Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference
will square off at the Stade Saputo on Saturday as the Montreal Impact play
host to Sporting Kansas City.
Montreal sat atop the East for much of the first half of the season, but a
recent slide paired with a solid run of form from Kansas City has seen
Sporting usurp the Impact for control of the conference.
Sporting is coming off of an impressive 2-1 win at Real Salt Lake, extending
the club's unbeaten road record to five games.
"For us I think it was just the fact that we knew coming in here it was going
to be a difficult match," Sporting head coach Peter Vermes said after the
match. "We needed to just keep going and going. We tried not to let them play
that much, and I thought we did a pretty good job at that. (There are) always
a lot of teams that go on the road and try to press high up the field like we
did tonight, and I thought that was a really good quality that took them out
of their flow a little bit which helped us I think over the course of the
The victory, which came about as a result of a last-gasp winner from Ike
Opara, saw Sporting extend its lead at the top to four points after Montreal
was held to a scoreless draw at home by FC Dallas.
Montreal came into last weekend's tilt with Dallas having conceded 12 goals in
its previous four league matches, so an improved defensive showing was a clear
priority for Impact head coach Marco Schallibaum, especially after a 4-0
demolition at the hands of Red Bull New York.
"We saw our team that was very strong-willed tonight," Schallibaum said after
the match. "The will to win was there and we were very well-organized and
solid defensively. After playing a game like that, we would have liked the
win, but our effort was there. We showed that fighting spirit during the game
that I wanted to see and we never gave up, even if it was frustrating not to
score after having outplayed our opponents. I'm very proud of the guys
The Impact will be hoping to snap a five-game winless run on Saturday before
they embark on a two-match road swing.
"We have a veteran team with a lot of experienced guys and I knew we'd rebound
well from last week's performance (against New York), especially at home,"
said Schallibaum. "Another big game at home next week, so we have to build on
this and keep moving forward."
The Sports Network