punch in the face before we start playing in a game like this,” Moor said. “You can't complain about the last 70 minutes. I thought we were the better team and created more chances and on a better day we probably score a couple more [goals].”
  • Looking to jump-start his side’s attacking options, Mastroeni put Dillon Serna and Deshorn Brown in wider attacking roles. Serna had his second assist of the season, from a free kick, on the Rapids goal.
  • “Real Salt Lake like to play a really narrow formation and I thought it would be a good idea to pull some of their guys out. I feel like our guys did a great job of that,” said Mastroeni. “Salt Lake had to do quite a bit more defending than any other of their games that I’ve seen. For us to do that for large patches of the game – that makes it a good performance to build on.”
  • The Rapids have scored just 12 goals this season, the fourth-lowest average in MLS (1.09 goals per game). Of those, four goals have come from converted penalty kicks – with a fifth coming on a rebound from a saved spot kick.
  • “I think the guys battled like warriors out there (vs. RSL),” Mastroeni said. “I think they really imposed themselves on the game. The guys were on the front foot, finding ways to score. I think our lack of finishing was the difference and let us down.”
  • Panamanian international Gabriel Torres will not play again for the Rapids before June 7, as he will begin a muscle strengthening regime.
  • “It’s the kind of thing that could easily lead to an injury, and rather than risk that, we’d like to take the time to build him back up to full strength,” said Mastroeni. “Gaby is an incredibly important part of this team, a player who is in our plans for this season and years to come.”

MONTREAL IMPACT
The Montréal Impact rebounded for a 1-1 draw with D.C. United on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. The Impact are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 7 points from 10 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Impact took the lead in the 56th minute. Midfielder Justin Mapp collecting the ball on the right flank and put in a low cross that found Jack McInerney with relative ease at the top of the six-yard-box for an easy tap-in.
  • But United found a late winner just five minutes from full time. Eddie Johnson scored his first goal with United, heading home a wonderfully struck Fabian Espindola cross from six yards out.
  • Impact head coach Frank Klopas made three changes to the team that dropped a 3-0 decision to Sporting Kansas City at Stade Saputo. Heath Pearce and Hassoun Camara came into the back four and Patrice Bernier started in midfield, in place of Karl Ouimette and Maxim Tissot and the departed Collen Warner.
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Troy Perkins - Jeb Brovsky, Wandrille Lefevre, Heath Pearce, Hassoun Camara - Patrice Bernier, Hernan Bernardello - Justin Mapp, Felipe Martins (Calum Mallace 76), Sanna Nyassi (Maxim Tissot 90) - Jack McInerney (Santiago Gonzalez 82).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Impact remained winless away from Québec for the entire season following the late United equalizer; they’ve drawn twice in five league games away from home.
  • “I think we had some very good moments and it’s really something to build on. All the guys gave everything they had and now we have a week to prepare for the next game,” said Impact head coach Frank Klopas. “Wejust have to keep working and go on the road. We’re close and maybe the next one is the one where we get the result.”
  • Jack McInerney scored his second league goal in five matches since coming to the Impact from Philadelphia, and now has three goals for the campaign.
  • Sanna Nyassi made his second consecutive start, his first two league outings since being forced off injured in the season opener on March 8.
  • Justin Mapp recorded his fourth assist on the season, his first since April 5. Mapp has started all 10 league matches for the Impact this season.
  • “[Nyassi] was very sharp," Klopas said. “He was very good. He helped the team without the ball, very dangerous going forward. Justin, again, what a difference he makes on the field. I thought everyone worked hard. Jack, he's a striker, he finds his moments, he scores. That's what we needed to do.”
  • Said McInerney: “We created more and better chances than they did. At the end of the day, if we want to make a run into the playoffs, we’ll need to do a better job at finishing those chances. If we had put our chances away tonight, it could have been 2- or 3-0. I think we came in and surprised a lot of people.”
  • Heath Pearce made his first start since April 12, when he came off at halftime of the Chicago match. Pearce partnered Wandrille Lefevre in central defense; his first three starts came at fullback.
  • The day before the United match, the Impact obtained Issey Nakajima-Farran from Toronto FC in exchange for Collen Warner in a major deal.
  • “[Getting traded] just doesn’t happen in Europe or Asia, so I’m just not used to this," Nakajima-Farran said. “I was just shocked when they told me that, on my birthday, I was just shocked. It is what it is in MLS. I had no  idea. ... I understood that Montreal was interested in the early stages, so I don’t know why TFC didn’t let me go in the first place. If I wasn’t part of the plan, why?”