MLS Defensive Player of the Week: Week 3 – Montreal defender’s near perfect performance

For every week of the 2018 MLS season, MLSGB will award two Player of the Week accolades to the previous gameweek’s standout performers. We will highlight one star attacking player, as well as the leading defensive performer from the last round of fixtures. The Attacking Player of the Week award can be won by strikers, wingers and advanced midfielders. While the Defensive Player of the Week award can be won by goalkeepers, defenders and defensive midfielders.

Week 3 saw teams find their defensive edge. Although there was still plenty of attacking action to enjoy, there were six clean sheets from the nine games. With Week’s 1 and 2 providing just three clean sheets combined – there has been an increase in standout performances from the defensive positions.

One man who put in a near-perfect performance was Montreal Impact’s MLS debutant Rod Fanni. The signing of the experienced French centre-back has surprised some, given that he is now 36 but he silenced any doubters in Week 3 and that’s why he is the MLSGB Defensive Player of the Week.. It was a memorable occasion for Montreal, who beat their rivals, and current MLS Cup winners, Toronto in the 401 Derby.

As you can see above, the stats really do speak for themselves. Fanni made four interceptions, which was the second highest on the field. Of his five clearances, four of those were headers, which highlights his impressive timing and ability in the air.

While Fanni made just the one tackle, his passing statistics were very strong. With an accuracy of 94%, the debutant completed 31 of his 33 attempted passes.

An in-depth look at Rod Fanni’s performance in Montreal’s 1-0 win over Toronto FC in Week 3 (stats via @StatsZone app)

The image above gives further support to show just how well Fanni played. Four of his five clearances (green circles) came in the box (two clearances in the six-yard box overlap).

Fanni’s four inceptions (green diamonds) came within the final third of the pitch, where he was key in breaking up Toronto attacks, an area they are particularly dangerous in with long-range shots.

The Frenchman also made nine ball recoveries (green +’s) showing he was quick to snuff out Toronto’s usual dominance in attacking positions.

Don’t miss – MLS Attacking Player of the Week: Week 3

Fanni has made an impressive start to life in MLS and he will be hoping to put in consistent performances like this on a weekly basis. If he can add that to the Montreal backline they will be in good standing moving forward this season.


Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC | 2018 MLS Match Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC

Olympic Stadium – Saturday, March 17 2018 – 15:00 ET (19:00 GMT)

Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC: Preview

It’s taken just three weeks for the first 401 Derby of the season to take place as Montreal Impact and Toronto FC go head-to-head at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal. The Impact will be looking forward to playing in front of their own fans for the first time this season but know Toronto arrive in incredibly high spirits.

The Impact have opened their season with back-to-back road losses, but have managed to score three goals. They fell 2-1 at Vancouver on opening weekend and were perhaps unlucky to lose 3-2 at Columbus last week. Gyasi Zardes netted a penalty in the 94th minute after Montreal had come from 2-0 down at halftime.

Photo Credit: Hazel May

Remi Garde’s men need to shore up their defence but it’s unclear if the arrival of Rod Fanni will help in that regard. The Impact need to impress on their home opener and will be desperate to get at least one point on the board.

Toronto FC travel to their Canadian rivals after their incredible CONCACAF Champions League win over Tigres on Tuesday night. The reigning MLS Cup champs advanced to the semifinals with a 4-4 away goals aggregate win, and now have a few weeks to prepare for their clash with Club America.

Their priority now needs to be getting their MLS season up and running. They haven’t played since opening weekend, when they fell 2-0 to Columbus in one of the surprise results of the season so far.

Montreal will hope to capitalise on any fatigue that may be on show but both sides will be looking to attack in what should be an entertaining battle. They both come into the game as the bottom two sides in the East, so they will be going for the win at this very early stage of the campaign.

The rivals met five times last season. Toronto beat Montreal over two legs in the Canadian Championship Final before they went head-to-head three time in MLS over the final two months of the season. The Reds won at Montreal 3-1 before the Impact got revenge with a crazy 5-3 win at BMO Field. Toronto then made amends with a 1-0 win at home on the final day of the regular season.

Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC: Team News

Montreal Impact

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: Zakaria Diallo (ruptured achilles), Kyle Fisher (leg), Anthony Jackson-Hamel (hamstring).

Toronto FC

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Justin Morrow (leg), Chris Mavinga (leg).

🚑 Out: None.

Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC: Key Stats

Montreal Impact’s MLS form: L/L

Toronto FC’s MLS form: L

Key stat: There have been 30 goals in the last six MLS clashes between these two sides (including playoffs) – an average of five per game.

Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC: Prediction

Montreal Impact 2-2 Toronto FC: It’s a tough game to call, as Toronto are expected to make some changes to the team that advanced past Tigres on Tuesday. Montreal will be ready to take advantage but the Reds still have strength in depth. Goals are expected but this one might just end in a high-scoring draw.

In pictures: Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 Montreal Impact – New faces on show as ‘Caps edge out Canadian rivals

The Vancouver Whitecaps got their 2018 MLS campaign off to the perfect start, beating Montreal Impact 2-1 thanks to goals from new signing Kei Kamara and teenage sensation Alphonso Davies.

Both sides had plenty of new faces on show following busy offseason work on restructuring their teams for the 2018 season. The game was scoreless at the half, with neither side able to stamp their authority down.

But the hosts took the initiative in the second-half, scoring twice in eight minutes to go 2-0 up. First, Alphonso Davies crossed for Kamara to head in brilliantly. Then, Davies himself got a goal, slotting in Cristian Techera’s low cross, despite Evan Bush seemingly doing enough to keep it out. It was Davies’ first MLS goal and the 17-year-old winger earned MLSGB’s Attacking Player of the Week accolade for his fine performance.

Montreal didn’t give up and managed to claw a goal back through Matteo Mancosu in the 81st minute, after a brilliant cross by Daniel Lovitz. But the ‘Caps were able to hold on to a valuable opening win in front of a record crowd at BC Place for a season opener.

Check out exclusive photos from Sunday’s game below, courtesy of Simon Fearn and Hazel May.

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2018 Key Transfers: Montreal Impact

With the 2018 MLS season edging closer with each day, we are running through the main ins and outs for all 23 teams over the course of the winter transfer window. There have been a number of key signings and significant trades which should ensure the new season is as exciting as ever before. Today we take a look at Montreal Impact and their key moves ahead of their second MLS campaign in 2018…

Key Signings

Raheem Edwards: Canadian international Edwards is a versatile left sided prodigy. After a breakthrough season last season with Canadian rivals and MLS Cup champions Toronto he was picked up by LAFC in the expansion draft, only to traded to Montreal immediately. Two caps for his country last year were well deserved and he will look to push on this coming season.

Michael Petrasso: Young wing-back Petrasso started out at the Toronto academy before a move to Queens Park Rangers in 2013. After numerous loan spells and frustration with playing time, he has moved back to the great white north. Toronto-born Petrasso is also a Canadian international and a move back to his native land may spark a career yet to really get going.

Saphir Taider: The former Saints Loanee (if only for a month) has yet to reach his potential. As a young 17 year old he put in some very impressive displays playing for Grenoble in France. After two stints with Bologna sandwiched between a spell at Inter Milan, he has made the move to MLS. And at only 25, he still has a lot of life in his career.

Notable Departures

Laurent Ciman: Perhaps the biggest loss to an MLS club this year is Belgian stallwault Ciman. In three seasons with Montreal he has time and again proved to be one of the greatest MLS defenders. He was moved to new franchise LAFC in a surprise trade following the expansion draft, with Raheem Edwards and Jukka Raitala moving to the Impact. He will be a big loss.

Hernan Bernardello: Argentine international Bernardello has finished his second stint in Montreal after only one season. In the two spells at the Canadian franchise he has amassed 53 matches but only registered a single goal. The 31-year-old midfielder started 17 regular season games last term and has since joined Newell’s Old Boys in his homeland.

Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla: Perhaps a worrying sign for not only Montreal but the league as a whole. The 18 year old Tabla is a prospect from the Montreal academy, and has moved to FC Barcelona. For such a young talent to leave the league before really showing what he can do is a potential concern. The move is great for the young forward, but begs the question why MLS is struggling to keep hold of their own young talent.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs New York City FC

Major League Soccer: Montreal Impact vs New York City FC

Stade Saputo – Wednesday, September 27 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: Montreal 23/20 – Draw 5/2 – NYCFC 2/1

Montreal Impact vs New York City FC: Preview

Montreal Impact welcome New York City FC to Stade Saputo on Wednesday night with their season hanging by a thread. The home side’s playoff hopes are in the balance and they need three points to keep them alive.

