A couple of firsts happened during the Impact’s game over the weekend. It was the first time for new Montreal head coach Frank Klopas against his former team, the Chicago Fire. Saturday afternoon was also the first game for the guy they just traded for in a Montreal Impact uniform. Striker Jack McInerney had just been acquired from the Philadelphia Union and he wearing the number 99 on his back started up front alongside Marco Di Vaio. The 21-year-old striker was brought in for two reasons: 1) to provide secondary scoring behind Di Vaio and 2) to be the future main striker on the team after the 37-year-old Italian decides to call it quits. Well, after one game I’d have to say that the trade was a success and here’s to hoping he decides to stay with the team after his contract expires after next season.
Montreal (0-3-2) had earned one point in each of their last two games courtesy of ties against the New York Red Bulls and the Philadelphia Union, but no wins yet this season. The Chicago Fire (0-1-4) also was looking for their first win. Unfortunately for all involved neither team came away with a win.
Another thing that no one came away with was a good game. The 1-1 tie was a rather dull affair with neither side creating much offense. If I was pressed to decide on one side of the two I would have to say that Chicago played a better game as they were the visitors and still created more scoring chances.
Both Di Vaio and McInerney had scored 3 goals against the Fire in their careers. In their first game together as a scoring tandem McInerney came out on top scoring a goal. It was the only goal of the lads in bleu, blanc and noir. After a scoreless 1st half both teams scored a single goal in the 2nd half.
The scoring play for Montreal started around midfield when Felipe, of all players, won the ball in the air. He headed the ball to Di Vaio, who with his back to the goal ably flicked it on over the Fire fullbacks. McInerney, doing what he does best, anticipated the play and started his run early getting to it first behind the Fire defense. He, with a single look back over his shoulder, ran in alone for about 20 yards. Finding himself in front of Fire keeper Sean Johnson and with a fullback closing in he finished like any good striker would and made no mistake with his shot. His low shot glanced off Johnson’s outstretched left leg, but was powerful enough to deflect off of it into the upper part of the left side of the net. His first shot as an Impact and he scored. A great start and shooting percentage. The fans gave him a standing ovation for his effort.
Defensively Montreal has struggled so far this season. No clean sheets so far and it was not to be on this day either. They did try something different in that Karl W. Ouimette starting in the central defense with Hassoun Camara beginning on the bench. Ouimette had a good game and the goal was certainly not his fault. In the 55th minute Chicago was awarded a corner. Montreal was guilty of misplaying the ball and then just standing around. These defensive sins lead to Quincy Amarikwa having the chance to burying the ball from just outside the Montreal 6 yard box. Nothing keeper Troy Perkins could do.
That was all for the scoring, but the problem wasn’t the 1-1 scoreline rather it was the flat effort from the home side. There seemed to be no passion, desire or energy coming from them. As a result their timing and passes were off for the entire 90 minutes and they created no high quality scoring chances. Disappointing.
Montreal’s next game is on the road on Saturday, April 19, 2014 against Sporting Kansas City.
-On-Field Officials: Referee – Jose Carlos Rivero
Linesmen: Daniel Belleau and Scott Kachmarik
-Goals: 2nd Half:
43rd minute: Montreal – Jack McInerney assisted by Marco Di Vaio
55th minute: Chicago – Quincy Amarikwa assisted by Mark Mcgee
-Shot on Net: Montreal – 2
Chicago – 5
-Corners: Montreal – 3
Chicago – 10
-Videotron Player of the Game: Karl W. Ouimette
-Final Score: Montreal – 1
Chicago – 1