Montreal Impact returns home with our first point of the season although, it will seem that our number one Striker Marco Di Vaio will be spending the remainder of the year with a serious back strain… caused by carrying the entire team on his shoulders.
With the formation remaining the same at 4-2-3-1, Bernier replaced by Romero, Brovsky replaced by Pearce, and Wenger replaced by Di Vaio, it seems the only one to make a direct impact was our 2013 leading goal scorer.
A few simple mistakes made by our back line caused a first half lead for the Union, when Jack McInerney maneuvered behind our defensive line hitting his target. Our luck was going to change when Di Vaio had an incredible sprint past Union defence. Who said old men can’t run? Unfortunately, Di Vaio’s shot powers over the crossbar leaving Impact trailing by one. Di Vaio had a few chances to easily score an equalizer but it seems his old foot needed some time to wake up.
It was finally our chance to see Impact play our 2 starting strikers this season when Klopas pulled Romero and replaced him with Wenger in the 60th minute. That was short lived when Wenger was sent off in the 76th minute for a studs up tackle on Unions Nogueria. Impact was now down to 10 men. With our hopes of an equalizer slowly evaporating, a signature, magnificent strike from Di Vaio into the top corner flew past Goal Keeper Zac MacMath putting Impact on the board, 1-1. Welcome back, Di Vaio.
7 minutes after Di Vaio’s equalizer, coach Klopas pulled Felipe for defensive player Ouimette. 7 whole minutes. I was wondering if Klopas was, in fact, watching the match through a delayed steam. Down to 10 men, and fighting to keep a point, I anticipated that change to happen minutes earlier. It seems there is controversy circulating about our dear coach: His choice in starting XI, the timing of his subs, and even his choice in facial expressions (I know, now you`re all going to watch his face next Saturday). Controversy or not, Impact fought hard to hold on to that point. Full Time: 1-1.
Again, we did not see our star from Argentina, Santiago Gonzalez. It seems he may be lacking the ability we all thought he had, and concerns me that Wenger is the choice ahead of Gonzalez. MOTM? Easy. Unbelievable saves from Goal Keeper Troy Perkins kept Philadelphia Union down to 1 goal.
It seems that this match gave us hope for our season, but the underlying problem still exists. Di Vaio is our only finishing striker. If we leave only Di Vaio to rely on this entire season, we should all remain in panic mode.
Next Match: New York Red Bulls at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
(image courtesy of impactmontreal.com)