Inside the Numbers vs Montreal Impact

Mark Followill brings us ten key stats for Saturday's game

Inside Numbers MTL

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Sports Images
For the first time ever, FC Dallas makes a trip to Montreal to face the 2nd-year Impact. FC Dallas defeated the Impact in their only matchup last season 2-1 on 2nd half goals by Blas Perez and Brek Shea. Both teams are struggling to the tune of a seven-match winless streak for FC Dallas and four games without a win for Montreal. Given that both of these teams remain seeded in playoff positions currently in their respective conferences, they will both be looking to get on track and hold off challengers for a post-season appearance. Our broadcast on TWCSN-TX HD 148(MLS Live, MLS Direct Kick) is at 6:00 PM Saturday evening live from Stade Saputo in Montreal. Here are ten key numbers around tonight's match: 
 
matches in a row without a goal for FC Dallas. It's the first time FC Dallas opponents have kept a clean sheet in three straight league games since August of 2006 when FCD went goalless in consecutive MLS contests against Houston, Los Angeles and Kansas City. Prior to this stretch, FC Dallas was shutout only once and that one in Portland on June 15th ended a franchise record of 20 straight MLS games with a goal.
 
12 goals allowed by Montreal in their last four games, and none of those games have been wins. So for the struggling FC Dallas offense hopefully facing Montreal right now is beneficial. Not only have the Impact surrendered 12 goals in going 0-2-2 over their last four, but for the year they have given up 1.61 per match for the season, which is the 3rd highest total in MLS (behind Philadelphia and Chivas).
 
 
20 players have appeared in MLS games for FC Dallas this season and perhaps that is a number poised to increase this weekend. FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman hinted at looking at some new faces in the aftermath of a 7th game without a win last Saturday against Real Salt Lake. Among the possibilities one has to assume is Erick, the Brazilian defensive midfielder added recently by the club. His full name is Erick Neres da Cruz and has most recently been playing for several seasons in Portugal's 2nd division.
 
games against Eastern Conference clubs for FC Dallas this season and they have yet to lose, so maybe that bodes well for a better result. Against the East, FC Dallas has wins over Houston, New England and DC United. The club has drawn Toronto FC, Sporting Kansas City and Philadelphia.
 
 
is the positive goal differential with George John on the field this season for FC Dallas. John has been a rock for the squad this season and he has certainly been missed over the last four games. Not only is FC Dallas struggling to score with only two goals over that time, but they have allowed seven goals in that stretch as well. John is listed as questionable on this week's injury report.
 
9.7 fouls committed per match by Montreal. That is easily the lowest number to date this season in MLS. Midfielder Patrice Bernier has fouled more frequently than any other Impact player this season. If Montreal maintains form in that regard it will cut down on set piece chances for FC Dallas, however even that aspect of their offense has been silenced in recent weeks.
 
 
games without a goal for Montreal forward Marco Di Vaio who joined the team last season. Unfortunately for FC Dallas, Di Vaio has not been kept off the score sheet in three consecutive matches this season. With 11 goals, Di Vaio is tied for Mike Magee for second in MLS behind Camilo who has 12 goals. Di Vaio is 37 years old as of earlier in the week and spent 13 years in Serie A along with brief spells in La Liga and Ligue 1 before joining Montreal about 13 months ago. 
 
European born player has ever won an MLS Scoring Champion or Golden Boot Award. With 11 goals this season and one off the leading pace the aforementioned Marco Divaio (b-Rome, Italy) is trying to become the 2nd. Yugoslavian-born Preki was MLS Scoring Champion in 1997 and 2003 with Kansas City. Rather than a Golden Boot Award for most goals scored, before 2005 MLS Scoring Champion was awarded based on a points system with two points for a goal and one for an assist.
 
 
41.3 percent of Montreal's shot attempts have been on frame this season the best ratio in MLS. That means All-Star keeper Raul Fernandez will have to be sharp, especially with the dangerous DiVaio lurking. Over half of his shot attempts have been on goal this year, as a matter of fact his 35 shots on goal lead the league going into play this weekend.
 
24 minutes for David Ferreira last week as a substitute vs RSL. With an accumulation of leg injuries, Ferriera was not in the starting XI and played as a sub for only the 3rd time in 101 career MLS appearances. Also the 24 minutes played was the lowest number of minutes in any league appearance for El Torito. Given his vital importance to the FC Dallas attack, maybe a lighter workload last week will result in a fresher, more attacking Ferriera this week.