BY RANDY PHILLIPS
MONTREAL — The Montreal Impact faces the Vancouver Whitecaps for the third time in less than a month, but in search of a better result from the previous times the teams met.
Montreal takes on Vancouver for the first time in regular season play in the United Soccer League’s First Division at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, B.C., on Sunday.
The Impact previously suffered 2-0 and 1-0 losses to Vancouver on May 20 and May 27, respectively, in the round-robin portion of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship — the second of which dashed Montreal’s hopes of successfully defending its title to advance to this year’s CONCACAF Champions League.
“The situation we’re in is extremely difficult because this is not an easy place to come in and win, but it’s motivating as well, because if we work very hard and follow our principles of play, we’re going to be able to get a good result,” head coach Marc Dos Santos said.
Sunday’s game is the last of a three-game road trip that began a week ago with a 1-0 win to spoil the Rochester Rhinos’ home opener. The road trip continued with a 1-0 loss in stoppage time to the Timbers in Portland, Ore., Thursday night.
Dos Santos said having lost twice to the Whitecaps in a one-week span could be “a negative or positive factor” for his club, which failed to get a result from either game despite arguably having outplayed Vancouver.
“Vancouver could come out and play with a lot of confidence because of their results against us. But too much confidence could be bad for them as well,” he said. “At the same time, if we remember the two games we played against them, the result could have gone either way. We had an extremely big number of chances in Montreal (May 20) and in Vancouver (May 27), it was a question of the little details that cost us. Had we been more careful about those little details, things could have turned to be on our side.”
The Impact is 2-4-2 and looks to move a game closer to the .500 mark before returning home for a 10-day break, which will be the longest for the club to date. The team will play host to Toronto FC of Major League Soccer on June 18 in a meaningless game to conclude the Canadian championship and returns to league play when Vancouver is at Saputo Stadium in Montreal on June 20.
“We need to focus on what we did well in our last game against Portland,” said midfielder David Testo. “No one is going into this game with their head down. We all have a good attitude and, ultimately, it’s the team that comes out with the right mentality that is going to win.
“We can’t only focus on wins and losses, we need to grow as a team and the results will follow,” Testo said.
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