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Impact hopes to end slide against Columbus

The Montreal Impact made a big signing with the addition of Italian defender Alessandro Nesta this past week.

But until the former AC Milan man suites up for the Impact, the club must try to find a way to turn around its poor run of form.

Montreal sustained its third straight defeat on Wednesday, losing 3-1 at home against Sporting Kansas City despite taking a one-goal lead into the final 35 minutes of the contest.

The Impact gave away two penalty kicks and conceded a third goal in the last 10 minutes, completing a collapse that resulted in a fourth loss in five games.

"The first half we push hard and ultimately we get a lead early in the second," said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. "And then the game goes haywire. This loss hurts. Guys are disappointed as they put a lot into tonight's game. I told them that if we play the way we did tonight, we will win a lot of games."

Marsch will have to rally his team in a short week to take on a rested Columbus side on Sunday, with the Crew having lost just once in their last eight games.

The two teams will be meeting for the second time with the Crew owning a 2-0 win in Columbus earlier this season on March 24.

"We can't really take much (from March 24) it's a totally different team," Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum said. "We have a little confidence. They're struggling, they're going to come out flying at home. They're a dangerous team. Our back is going to be against the wall a little bit."

Columbus secured a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake last weekend, giving the club three wins from its last five games, and midfielder Eddie Gaven believes that the key to extending the Crew's good run of results will be a strong start.

"Hopefully we come out strong" Gaven said. "We'll try to get all over them early and hopefully if we do that, it will kind of kill their spirit a little bit and we'll score a few goals. We're just going to try to build off what we did last game and hopefully do the same thing up there."