MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)
07/26/2014 5:25 PM
07/26/2014 7:04 PM
Portland (5-6-9) at Montreal (3-11-5), 8 p.m.
Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Montreal Impact will try to put the brakes on a lengthy losing streak on Sunday when the club returns to Stade Saputo to host the Portland Timbers.
The Impact have struggled for most of the season, and find themselves on the bottom of the Eastern Conference with just 14 points and trying to break the grip of a four-match losing streak in league play.
Last time out, Frank Klopas' team went down to 10 men in the second half and couldn't keep up with a rampant Real Salt Lake side and lost, 3-1, on Thursday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The Impact fell behind after just three minutes through a goal from Luke Mulholland, but defender Hassoun Camara pulled it back level with a goal in the 31st minute.
But the match swung in favor of RSL 25 minutes from time when Issey Nakajima- Farran was sent off for a late studs-up tackle on RSL defender Chris Schuler.
Substitute Olmes Garcia gave RSL the lead with his first goal since last September 20 minutes from time and he added a second tally in stoppage time to put the result away for the home side.
"The red card changed everything in this game. We had a chance to go on a breakaway and both players went down for the ball. How can you give a red card on a play like that," said Klopas. "I thought that we had the game under control. We were managing the game well but we got that call. We made a few changes in the lineup to manage the group with Sunday's game coming."
"They are a very good team so I was ready for that," said goalkeeper Evan Bush. "We held the fort but then the red card came. We knew they were going to push with their outside backs. We wanted to take advantage of our opportunities on the transition. We did well in the first half."
Portland, meanwhile, is coming off a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids last Friday at Providence Park, just the side's second home win of the season.
Deshorn Brown opened the scoring for Colorado after just 16 minutes, but the Timbers struck twice in the second half to claim the win. Max Urruti buried the equalizer in the 72nd minute and five minutes later Diego Valeri gave his side the result with a wicked bending strike into the top right corner, which left Colorado goalkeeper Clint Irwin with no chance for a save.
"I care mostly how it feels to my guys. It feels good to them. Proud of their composure second half, obviously made it tougher than it should have been. This team's been through a lot this year," said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter. "What we've done is what good teams do. They've grown stronger, they've gotten better and they've become unbreakable. And this team, because of what we've been through, we're better, we're stronger, we're hungrier, and that's how we were able to pull that out in the second half because of what we've been through."
Timbers defender Liam Ridgwell, who signed from Premier League side West Bromwich, made his debut for the Timbers.
"It felt great. I've had a few training sessions and then suddenly a game, and that was obviously great to get the game in. Danny [O'Rourke] helped alongside me and kept pushing me on, so it was obviously fantastic to get the 90 minutes in under my belt. The only way to get to know everybody, and get used to the crowd and the game is to go out there and play. So it was very good to go out there and do that."
Sunday's clash will be the first meeting of the teams this season. Last time the clubs met, Montreal claimed a 2-1 win over Portland at Providence Park on March 9, 2013.
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