After a week off from league play, the Montreal Impact return to the pitch to face the Chicago Fire on Saturday at Saputo Stadium.
In their last league match on April 14, the Impact jumped in front the visiting Columbus Crew in the 68th minute through a marvelous strike from outside the box by Marco Di Vaio, but just four minutes later, the Crew found an equalizer through Dominic Oduro's second goal in as many weeks as the clubs settled for a 1-1 draw.
After the Impact suffered their first loss of the season against Sporting Kansas City earlier in the month, Impact head coach Marco Schallibaum's message to him team during training was abundantly clear: you have to want it more.
Montreal turned in a lackluster performance in midweek in a 2-0 loss to Toronto FC at BMO Field in the Canadian Championships.
"When we lost in Kansas City, the better team won," Impact head coach Marco Schallibaum said. "Yesterday, it was a matter of will to win, and I saw none of that in the second half."
Schallibaum will look to his veteran leadership in defender Alessandro Nesta and Di Vaio to get the club back on the winning track.
Di Vaio, in particular, will aim to keep his good form going, as he has scored each of the Impact's last three goals in league play.
After struggling the first few weeks of the season, Chicago looks to be in better form after earning its second win of the campaign last time out, a 1-0 win over Columbus.
A throw-in gave the Fire their breakthrough. Jalil Anibaba sent it long into the penalty area, and Austin Berry's flicked header found Jeff Larentowicz charging on from five yards out and he headed it into the back of the net.
"I think we had a different purpose today. We needed the win and we played like it. We played with [a little] desperation; we played like we needed the points," said Patrick Nyarko of his team's effort against the Crew. "It was one of those games that you're thinking at one point, 'here we go again, it's not going to happen again today.' But the guys persevered, and kept pushing."
The Impact played their first-ever home game against Chicago on March 17 last year. The match, which ended as a 1-1 draw, attracted a crowd of 58,912 to Olympic Stadium.
In last season's only other meeting between the teams on September 15, goals by Sherjill MacDonald, Alex and Alvaro Fernandez led Chicago to a 3-1 win at Toyota Park.