Montreal’s postseason hopes received a huge boost with last Wednesday’s 5-3 win at Toronto. But they followed that result up with a 2-0 defeat at Atlanta on Saturday and still have it all to do.

The Impact have made the playoffs in each of the past two seasons but are at real risk of missing out this time around. They trail the New York Red Bulls by three points coming into Wednesday’s games. Plus, the Red Bulls have a game in hand.

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Montreal are six points off matching last season’s total points tally with five games to go. They haven’t necessarily gone backwards as a team, but failing to make the postseason would be a massive disappointment.

New York City will have no such problem as they booked their place in the playoffs this weekend. They became the second team to guarantee a top six finish in the East, as results went in their favour.

Despite failing to beat DC United at home in that 1-1 draw, NYCFC secured their playoff berth as a result of the Impact’s loss at Atlanta. The visitors will now be hoping to pile more misery on the Canadian side as they look to pick up form ahead of the postseason.

Patrick Vieira’s men haven’t won in three and know they need to improve form over the final few games of the regular season. They have only lost one of their last eight and are tough to beat but need to rediscover that clinical edge before entering knockout football.

This will be the second and final meeting between the two sides in 2017, unless they meet in the playoffs. They shared the points in a 1-1 draw at Yankee Stadium back in Week 3. NYCFC have won both their previous away trips to Montreal in MLS so far.

Montreal Impact vs New York City FC: Team News

Montreal’s only injury concern remains Ambroise Oyongo as the left-back is out for the season. Hernan Bernadello, Laurent Ciman, Blerim Dzemaili and Victor Cabrera are all one booking away from suspension and need to be careful.

New York City FC will travel to Montreal without three players. Miguel Camargo and Maxime Chanot are long-term absentees, while Yangel Herrera is also sidelined. Alex Ring is listed as ‘questionable’ with a toe injury. Maxi Moralez is one booking away from suspension.

Montreal Impact vs New York City FC: Key Points

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

New York City FC’s last five: D/W/L/D/D

Key Stat: Montreal have lost three consecutive home games coming into Wednesday’s game. They have not lost four in a row at home in MLS since joining the league in 2012.

Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – If Montreal are going to keep their playoff hopes alive, they need their star man to shine. The playmaker scored twice and picked up one assist in the 5-3 win over Toronto last week. Expect him to look to take the game to New York City from the off, as he looks to prove the difference once again.

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Montreal Impact vs New York City FC: Prediction

Montreal Impact 2-2 New York City FC – The problem for Montreal is that they are so inconsistent. They can put goals past anyone when on song, as proven against Toronto last week. But they concede too many and that ultimately costs them more often than not. NYCFC have dropped off a little themselves, but they are still hard to beat. The Impact need this more but they might not have enough left to make the postseason for the third-straight season. Score draw.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Toronto FC vs Montreal Impact

Major League Soccer: Toronto FC vs Montreal Impact

BMO Field – Wednesday, September 20 – [19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: Toronto 4/11 – Draw 15/4 – Montreal 6/1

Toronto FC vs Montreal Impact: Preview

Toronto FC take on Montreal Impact in the penultimate 401 Derby clash of the 2017 regular season. The two rivals come into the game in contrasting form, with Toronto on a red hot streak and Montreal really struggling.

Toronto made it six wins on the bounce with a 4-0 demolition over LA Galaxy on Saturday night. That away win was made even more impressive when you consider Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco didn’t travel to California.

Don’t miss: Will Toronto break the record for the highest MLS points tally?

The Reds are closing in on their first-ever Supporters’ Shield title. They are 11 points clear of NYCFC in second place. They need five points to guarantee top spot, with their playoff place already confirmed.

via @TorontoFC on Twitter

Montreal fell 3-2 at home to Minnesota on Saturday night, making it four-straight losses. The Impact found a bit of form through August, winning four on the spin. But since then, they’ve reversed their form and dropped four consecutive games.

They are six points outside the top six with six games to play. Failure to win on Wednesday night would leave them with a mountain to climb if they’re to make the postseason.

After making the playoffs for the past two seasons, it would be a serious step backwards for the franchise if they failed to make the top six this term. But that concern will likely become a reality with a loss at their rivals here.

Toronto won the reverse fixture 3-1 last month, with goals from Giovinco (2) and Altidore proving too much. The Reds also beat Montreal over two legs to win the Canadian Championship back in June.

