Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Too Much Rest May Be Problem as Impact Resume MLS Play against Fire

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Too Much Rest May Be Problem as Impact Resume MLS Play against Fire

Article excerpt

Rested Impact look to quell struggling Fire


MONTREAL - Things are about to get busy for the Montreal Impact.

After playing only one Major League Soccer match since March 30, the Impact begin a string of five games in 15 days when they play host to the Chicago Fire on Saturday afternoon.

The second-year MLS club (4-1-1) won it's first four games in March, but now is looking to end a winless run that has reached three games if Wednesday's 2-0 defeat in Toronto in Amway Canadian Championship play is included.

Mostly, the Impact are looking for the kind of dominant 90-minute performance they have yet to produce despite a winning record that has them third in the Eastern Conference behind Kansas City (4-2-2) and Houston (4-2-1), who have each played more games.

They'd also like to crank up the attack after scoring only seven times in their first six league games.

"You'd like to see more offence, but first and foremost is energy and will," said midfielder Patrice Bernier. "When we're first on the ball we tend to control games and create more opportunities.

"When we're working in synch together we're able to create more chances. That's the get-go for Saturday -- to go out there being first on the ball and being the better team."

They will be up against a seventh-place Chicago (2-4-1) that has allowed 12 goals in seven matches, tied with the New York Red Bulls for worst in the 19-team league.

But most of those came early in the season in losses of 4-0 to Los Angeles and 4-1 to Chivas USA. The Fire have settled since then and have won twice in their last three outings, including a 1-0 win at home last week against Columbus.

Still, goalkeeper Sean Johnson told the Fire's defence will need to be alert against a Montreal attack led by Italian veteran Marco Di Vaio, who has scored the team's last three goals.

"He's one of the smartest players in the league," said Johnson. "We have to focus on him but not take too much attention off the other players.

"Bernier is a fantastic player too."

The Impact ended up with long stretches of time off when a game at Los Angeles was postponed until October to allow the Galaxy to focus on a CONCACAF Champions League game. …

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