MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)
06/24/2014 5:38 PM
06/24/2014 5:44 PM
Montreal (2-7-4) at Vancouver (5-2-6), 10 p.m.
Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - After a short break for the group stage of the World Cup, MLS action returns on Wednesday as the Montreal Impact travel to BC Place to battle Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The Whitecaps return to league play in decent shape in the crowded Western Conference, sitting in fifth place on 21 points, just one point clear of the charging Portland Timbers for the final playoff position.
Vancouver closed out its pre-World Cup slate with a thrilling 3-3 draw with the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on June 7.
Erik Hurtado and Nicolas Mezquida scored a pair of first-half goals to give the visitors a 2-0 lead at the break, but Philadelphia responded with three consecutive goals from Conor Casey and Sebastien Le Toux to snag a 3-2 lead with 20 minutes to play.
But the Whitecaps created the opportunity for an equalizer 10 minutes from time when substitute Darren Mattocks broke into the box and was taken down by a sprawling Zac MacMath.
Pedro Morales, who has either a goal or an assist in four of his last five games, slotted home the ensuing penalty just beyond MacMath's outstretched arms to bring the game level once again.
"We took our chances in the first half," Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson said. "Philadelphia is a very good team, they get balls in the box and Conor (Casey) is a handful in the box. We managed to take our chances in the first half, but went away from our game in the second half."
Montreal, meanwhile has struggled all season and will hope to start the second half of the campaign off on a good note following a 4-2 drubbing at the hands of D.C. United back on June 11.
Luis Silva opened the scoring for United in the sixth minute, but Montreal responded with a pair of goals from Jack McInerney and Andreas Romero for a 2-1 lead in the 21st minute.
Montreal, however, couldn't hold the lead as United answered with three consecutive tallies from Nick DeLeon in the 23rd minute and Silva scored in the 39th and 45th minutes to complete a stunning hat trick to hand his side its seventh victory of the season.
"It was obviously very disappointing," explained Impact head coach Frank Klopas. "I want a group of players that will go out and leave everything on the field and do anything it takes to win. We score two goals, we are up 2-1 and then the energy level after that was very disappointing.".
"I don't think we had enough tackles to win the battles," added Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins. "It's our field, our home and we didn't have that edge or that bite and we certainly got outcompeted tonight."
Wednesday's clash will be the first meeting of the season between the clubs. In last season's only game between the two, Vancouver cruised to a 3-0 win on Sept. 21, 2013.
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