Toronto FC vs Montreal Impact: Team News

Toronto FC should welcome back star attacking duo Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco here after both were rested for the trip to LA. Benoit Cheyrou and Nick Hagglund are both ruled out through injury once again. Greg Vanney might make changes to his side again here, with a trip to New England coming up on Saturday.

Montreal Impact’s only injury absentee remains Ambroise Oyongo, as he is ruled out for the season. The Impact face a tricky trip to Atlanta United on Sunday night and might have to rotate the squad here as a result.

Toronto FC vs Montreal Impact: Key Points

Toronto FC’s last five: W/W/W/W/W

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

Key Stat: It’s been almost a year since Toronto FC lost a home game during the regular season. Their last defeat came in October last year, when DC United picked up a 2-1 victory at BMO Field.

Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – The Atomic Ant was rested for the weekend trip to LA but he should be back and ready to attack Montreal on Wednesday. He has played more games against Montreal than against any other team in his career, scoring eight in 14 against them.

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Toronto FC vs Montreal Impact: Prediction

Toronto FC 3-0 Montreal Impact – The fact is, Toronto FC are the best side in MLS right now. They are riding a six-game win streak and haven’t lost for two-and-a-half months. Montreal, on the other hand, have lost four-straight games and look to be in trouble. Their playoff hopes are fading fast and defeat here would leave them up against it. But with such a contrast in form between these rivals, it’s tough to see anything other than a convincing home win.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New England Revolution vs Montreal Impact

[Competition]: New England Revolution vs Montreal Impact

Gillette Stadium – Saturday, September 9 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: New England 7/10 – Draw 11/4 – Montreal 7/2

New England Revolution vs Montreal Impact: Preview

New England Revolution take on Montreal Impact on Saturday night in pivotal clash in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt. The two sides come into the weekend separated by four points but just one point in the standings. However, neither are currently above the red line.

The Revs have been inconsistent all season. They haven’t put more than two consecutive wins together all season. But they do remain a force at home.

New England have won their last four MLS outings at Gillette Stadium, scoring 12 goals and conceding just three in that run. They come into the weekend as favourites to make it five-straight home victories. If they are going to make the playoffs, they’re going to do so by relying on their home form.

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Montreal looked to be flying until back-to-back home defeats to Toronto and Chicago halted them. They had won four-straight games before the clash with rivals Toronto two weeks ago. Chicago then added to their woes with a surprise 1-0 win at Stade Saputo last week.

The Impact know they are still in a strong position to make the postseason heading into the weekend. They are six points behind Columbus in fourth, but have two games in hand over them. If they can avoid defeat to New England, they will ensure they are looking above, rather than behind for the rest of the way.

It was unthinkable that Montreal would be in the playoff conversation heading into August. They had only recorded six wins from their first 20 games before that four-match win streak sparked them into life.

There is a worry that the wind has been taken out of their sails after their last two games. But they have a great chance to show their fighting spirit at New England on Saturday.

This will be the first of two meetings between the two sides this season. They will face up again on the final weekend of the season in Montreal in what is likely to be an even more important clash.

New England Revolution vs Montreal Impact: Team News

New England will be without Kelyn Rowe once again as he remains out for a few more weeks. Diego Fagundez is expected to be “in the mix”, according to Jay Heaps after missing last week’s win over Orlando.

Montreal Impact are still without long-term absentee Ambroise Oyongo. They will also be without Deian Boldor after the Romanian defender picked up a red card on his MLS debut last weekend.

New England Revolution vs Montreal Impact: Key Points

NE Revolution’s last five: L/W/L/L/W

Montreal’s last five: W/W/W/L/L

Key Stat: Both New England and Montreal have gone 12 consecutive MLS games without drawing. The Revs have 5-7-0 since their last draw on June 1. Montreal have gone 6-6-0 since their last league draw on June 18.

Key Player: Kei Kamara – The New England striker scored the first MLS hat-trick of his career in the 4-0 win over Orlando last time out. It’s incredible to think he had to wait that long, but the powerful frontman should be in full confidence on Saturday. Montreal haven’t kept a clean sheet in three games and Kamara will fancy his chances of adding to his tally.

