Despite Saturday being the final regular-season meeting between the New York Red Bulls and Montreal Impact, it won’t be the last time the clubs see each other in 2014.
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Both New York and Montreal were drawn in Group 3 of the CONCACAF Champions League group stage, along with C.D. FAS from the Salvadorian Premier Division. Montreal defeated FAS 1-0 in the first meeting between the teams and they are set for their second match tonight.
New York will face the Impact on September 17 at Stade Saputo in Montreal and on October 22 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.
With three matches looming, here’s three players from Montreal to keep an eye out for.
Forward – Marco Di Vaio
Marco Di Vaio is Montreal’s all-time leading scorer against New York, tallying three goals in five games. Di Vaio’s first career goal came against New York on July 28, 2012, his first season in MLS, in a 3-1 win over the Red Bulls.
In 16 appearances this season, the forward has scored five goals, tying him for second on Montreal’s scoring chart. Jack McInerney leads the club with seven goals.
New York’s back line will have to be aware of Di Vaio’s position on the field at all times as the forward likes to push high and make runs in and behind the opposing back four.
Midfielder – Justin Mapp
In 21 appearances for the Impact so far this season, Mapp has accounted for over a third of Montreal’s total team assists. His eight assists have him well atop the club’s assist chart, as well as being tied for fourth in MLS.
Closing in on 300 career MLS appearances, Mapp has 65 assists to his name to go along with 22 goals. He has recorded six career assists against New York and three have come while a member of the Impact, including an assist when the teams drew 2-2 in early April.
New York will have to close Mapp and not allow him the time and space to play in dangerous balls to Di Vaio and the rest of Montreal’s attack.
Defender – Hassoun Camara
No Impact player has played more minutes on the field this season than Hassoun Camara. The defender has appeared in 21 of 23 games for the Impact this season and has tallied one goal and one assist.
A big, strong right back, Camara will be forced to deal with a speedy left-sided attack from New York from the likes of players like Thierry Henry, Ambroise Oyongo and Bradley Wright-Phillips up top.