MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs Montreal Impact

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. Montreal Impact

Venue: Camping World Stadium – Saturday, May 21 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: Orlando 6/5 – Draw 12/5 – Montreal 9/4

Match Preview

Orlando City welcome Montreal Impact to Camping World Stadium on Saturday night in what is a key Eastern Conference clash between sides at either end of the table.

Neither side has been in good form of late, though Montreal still sit second in the East heading into the weekend, five points ahead of Orlando down in eighth.

The Lions are enduring a six-game winless run and Adrian Heath knows his side must starting producing results now.

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They fell 2-1 at Orlando last weekend and have not won since April 3. One positive is that they have yet to lose at home this season and will be confident of taking at least a point from Saturday’s clash, although that wouldn’t help their cause much.

Montreal arrive in Florida off the back of four consecutive draws in MLS. They had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Philadelphia last weekend and have not won since mid-April.

They do remain just one point off the top of the Eastern Conference but need to start winning regularly again if they are to maintain their charge.

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The Impact play three of their next four games at home after Saturday’s trip to Orlando and are in good position to kick on and challenge at the top end of the standings.

This will be the first of three regular season meetings between the two sides this season. They met three times last year, with each side posting 1-1-1 record’s over that stretch of games.

Team News

Orlando have three injury concerns heading into the game. Pedro Ribeiro and Darwin Ceren remain sidelined through injuries, while Seb Hines is a doubt and may not feature.

Montreal will be sweating on the fitness of Didier Drogba as he is listed as doubtful ahead of Saturday’s game. Andres Romero, Cameron Porter and Donny Toia are all out.

Key Points

Orlando City’s last five: D/L/D/D/L

Montreal Impact’s last five: L/D/D/D/D

Key Stat: Early goals – There were nine goals in the three meetings between these sides last season, with seven of those scored in the first 45 minutes.

Key Player: Kaka – The Brazilian playmaker will look to inspire his team to victory in what is an important home game. He has two goals and two assists this season and they have all come at home so he will look to be among the goals here.

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Score Prediction

Orlando City 2-2 Montreal Impact – Goals are expected here between two attacking sides that will be out for three points on Saturday evening. The hosts are tough to break down at home and haven’t lost in front of their own fans since last August. But Montreal are also difficult to beat and so a high-scoring draw could be on the cards here.

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MLS Playoff Preview and Prediction: Columbus Crew vs Montreal Impact

Competition: Major League Soccer Eastern Conference Semi-Final – Columbus Crew vs. Montreal Impact 

Venue: MAPFRE Stadium – Sunday, November 8 – 17:00 EST (22:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Columbus Crew 11/10 – Draw 13/5 – Montreal Impact 23/10

Match Preview

Columbus Crew host Montreal Impact in the second leg of their Eastern Conference Semifinal on Sunday night, hoping to turn around a 2-1 deficit from the first leg.

Columbus are up against it knowing that Montreal now pose a huge goal threat and are more than comfortable coming from behind to win games (as we saw in the first leg).

Having only won one of their last three at home, Columbus are worryingly underdogs to progress despite hosting this game at MAPFRE Stadium and that should make for an entertaining spectacle.

Columbus Crew’s record in MLS: P35 W15 – D8 – L12

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A lot will be said for the fact they have the away goal, but it is important to remember that they need a win regardless and beating Montreal has proved difficult in the latter stages of the season.

Montreal Impact are arguably the best team in MLS at the moment, in terms of form, having won five on the bounce at such an important part of the season. They look unstoppable of late with Didier Drogba firing them to win after win.

Montreal looked in trouble when the Crew took the lead last weekend but showed their resilience to come from behind and win. They now enter this tie as the more confident side.

Montreal Impact’s record in MLS: P36 – W17 – D6 – L13 

With players like Didier Drogba and Ignacio Piatti, the Impact will pose a real threat on the Columbus goal from kickoff.

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One worry will be the Impact’s away form. They have won their last two away from home but had failed to win in five before that and won just four road games all season.

This will be the fourth meeting of the year between these two sides, including last weekend’s first leg clash. Montreal have won all three games in 2015 and appear to have the Crew’s number.

Team News

Columbus Crew are without Kristinn Steindorsson and Mohammed Saeid through injury. Cedrick is questionable but could make an appearance from the bench.

Montreal Impact are missing Cameron Porter, Kenny Cooper and Andres Romero all through knee injuries. Justin Mapp is a doubt with a toe injury.

Key Points

Columbus Crew’s last five in MLS: L/L/W/W/L

Montreal Impact’s last five in MLS: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Montreal Impact have won the last three meetings between the two sides.

