MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)
08/29/2014 4:59 PM
08/29/2014 5:06 PM
Columbus (8-8-9) at Montreal (4-15-5), 7:30 p.m.
Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Crew will aim to continue their ascent up the Eastern Conference table on Saturday when the club travels to Stade Saputo to face the Montreal Impact.
Columbus has made a serious charge up the table in recent weeks with wins in each of its past two league matches, the Crew have jumped into fourth place in the East with 33 points.
Last time out, the Crew rolled to a comfortable 3-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo at Crew Stadium on August 23 behind a goal and assist from Justin Meram.
The Crew took the lead after 35 minutes when Justin Meram benefited from a poor touch from a Houston defender and gathered the ball near the top of the penalty box, then took a few touches before firing a left-footed shot past Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall.
The lead was doubled in the 59th minute as Meram this time played provider when he swung in a perfectly placed cross to the head of Adam Bedell, who outmuscled his marker and glanced a header past a helpless Hall and into the far corner.
The hosts then added a third goal in the 64th minute when Waylon Francis found substitute Aaron Schoenfeld with a perfect cross to head home from the heart of the area to seal the match.
"I thought it was a very, very solid performance," Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter said. "It's easy to get up to play the Galaxy, with the names and the quality and the crowd and everything. But today against Houston, an Eastern Conference opponent who's on our heels in the table, I thought this was a very strong performance. "We went through a tough stretch, but we kept playing the way we want to play. We're right in the mix, and that's where we expect to be at."
Montreal, meanwhile, will be hoping for a bounce-back effort after falling, 4-2, to the New York Red Bulls last time out at Red Bull Arena.
The Impact took the lead after 37 minutes as Dilly Duka latched onto a perfect ball into space from Calum Mallace and beat goalkeeper Luis Robles low to the near post from inside the box.
But They couldn't hold the lead as New York roared back in the second half as Thierry Henry struck twice in the 53rd and 67th minutes to give the Red Bulls the lead.
Bradley Wright-Phillips made it 3-1 before Andres Romero pulled a second goal back for the Impact. But Wright-Phillips completed his double in stoppage time to send New York home with all three points.
"I think as the game went on we got a little more stretched for sure because we had to push the game and we pushed it. I thought our transition to get behind the ball wasn't as good. And I think they found a lot of space to get at us as the game went on," said Impact head coach Frank Klopas.
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