Tonight's game is a study in contrast. One team has had two weeks off to rest, the other played just over two days ago. One team is at the top of the standings, the other is dropping well behind the playoff pace. Yes, the Impact are coming to play the Crew.
The Lineup: No Jairo Arrieta, Glauber picked up a torn ACL against Chicago and the best case is that Josh Williams and Chad Marshall may be ready to return. Either way, Robert Warzycha is going to switch it up. GK: Gruenebaum; Wahl, Gehrig, Marshall, Williams; O'Rourke, Sanchez; Meram, Higuain, Oduro; Schoenfeld
Crew on Offense: Score goals. Well, more likely finish chances. The Crew are solid at creating chances and getting them on goal. They are 7th in the league in both categories, but they are 12th in scoring. Troy Perkins and the Impact defense have been stout this year with Perkins especially being sharp.
The other key is to get Higuain space to work with. Oduro has been good at extending the defense, but Aaron Schoenfeld provides holdup play and allows the Crew to play the direct style they are accustomed to. Schoenfeld put in a good shift during the second half of the Philly disaster a week and a half ago. With Schoenfeld holding up the ball, it allows Oduro and Higuain to work off of him.
Crew on Defense: Marco Di Vaio is a clinical finisher. He knows how to time a trap and will do it tonight. The key will be to limit the amount of times he's able to do that and that means cutting off supply.
The problem is that the Impact have to many players that can get a pass off. Patrice Bernier is a quintessential deep lying playmaker, Felipe is gifted at finding the right ball to play, and Justin Mapp has found a good run of form. The Crew will have to be strong in midfield.
Montreal 2 - Crew 0