Key Player: Kei Kamara – As joint top scorer in the regular season, Kamara has proven that he has an uncanny ability to score goals. And lots of them. Columbus will need him on top form if they are to progress. Montreal have kept him quiet in three previous games this year so he has a point to prove.

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Score Prediction

Columbus Crew 1-1 Montreal Impact – This will be nervy and we can’t see many goals, it could even go right down to the wire. However, Montreal have Columbus’ number this season, coupled with winning five on the bounce. We see Montreal just nicking a place in the Eastern Conference Final.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Toronto vs Montreal Impact

Competition: Major League Soccer – Toronto vs. Montreal Impact

Venue: BMO Field – Wednesday, June 24 – 20:00 ET (01:00 BST – Thursday, June 25)

Match Odds: Toronto 5/6 – Draw 11/4 – Montreal Impact 3/1

Match Preview

Toronto FC and Montreal Impact clash in a crucial MLS Canadian derby at BMO Field on Wednesday night.

Toronto come into the 401 derby following an extremely disappointing 2-0 home defeat to New York City at the weekend, which marked their first loss in five games.

Greg Vanney’s side had previously won three on the bounce and they currently sit fourth in the Eastern Conference with 19 points from their opening 13 games.

The Reds also have numerous games in hand on the teams above them, so they’re in a good spot as it stands and a win over their Canadian rivals could lift them into third depending on other results.

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Montreal Impact will arrive in high spirits after an impressive 2-0 win against Orlando City last time out and have won five of their last seven games.

The Impact secured a first MLS away win since September 2013 when they beat the Columbus Crew 2-1 on June 6, so that’s a burden they will be happy to have off their back and should give them a real incentive to believe they can win the derby.

Frank Klopas’ side are fifth in the Eastern Conference with 17 points from 12 games and will leapfrog Toronto with a victory as their challenge for a playoff spot this season is in good shape.

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The last MLS meeting between the two sides was a 1-1 draw back in October 2014. They most recently met in the 2015 Canadian Championship with the Impact winning the first leg 1-0 and Toronto winning the second leg 3-2 as Montreal progressed on away goals.

Team News

Toronto’s Clement Simonin (knee), Steven Caldwell (achilles), Mark Bloom (leg) and Daniel Lovitz (knee) are all out injured.

Montreal Impact will be without the injured Adrian Lopez (knee), Justin Mapp (elbow), Cameron Porter (knee) and Kenny Cooper (knee). There’s also doubts over the fitness of Hassoun Camara (knee) and Eric Miller (hamstring).

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Key Points

Toronto’s last five in MLS: D/W/W/W/L

Montreal Impact’s last five in MLS: L/W/W/L/W

Key Stat: Montreal Impact have failed to win 27 of their last 28 away matches in MLS (D7, L20). The Impact have also never beaten Toronto away from home.

Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – The Italian has been a revelation so far and if ever there is a game that the Toronto fans want see him provide the goods, then this is it. He could make the difference as he has done so many times this season already.

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Score Prediction

Toronto 2-2 Montreal Impact – This is a clash that has the potential to be a fascinating watch. And it’s likely it will be, as both sides will hopefully serve up an entertaining affair that should provide us with goals.

CCL Preview and Prediction: Pachuca vs Montreal Impact

Competition: CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal First-Leg

Venue: Estadio Hidalgo – Tuesday, February 25 – 10:00PM ET (03:00AM Wednesday, 26 GMT)

Match Odds: Pachuca 1/3 – Draw 7/2 – Montreal Impact 15/2

The CONCACAF Champions League returns this week after a four month break. Montreal Impact are one of the two remaining Major League Soccer sides in the competition and they take on Mexican club Pachuca in the first-leg of their quarterfinal on Tuesday night.

Montreal are the fourth seed of the remaining eight teams in the CCL and take on fifth seed Pachuca at the Estadio Hidalgo before the return leg in Canada next week.

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A lot has changed in the competition’s four month break and the Impact go into the game with the disadvantage of not having played a competitive game since their final MLS regular season match against DC United on October 25.

Montreal have seen several changes to their roster over the course of the offseason and have been in good form this preseason, losing one and winning three games – two of those wins saw Montreal seal a 6-0 victory.

Marco Di Vaio scored four of Montreal’s six goals in the group stages of the competition but the Italian striker has since retired and the Impact need to ensure they remain in the tie ahead of the home leg next Tuesday.

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Pachuca scored 17 goals in their four group stage games and are currently tenth in the Liga MX table after seven games of the new season.

They come into the game unbeaten in three and claimed a 2-1 win against Leon on Sunday in front of their own fans.