New England Revolution vs Montreal Impact: Prediction

New England Revolution 3-1 Montreal Impact – Recent form suggests this is highly unlikely to end all square. Neither side has drawn a game for three months and both know they can’t afford to settle for a point. New England are a much stronger force at home. They’ve won four on the spin at Gillette Stadium and will be confident of making that five. Montreal looked to be in great form but back-to-back losses has halted momentum. The Revs can move to within a point of the Impact with a win, and that’s how we see this one going.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs Chicago Fire

Major League Soccer: Montreal Impact vs Chicago Fire

Stade Saputo – Wednesday August 16 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: Montreal 6/5 – Draw 12/5 – Chicago 2/1

Montreal Impact vs Chicago Fire: Preview

Montreal Impact take on Chicago Fire on Wednesday night as Week 24 kicks off with a midweek matchup. The Impact come into the game high in confidence, after winning 3-0 at Philadelphia on Saturday.

That result moved the Impact up to seventh in the East and five points behind Atlanta in the final playoff spot. Montreal have won three of their last five MLS games and have picked up form at the perfect time.

Mauro Biello’s side weren’t expected to make the top six after an underwhelming season. But their recent performances will have lifted the mood around the club. Ignacio Piatti and Blerim Dzemaili have been standout performers and could yet lead the Canadian side into their third-straight playoffs.

Chicago Fire were having an incredible season. But a recent dip in form has seen their hopes of winning a first Supporters’ Shield since 2003 fade. Saturday’s 3-1 loss at the Columbus Crew was their third in their last four games.

The Fire still have 11 games to play but they are six points behind Toronto FC coming into Wednesday’s match.

A win in Montreal would put them straight back into contention and would see them move back into second, ahead of NYCFC. But a loss would put their credentials into serious jeopardy. The likes of the Red Bulls, Columbus and Atlanta are all close behind, so Chicago can’t afford many slip-ups.

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Veljko Paunovic’s men haven’t kept a clean sheet in five outings. But Chicago know that they still have the tools to hurt any team. They won 3-0 at Montreal last season and a repeat result would settle any nerves starting to creep in.

The reverse fixture this season ended 2-2 a Toyota Park back in April. Both sides had a man sent off on that day, and both scored in stoppage time in a dramatic clash. Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla looked to have won it for the Impact in the 90th minute. But Luis Solignac ensured the points would be shared as he equalised in the 93rd minute.

Montreal Impact vs Chicago Fire: Team News

Ambroise Oyongo is still Montreal’s only injury absentee. Mauro Biello would probably like to name an unchanged side but he does have Saturday’s game against Real Salt Lake to consider as well.

Chicago Fire boss still has four players sidelined through injury. John Goossens, Jorge Bava, Brandon Vincent and Daniel Johnson are all out. Michael Harrington is a doubt as he’s been struggling with illness. Juninho has recovered from a knee injury and should be in line to start.

Montreal Impact vs Chicago Fire: Key Points

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

Chicago Fire’s last five: D/L/L/W/L

Key Stat: Montreal Impact have won five of their last six home matches in MLS. They’ve outscored their opponents 12-5 in that time.

Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – The fact is, Montreal are a better side when Piatti is in the team. The Argentine playmaker leads the team with ten goals, despite starting just 15 games this season. He has two goals and an assist in his last two outings and will look to keep his strong form going here.

Montreal Impact vs Chicago Fire: Prediction

Montreal Impact 2-1 Chicago Fire – This isn’t an easy game to call. Yes the Fire are out of form. Yes, they’ve been leaking goals. But they are still one of the East’s most well-rounded sides. However, Montreal are on a roll. They are looking for a third consecutive win and confidence seems to be growing with each game. If Piatti and Dzemaili are on song, they could once again prove the difference.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs Orlando City

Major League Soccer: Montreal Impact vs Orlando City

Stade Saputo – Saturday, August 5 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: Montreal 10/11 – Draw 5/2 – Orlando 14/5

Montreal Impact vs Orlando City: Preview

Montreal Impact host Orlando City in a key Eastern Conference battle on Saturday evening. Both sides come into the weekend outside the playoffs. But both know a win could fire them straight back into contention.

Montreal come into Week 22 in 10th place in the East. They are closer to DC in last place than they are to Columbus in 6th, highlighting how tough a year it’s been so far for the Canadian side.

The upside for the Impact right now is that they’ve played 20 games. That’s the fewest in the conference and means a win over Orlando on Saturday would leave them three points behind the Lions with two games in hand.

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But with just one with from their last four MLS outings, it’s tough to see where the Impact’s late season surge towards the playoffs is going to come from.

