Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - A pair of Canadian clubs will square off at
the Stade Saputo on Saturday as the Montreal Impact play hosts to Vancouver
Neither side brings a particularly strong run of form into the match, but
Saturday's tilt could have significant playoff implications.
Montreal is in a rather comfortable position in the Eastern Conference,
entering the weekend tied with Sporting Kansas City for second place on 45
points apiece. But the club's ace in the hole comes in the form of the two
games in hand it has over first-place Red Bull New York, which leads the East
on 48 points.
The Impact squandered the chance to stay level with the Red Bulls last weekend
when they fell in a disappointing 2-1 home loss to the Columbus Crew.
It was, perhaps, a match that defies logic as Montreal has yet to beat
Columbus to this point in Canadian side's sophomore season in MLS.
"We had a good first half. We had a lot of chances and we controlled the game
well from the first ten minutes on," Marco Di Vaio said after the match.
"Columbus is a hard team for us to play against, so it was no surprise for us
tonight that the game was hard."
Di Vaio is enjoying a superb season with the Impact as his MLS-leading 18
goals have lifted the Italian to the forefront of the MVP ballot.
Third in the scoring chart is Camilo Sanvezzo with 14 goals on the season,
twice as many as Vancouver's second-leading scorer in Kenny Miller. But the
'Caps have not garnered much else on the attacking end.
And that is where Darren Mattocks figures into the equation.
As a rookie last season, Mattocks produced seven goals in 15 starts, and even
netted a fantastic postseason goal against the eventual champions Los Angeles
But the production has fallen off in his sophomore campaign as Mattocks has
found the back of the net just three times in 16 appearances. He hopes his
fortunes will change down the final stretch of the season.
"This is an opportunity for me to seize and get back into the team," Mattocks
told a correspondent from Vancouver's official website. "If I get back into
the team and score a couple of goals, or just if the team wins - it can change
the season entirely ... I think this is the part of the season where you have
to make the most of your opportunities, and that's something I'm looking to
The Whitecaps are looking to get back to the postseason as they come into
Saturday's clash five points adrift of the playoff picture.
The Sports Network