It's been just over a month since the last Columbus Crew SC (6-6-6) defeat. That 2-1 loss at MAPFRE Stadium was to the Montreal Impact (5-7-3), Saturday night's opponent. That was the conclusion of a strong run of form by the Impact where the team went 4-1 to move up the standings.
This time, the game takes place in Montreal, where the Black & Gold will look to keep the team's four match unbeaten run alive and get a little revenge.
After being unable to turn an early deficit into a win in the early portion of the season, Crew SC have come from behind in each of its last four matches, winning two of them. The club hopes to not concede early in this one, but is now confident the players can fight back,
Since the last meeting, the Impact 1-3-1 and currently sit in ninth in the Eastern Conference. Due to scheduling conflicts, Montreal has only played 15 Major League Soccer games this season, so the second half of the year will provide the side with ample opportunity to make up ground.
Ignacio Piatti is the offensive catalyst for the Impact, leading the team in goals (5), assists (3), shots (32) and shots on goal (15). Jack McInerney, who typically plays slightly higher up the field, is second in goals (4), as well as most other offensive categories.
While Piatti was a factor in the first meeting between the two sides - registered an assist on the second goal - it was midfielders Maxim Tissot and Andres Romero that did Columbus in with a goal each.
Here are some tidbits to know heading into this match, followed by how to watch the game and a projected starting XI for either side:
- Since beginning play in MLS in 2012, the Impact have struggled against Crew SC. The Black & Gold hold a 6-3-1 record over Montreal, but are 1-2-1 in Montreal.
- The Impact have done well at home this season, losing just once and winning five of eight matches played.
- Montreal's only away win of the season came in Columbus, the 2-1 victory at MAPFRE Stadium.
- While Columbus is on the higher end of most of the MLS offensive statistics - goals scored, assists, shots, shots on goal - the Impact are near the bottom in those categories.
- Crew SC's latest signing, midfielder Cedrick Mabwati, traveled with the team to Montreal and could make his MLS debut in this contest.
- Montreal midfielder Andres Romero will miss this game due to yellow card accumulation suspension.
- The Black & Gold have two of the top offensive producers individually in the league. Kei Kamara leads MLS with 12 goals, three ahead of Kaka and Chris Wondolowski, and Ethan Finlay leads the league in assists with 10, one ahead of Benny Feilhaber.
- It has been seven games since winger Justin Meram, one of Crew SC's top offensive producers last year, has registered a goal or an assist. Meram hasn't found the back of the net since April 25 against the Philadelphia Union.
How to Watch
Date/Time: Saturday July 11, 8:00 p,m. ET
Venue: Stade Saputo (Montreal, QC)
Watch: TWC SportsChannel (English), Univision Deportes
Listen: CD102.5 FM (English) La Mega 103.1 FM (Spanish)