Orlando City are in a better position coming into the final three months of the season. They are just two points outside the playoffs coming into the weekend and have been boosted by the signing of Dom Dwyer from Sporting Kansas City.

Dwyer’s arrival has injected life back into the Lions’ season. The fans are optimistic and you’d expect them to kick on and make the playoffs for the first time this year. But they must find a way to win road games such as this one if they are to make it.

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Orlando are winless in their last three. They were desperately unlucky to concede away at Atlanta in stoppage time last weekend. That Hector Villalba goal stunned them but they must show character and respond with a win here.

With neither side in any kind of strong form, this is a really tough game to call. Both teams have potential match-winners at their disposal. And so this could come down to which stars shine brightest in what should be a hard-fought battle.

Montreal Impact vs Orlando City: Team News

Montreal Impact will still be without Ambroise Oyongo, while Victor Cabrera remains doubtful. New signing Samuel Piette should be in line to start after joining the club on Thursday.

Orlando City remain without Rafael Ramos. Kevin Alston is a doubt. Jason Kreis will likely start Dwyer alongside Larin once again as he tries to get the best out of two of Major League Soccer’s most talented strikers.

Montreal Impact vs Orlando City: Key Points

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

Orlando City’s last five: L/W/L/L/D

Key Stat: Differentials – Montreal Impact are five points worse off than they were at the same stage last season. Orlando City are four points better off than they were at the same point last year.

Key Player: Dom Dwyer – There’s no question that Dwyer will be at the centre of attention again here. The returning Orlando hero kept an incredible summer going with a goal for the MLS All-Stars against Real Madrid on Wednesday. He’ll be desperate to open his tally with the Lions in MLS. And you’d expect him to, given the fact the Impact have the East’s third-worst defensive record.

Montreal Impact vs Orlando City: Prediction

Montreal Impact 1-2 Orlando City – This is a really tough one the call. Both sides are in poor form. Both need a win to pick back up. But it’s unclear exactly where the magic spark is going to come from. Dwyer’s signing has left Orlando fans in a better mood than Montreal’s coming into the game. That could well be enough to separate the sides, as the visitors’ attack could be too much if they start to find form.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact

Major League Soccer: New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact

Red Bull Arena – Saturday, July 29th – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: New York Red Bulls 1/2 – Draw 16/5 – Montreal Impact 9/2

New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact: Preview

New York Red Bulls host Montreal Impact on Saturday night, looking to make it four successive MLS wins. The home side are in good form and will still have their eye on things at the top of the Eastern Conference. Even if there are four teams above them heading into the weekend.

Jesse Marsch’s side sit fifth coming into this one. They are eight points below league-leading Toronto FC, but have played one game less than the Canadian side.

The Red Bulls steamrolled Minnesota United 3-0 last weekend. They have now won five games in succession in all competitions and look to have hit their stride at the perfect time.

That will be a worry for a Montreal Impact team that have been inconsistent all season. The Impact fell 2-1 at home to FC Dallas last week and are down in 9th place in the East.

Montreal haven’t won back-to-back MLS games for two months and are really struggling to build momentum. They know a playoff spot is still in question. But they need to dramatically improve to secure a top six finish in a competitive East.

This will be the second meeting between the pair this season. The Impact sealed a 1-0 win at Stade Saputo in June to make it three-straight wins against the Red Bulls.

New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact: Team News

New York Red Bulls: Gideon Baah and Mike Grella are out for the season with a broken leg and knee injury, respectively. Aurelien Collin is a doubt with a hamstring problem. New loan signing Fidel Escobar might be in line to start at centre-back.

Montreal Impact: Ambroise Oyongo is ruled out with a knee problem, which is expected to have ended his season. Victor Cabrera is listed as questionable.

New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact: Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ last five: W/L/W/W/W

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

Key Stat: Montreal have won the last three meetings between the pair, with each victory coming by a solitary goal.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – Wright-Phillips has scored six in his last eight games and is in a fine run of form. The Red Bulls will be hoping he can continue to lead the attack with goals on Saturday.

New York Red Bulls vs Montreal Impact: Prediction

New York Red Bulls 3-1 Montreal Impact – The Red Bulls are historically solid at home and have only lost twice at Red Bull Arena so far this season. Montreal’s lack of consistency makes the Red Bulls strong favourites and we can’t see any other outcome than a home win.