This will be a real test for the Montreal Impact and they must ensure they have a chance of advancing to the semifinals in next week’s second-leg by coming away from Pachuca with a positive result.

Pachuca’s form in the CCL: W/W/W/L

Montreal Impact’s form in the CCL: W/W/W/D

Key Stat: Pachuca have not kept a clean sheet in any of their seven league games this season or in any of their four CCL games in this year’s competition.

Key Player: Erick Gutierrez –The 19-year-old midfielder has scored two in Pachuca’s last three in the league and is in fine form coming into the game.

Score Prediction: Pachuca 2-1 Montreal Impact – The lack of competitive action could cost Montreal in this game but they will remain in the tie ahead of the return leg next week.

2014 MLS Season Review: Montreal Impact

Eastern Conference Final Position: 10th

Review

2014 is a year that won’t live long in the memory for Montreal Impact as they finished the campaign rooted to the foot of the Eastern Conference table and it goes down as their worst season since participation in Major League Soccer began in 2012.

Having qualified for the playoffs in 2013 they would have been hoping to back it up with another good season but it wasn’t to be and the quicker they put it out of their minds, the better.

Best Moment

A 2-0 win against all the odds when they overturned the high-flying New England Revolution in June must go down as the stand-out moment for their season. The Revs came in to the game in a scintillating run of form having won six of their last seven only to be completely taken by surprise by a fluent and clinical Montreal side.

Worst Moment

With an array of disappointments to choose from, it’s hard to pinpoint the specific worst moment of the season. It’s more a case of worst moments, and it has to be when they lost seven games on the bounce between 7th July and 10th August as this resigned them to the fact that they weren’t in for a good season.

Player of the Year

Marco Di Vaio retired from football following the conclusion of this season and he showed that you don’t ever lose your talent by contributing 13 goals (9 scored – 4 assisted) from just 17 starts. The Impact will have to go a long way to replace him so it’s only fair that his efforts are given the recognition they deserve.

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Biggest Win

Montreal Impact 3-0 Houston Dynamo (June 30 2014)

Biggest Defeat

Sporting Kansas City 4-0 Montreal Impact (April 20 2014)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

The first thing to do would be to remain realistic and not set goals and expectations too high.

It’s only the third season in which they have competed in Major League Soccer, so there is no shame in finishing bottom of the conference because it can be used as a major learning curve.

They don’t need to be told about the issues that clearly need addressing.

It’s very simple – they concede too many at one end and they don’t score enough at the other, but I’m sure that this is something that players and staff will be working hard on during the close season and they will come back fighting in 2015.

Kansas City stroll to the top of the Eastern Conference

By Jamie Ives

Sporting Kansas City topped the Eastern Conference last night, with a seemingly routine performance from last seasons MLS Cup champions, in which they beat the Montreal Impact 3-0 away from home.

Englishman Dom Dwyer grabbed another brace against the Impact, just as he did earlier in the season when these two met.

Paulo Nagamura chipped in with the other goal as Sporting took three points away from the Stage Saputo.

Much of the game belonged to Kansas City as they had a very impressive 78% of the possession. A mean feat in any game.

Dom Dwyer highlighted the dominance on Twitter after the game:

The task was made much easier when Collen Warner was sent off in the sixteenth minute for handball on the goalline that prevented a certain goal, and Kansas were awarded a penalty.

Up stepped Dwyer to bury it in the bottom corner for his fifth goal of the season.

The lead was doubled in the thirty-fourth minute when a cross from the right by Chance Myers evaded everyone, but Nagamura was waiting at the back post and his scuffed shot found the far corner.

The second goal had pretty much sealed the Impacts fate, but Kansas City went on to get a third through a beautifully worked goal from Dwyer again.

(Photo: Joel Lemay/ Agence QMI)

Dom Dwyer celebrates after scoring another brace against Montreal (Photo: Joel Lemay/ Agence QMI)

Playing out from the back, the ball found Antonio Rodriguez, who played an intricate through ball which Dwyer finished superbly.

The game was all but over as USMNT star Graham Zusi was substituted, but a late chance fell to Seth Sinovic who fired over from no more than six yards.

The Impact also had a late opportunity to get on the scoreboard, with a Justin Mapp strike missing the near post by inches.

Sporting Kansas City now top the Eastern Conference but will have to deal with the imminent losses of Zusi and star centre-half Matt Besler, who seem certain to go to the World Cup with the USMNT.

Montreal will be licking their wounds after another heavy defeat at the hands of Kansas, and will be looking to overturn the 2-1 deficit in their Canadian Championship second leg on Wednesday against FC Edmonton.

Highlights via Major League’s Soccer’s official YouTube channel: