Impact, DCU lock horns at Saputo

A pair of slumping Eastern Conference foes will clash on Saturday as the Montreal Impact welcome D.C. United to Saputo Stadium.

The Impact come into Saturday's tilt with just a pair of wins over their last eight league matches and have fallen into fourth place in the East on 35 points after such a torrid start to the season.

Last week, Montreal put up a valiant effort, but fell by a 2-1 count to the surging Chicago Fire at Toyota Park.

Chicago got off the mark quickly, finding the back of the net just six minutes in when midfielder Joel Lindpere fired a shot from just outside the box that deflected in front of goal and beat an out-of-position Troy Perkins to give the home side the early edge.

Midfielder Dilly Duka made it 2-0 for Chicago in the 23rd minute when he dribbled through several Montreal defenders and beat Perkins with a well-placed shot into the bottom left corner.

Montreal cut the deficit in half three minutes before the hour mark when he bagged his fourth goal of the season with a well-struck first-time effort past Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson, but it wasn't enough as the hosts held on for the victory.

Impact head coach Marco Schallibaum was pleased with his team's effort in the second half despite the defeat.

"The first half wasn't very good, but we did much better in the second half," said Schallibaum. "We played a good team tonight and fought till the end. We aren't worried about the standings as there are a lot of games left to play."

"We were very dangerous in the second half," said Impact midfielder Justin Mapp. "We did well in terms of possession, but that doesn't guarantee goals scored or results."

D.C. United, meanwhile, is coming off a 2-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park last week, which snapped a modest two-game winning streak.

D.C. began the game on the front foot and carried the play early on, but fell behind in the 34th minute when the back line lost track of Philadelphia striker Conor Casey and he smashed one home to give the hosts the lead.

Casey wrapped up three points for the Union 15 minutes from time when he got on the end of a cross from Fabinho and slid it under United goalkeeper Bill Hamid for his second goal of the match.

"We knew it was going to be a tough task tonight, we were hoping for a bounce to go our way and to come out of here with some kind of result," said United head coach Ben Olsen. "They were good on the day, we almost leveled it at 1-1 our hope was to get that back and hold but they made a big play clearing that off the line. It's a learning experience for a lot of people out there, a lot of guys."

The clubs met back on Aug. 3 with United claiming a 3-1 victory. In four all- time meetings between the sides, D.C. holds a 2-1-1 margin.