Know Your Enemy: Montreal Impact

Impact slumping recently, but still extremely dangerous

Montreal XI

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Sports Images

It may come to be a surprise to some out there, but this is the final regular season game for the month of July for FC Dallas. This weekend the club heads back up to Canada to face the Montreal Impact.

This will be the lone meeting between the two clubs this season. Last year, the Impact came to Frisco and Dallas was able to beat them 2-1 thanks to two late goals by Blas Perez and Brek Shea(HIGHLIGHTS).

The Impact are struggling as of late with just one win in their last six matches. During this stretch, they have also given up 14 goals, nearly doubling their goals against total for the season.

First year head coach Marco Schallibaum’s club is coming off a 4-0 loss at New York last week.

Watch Saturday's game at The Pub in Frisco & you could win Gold Cup, Stoke City or Breakaway Festival tix plus autographed FCD swag!

Injury Watch

The Impact haven’t been hit by the injury bug as much as other clubs this season. Only two players listed as out for this match right now with veteran defender Nelson Rivas out due to knee surgery and Maximiliamo Rodriguez out with a foot injury.

Key Matchups

Felipe Martins vs Andrew Jacobson: When he plays, Martins is a big impact player for Montreal (no pun intended) in their attack. He has five assists on the season, tied for the most on the team. Jacobson will have to keep a close eye on what he does in the midfield. Limiting his time on the ball will be big as well as closing down his passing lanes.

READ: Hyndman talks FCD's newest signing, Mauro Diaz, after Thursday practice

Hassoun Camara vs Ramon Nunez: With Fabian Castillo suspended for this one, Nunez could be called to step up in this one on the wings. If he can use his skill and creativity on the wings to create chances for Dallas, it could put Camara in a tough situation or two.

Key Player for Montreal

MATCH PREVIEW: FCD vs Impact

Patrice Bernier: While Marco Di Vaio gets all the headlines as the goal scorer, it is Bernier that leads the team in assists with five. He is also their penalty kick taker. Bernier is the cog in the middle of the park for the Impact as his passing helps facilitate the attack and he also helps keep pressure off the back line.

Projected Lineup

For most of the season, Schallibaum used a 4-1-4-1 formation, but these last couple of months he has switched formations to include a second striker, making it a straight 4-4-2.

READ: An introduction to the city of Montreal as FCD takes their first-ever trip to Quebec

The big question will be whether or not Di Vaio will be in the line up or not. He has been in Italy this week attending to a family matter. 

Goalkeeper: Troy Perkins; RB: Hassoun Camara, CB: Alessandro Nesta, Matteo Ferrari, LB: Jeb Brovsky; RM: Blake Smith; CM: Patrice Bernier, Felipe Martins; LM: Justin Mapp; FW: Daniele Paponi, Andrew Wenger

Keys to three points

Montreal is a dangerous team to face right now for the struggling Hoops. While the Impact haven’t been good in their last few games, they are going to be a desperate team at home looking for goals and points after their 4-0 loss last weekend.

Should Di Vaio go on Saturday for them, he will be the focal point in the attack for them. Montreal loves to play compact in the field – mostly down the middle of the field – with a focus on the long ball.

Defensively, locking down the long ball chances and counter attacks will be big for Dallas.

Dallas will want to spread out the Impact and use the wings as much as possible. Last week against New York, the Reds Bulls shredded the Impact on the wings and exposed their weakness to defend in space. Dallas will want to expose the open space as much as they can in this one.

Both teams are in need of points in this one, which should make this one fun to watch. Dallas has done well against teams that they can beat in space this season and if they can return to their old form from earlier this season in this match, three points will be there for the taking.