GUADALAJARA, Mexico – The Montreal Impact and Chivas Guadalajara played to a 0-0 tie in the club’s first preseason game, Sunday, at Verde Valle, in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The Impact responded well to its first challenge of training camp as a dozen players from the first team of the Mexican first division club took part in the game, which was divided into three periods of 30 minutes.
"The guys put in a lot of work into the first week together and they stuck to the game," said head coach Jesse Marsch. "They played only 30 minutes each and were able to create some good opportunities. Defensively, we did well and it's a fair result against a good team.”
“It has been quite some time since we have played, so it did us some good to take to the field again,” said defender Hassoun Camara. “There are some small details that we must continue to work on, but it was a good start. The team is in good spirits, and we are starting with a good foundation.”
“It's a good result and a good start,” said goalkeeper Greg Sutton, who made three saves in the second period. “We have been together for only a week and preseason is long. We will be more efficient as we move on. There are a lot of positives to build on.”
“You always look forward to the games during preseason and it was a good first experience for this group,” said midfielder Davy Arnaud, who had a scoring chance in the 53rd minute as his low shot from just inside the box was stopped. "The more games we play will be good for us and we will improve."
"Our first game went well against a quality team," said defender Nevio Pizzolitto, who is currently trying out with the team in Mexico. "Even if we don’t know each other very well yet, I think we did a good job. Defensively, we were strong and we created some chances offensively. Personally, my thinking is doing what I know and doing it well. I look to be good on the ball and do the little things right."
The team will go on to face off against Mexican clubs Estudiantes Tecos, Iteso and Atlas, on the 24, 25 and 26 of January, respectively.
The Impact will kickoff its historical inaugural game in North America’s first division on March 10 against Canadian rivals the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, at 6pm ET, in Vancouver at BC Place. The club will then play its home opener at Olympic Stadium on March 17, against the Chicago Fire, at 2pm. Tickets are still available for the game online at impactmontreal.com or by calling 514-328-3668.
Lineup for first period: G-Donovan Ricketts, D-Simon Gatti, D-Nelson Rivas, D-Gienir Garcia, D-Josh Gardner, M-Sanna Nyassi, M-Felipe, M-Ian Westlake, M-Sinisa Ubiparipovic, F-Eduardo Sebrango, F-Brian Ching
Second period: G-Greg Sutton, D-Simon Gatti (Calum Mallace 45'), D-Nevio Pizzolitto, D-Francisco Mendoza, D-Tyson Wahl, M-Bryan Arguez, M-Patrice Bernier, M-Evan James, M-Davy Arnaud, F- Juan José Pena, F-Aaron Schoenfeld
Third period: G-Evan Bush, D-Calum Mallace, D-Shavar Thomas, D-Hassoun Camara, D-Daniel Arcila, M-Reda Agourram, M-Collen Warner, M-Gerson Mayen, M-Justin Mapp, F-Miguel Montano, F-Justin Braun
Caution: Nyassi 20'