Published April 27, 2012
| Sports Network
Montreal, QC – Sometimes old friends become new rivals, and that will be the sentiment for two players in opposing uniforms on Saturday when the Montreal Impact host the Portland Timbers.
Montreal's Davy Arnaud and Portland's Jack Jewsbury were former teammates roughly a decade ago at the Kansas City WIzards, the club where both players started their careers. They have since left Kansas City to join expansion sides with Jewsbury heading to Portland at the start of last year and Arnaud linking up with Montreal this offseason.
Saturday's match will pit the two buddies against one another in a potentially game-deciding midfield battle. With the Impact and Timbers both desperate for points in the early stages of the season, they will have to leave their friendly feelings behind for at least 90 minutes.
"You play even harder against your friends," Arnaud told Impact Media. "Jack is like my brother, so when you are on the field, you don't want anything more than to beat someone you're close to, and I don't expect anything less from him.
"It'll be the first time we ever play against each other in a league game, so it should be exciting. We might have to mend our friendship a little after the game because we'll be kicking each other during it, I know that."
According to Jewsbury, there may even be something more on the line.
"Loser will most likely buy dinner," the Timbers captain said.
Ultimately, both players would much prefer three points.
The Timbers ended a four-game losing skid against the odds to hand Sporting Kansas City its first loss of the season. They hope to build upon that 1-0 victory with a win at the Olympic Stadium.
Montreal has claimed just five points from its opening eight games. It's lone road point came in the club's last outing, a 1-1 draw at RFK Stadium against D.C. United last Wednesday.
Portland and Montreal faced one another in preseason and the Timbers got a taste of how physical the Impact can be.
"I think they were probably a lot more aggressive at times, too aggressive at times," said Timbers head coach John Spencer after that match.
Not much has changed since as Montreal leads MLS in fouls and yellow cards this season. It is safe to say that with the Impact's penchant for physicality and the added incentive for Jewsbury and Arnaud, fans north of the border are in for a scrappy affair at the Olympic Stadium.