Impact welcome Orlando City to Olympic Stadium
Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Montreal Impact will shoot for their first win of the 2015 season on Saturday when the club welcomes Orlando City Soccer Club to Olympic Stadium.
After opening the season with a 1-0 defeat against D.C. United at RFK Stadium, Montreal returned from its CONCACAF Champions League victory against Costa Rican side Alajuelense to face the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium last week.
Both teams had trouble fidning open space and things became more difficult for Montreal just past the hour mark when defender Hassoun Camara was sent off, reducing the visitors to 10 men.
Despite playing down a man for the final 30 minutes, the Impact defense held out to claim a point in a scoreless draw.
"We deserved a result today," said head coach Frank Klopas. "The team showed incredible character. We had good control in the first half and then when we lost a man in the second, we were committed to winning 50/50 balls. I'm proud of the team today."
"They are obviously a good team and it's a difficult place to play, so we are happy with the result under the circumstances today," explained Calum Mallace. "I think we are definitely in a better place this season than we were last year and we will just keep getting better."
Despite holding out for a point away from home, it wasn't all good new for Montreal, as rookie forward Cameron Porter suffered a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season.
With Porter out of the picture, the Impact could turn to former Philadelphia Union forward Jack McInerney to fill the void.
"I never know what the coaching staff is thinking, obviously, with what's happened before," McInerney said. "Right now, I'm just practicing hard. If they call my name this weekend, then I've just got to go out there and prove myself. It's just something that's not in my hands right now. I've just got to do what I do and perform."
For Olrando City, the budding expansion side has seen a bit of a drop-off in from since their inaugural MLS game against fellow expansion club New York City FC.
In their second-ever game at the Citrus Bowl last time out, Orlando suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The best scoring chance of the opening period fell to Vancouver in the 34th minute when Rivero broke free on goal off of a pass from Pedro Morales, but Donovan Ricketts came charging off his line to force an early shot from the Whitecaps striker that trickled just wide of the post.
The only goal came deep in stoppage time when Pedro Morales delivered a set piece to the near post where Octavio Rivero was arriving to nod the cross past Orlando goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts with a glancing header, giving the Whitecaps striker his third goal in as many games.
"I feel that if there was anyone who was going to win the game, it was going to be us," said Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath. "If I'm being perfectly honest, I think we've had too many 'nearlys' all night. It was nearly a good play. It was nearly a good cross. It was nearly a good set up. And unfortunately nearly is not going to cut it, and that's what I've just explained to the guys. Nearly is not going to be enough over the course of the season."