Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Two of the top clubs in their respective
conferences will square off at the Stade Saputo on Saturday as the Montreal
Impact play host to Real Salt Lake.
Both sides come into the weekend on 17 points following their midweek league
tilts. The Impact suffered a 2-1 defeat at Red Bull New York to slip to second
place in the East while Real Salt Lake's 2-1 victory over the New England
Revolution lifted the Claret and Cobalt to sole possession of second place in
the Western Conference.
Wednesday's match at Red Bull Arena, as well as Sporting Kansas City's 1-0
loss at Seattle Sounders FC, helped break a four-way tie atop the Eastern
Conference table. It was the second consecutive match that the Impact conceded
two goals following the club's 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck
Shaw Stadium last weekend.
"It's just playing on the road, two good teams, goals happen," said Justin
Mapp. "It's a team effort; our defense has been very good this year. It's part
of football, sometimes you got to tip your hat to the other team but hopefully
we'll rebound on Saturday."
The Impact can look to Marco Di Vaio to help the club rebound against Real
Salt Lake on Saturday. The Italian striker was held out of Montreal's starting
lineup against New York in order to keep him fresh during a span of three
games in eight days, but he displayed his prowess in front of net by grabbing
a late goal to make for a nervy finish at Red Bull Arena.
"Marco, he can't play (Wednesday) 90 minutes and again on Saturday," said
Montreal head coach Marco Schallibaum. "That's my opinion and I think it's
also the opinion of the players, we spoke yesterday together and they
understand it. You see it also, when he comes (into the game) he has more
power but I think ... Marco is a very important player but I can't play him 90
minutes every time, that's very difficult for him physically."
Real Salt Lake will look to goalkeeper Nick Rimando to try and keep Di Vaio
off the scoresheet.
Rimando played a starring role in Salt Lake's victory at Gillette Stadium on
Wednesday, preserving three points for his side by saving a Saer Sene penalty
kick in stoppage time.
"Nick is probably playing the best that I've ever seen him play," said RSL
head coach Jason Kreis. "Says a lot for his age and where he's at in his
career. But, he's looking incredibly confident right now and incredibly
positive and he's been a huge contributor to every result we've had."
The Sports Network