VANCOUVER, B.C. – A new chapter in Montreal Impact history began today with its first ever game in Major League Soccer. The Impact lost 2-0 to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, in front of a sellout crowd of 21,000 spectators at BC Place on Saturday. Wingers Sébastien Le Toux (4th minute) and Camilo (54th minute) scored for the Whitecaps.
The Whitecaps opened the scoring in the 4th minute when forward Eric Hassli, getting on the end of a long ball with his head, flicked the ball toward Le Toux. The native of France broke in down the left flank and beat Impact goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts to his left, opposite post, from just outside the six-yard box.
The Whitecaps doubled their lead in the 54th minute when Hassli let a pass from Le Toux go through his legs. Midfielder Davide Chiumiento played a through ball to Brazilian winger Camilo into the right corner of the box. He cut sharply inside and beat Ricketts with a curling shot to his right.
“It’s tough to go on the road in your first game, make a mistake in the third minute and give up a goal,” said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. “Overall though, I thought our response for the rest of the first half was not bad. Now, it is a lesson to learn that if you make a few mistakes, you will pay for them in this league. This is a building process and we have to commit to learning from our mistakes and get better.”
“I think we didn’t put our heads down too much after that first goal,” said forward Justin Braun. “We pushed hard to get a goal in the game. There were a lot of positives that we can take from today that we can work with for next week.”
In the 23rd minute, the Impact came close to scoring its first ever goal when defender Josh Gardner broke down the left flank. His cross to the top of the box was brought down by midfielder Justin Mapp, whose shot just sailed over the bar.
Then just a minute later, captain Davy Arnaud, on the end of a through ball towards right centre, played a short pass down the flank to Sanna Nyassi who cut towards goal. His shot, from a sharp angle, hit the outside mesh to the goalkeeper’s left.
The Impact had a few chances in the second half, but could not capitalize, coming close in the 59th minute. Bernier intercepted a pass in the offensive zone and sent the ball deep down the left side, where M app crossed the ball into the box. Midfielder Felipe settled the ball and laid it off to forward Sanna Nyassi, who turned and shot, just missing high.
The Impact’s best opportunity came in the 60th minute when Arnaud managed to beat the defenders in the air for a header on goal, resulting from a Bernier cross, but the ball was cleared off the line by a Whitecaps defender. Two minutes later, Vancouver’s goalkeeper made a stop to his right after Bernier played a ball to Justin Mapp from the flank and fired from just outside the box.
Defender Jeb Brovsky made his first start against his former team after making 24 appearances in his rookie campaign with the Whitecaps in 2011.
Marsch, Arnaud frustrated by first goal
“We are pretty disappointed not to get any points today,” said defender Jeb Brovsky. “We had spells where we went forward with some confidence. We were dangerous at times and that’s hard to do on the road and hopefully we can use that to give our home fans something to cheer for next week.”
The Impact will play its home opener at Olympic Stadium this Saturday, against the Chicago Fire, at 2pm (ET). Over 45,000 tickets have already been sold for the historic game in which the Impact intends on breaking the all-time attendance record for a professional soccer game in Canada of 58,542 back in 1981 by the Montreal Manic.
Season tickets are available online at impactmontreal.com or by calling 514-328-3668 while individual tickets for the home opener and all five games presented at Olympic Stadium are also available through the Admission network.
MTL – GK-Donovan Ricketts, D-Jeb Brovksy, D-Tyson Wahl, D Matteo Ferrari, D-Josh Gardner, M-Davy Arnaud, M-Patrice Bernier (Miguel Montaño 81’), M-Felipe, M-Justin Mapp (Mike Fucito 26’), F-Justin Braun (Andrew Wenger 72’), F-Sanna Nyassi
VAN – GK-Joe Cannon, D-Alain Rochat, D-Martin Bonjour, D-Lee Young-Pyo, D-Jay DeMerit, M-Gershon Koffie, M-Jun Marques Davidson, M-Davide Chiumento (Jordan Harvey 65’), F-Eric Hassli (Darren Mattocks 89’), F-Camilo (Matt Watson 81’), F-Sébastien Le Toux
VAN – Sébastien Le Toux (Eric Hassli) 4’
VAN - Camilo (Davide Chiumento) 54’
MTL – Felipe 19’
MTL – Patrice Bernier 28’
VAN – Martin Bonjour 58’