Carson, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Montreal Impact will attempt to put an
end to a horrid run of form that has seen the club collect just one win from
its last seven league outings when it heads to the StubHub Center to face the
Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday.
While a victory over the Galaxy would lift the Impact to third place in the
Eastern Conference on 49 points, it would require Montreal to do something it
has not managed since it claimed a 4-2 defeat of the New England Revolution on
Sept. 8: get maximum points from a regular season match.
But to achieve that feat in Carson, Calif. on Wednesday, Montreal must make
some headway in front of goal. The Impact have only managed two goals over
their last four games and enter Wednesday's tilt having been shut out in its
last two contests.
"Sometimes you go through stretches where you score a lot of goals, and you
can't really say why," Impact head coach Marco Schallibaum said after his
side's 1-0 home loss to the Revolution on Saturday. "It's true; we are missing
a little bit in the final 20 meters. We couldn't penetrate the box. We didn't
make it tough on their defenders."
Montreal's poor run of form has seen the club slip into dangerous territory as
it enters its 32nd match of the campaign level with the Chicago Fire and
Philadelphia Union on 46 points each but narrowly ahead of the two sides with
more goals scored. To make matters even more dire, the three clubs are only
one point clear of New England, which should set up a thrilling conclusion to
the regular season.
"We haven't performed very well lately," said Impact midfielder Patrice
Bernier. "Our backs are against the wall right now. It's not over yet for us,
but we have to turn things around quickly. We have to make adjustments quickly
and we still have three games ahead of us. We need to go with the fittest
players and the most hungry ones to get all three points."
Los Angeles finds itself in a similar position to Montreal, coming into
Wednesday's contest just one point above the postseason cutoff with three
games to go. But the major advantage the Galaxy carry into their test against
the Impact is the fortune of coming off of a bye week.
Bruce Arena's men have not featured in a competitive match since cruising past
Chivas USA in a 5-0 rout on Oct. 6, a result that snapped a four-game winless
run in MLS league play. The Galaxy have also needed to navigate around
CONCACAF Champions League fixtures, so the bye has given the squad a welcomed
break and a chance to recuperate for the final haul of the season.
"It's the time of the year where we don't normally have breaks," Galaxy
defender Sean Franklin told the club's official website. "We've got a chance
to get guys healthy, so it's nice to have that. We've got a nice stretch of
games and every point matters. It's nice to get guys back on the field who may
have picked some nicks and knocks.
"We're excited that Leonardo is getting back into things and A.J. (DeLaGarza)
will be back soon. We're getting guys back healthy at the time right. That's
what you want with the team clicking going into the last couple games of our
Los Angeles will also welcome Landon Donovan back to the fold. The Galaxy
talisman was released from international duty after sustaining a minor ankle
injury in the United States' victory over Jamaica in World Cup qualifying
action on Friday. It is unknown whether Donovan will feature in Wednesday's
clash with Montreal as he will be evaluated by the Galaxy medical staff in the
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