Evan Bush Archive

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V-Cup: FCE “devastated” over controversial call, six minutes of added time in Montreal

For 95 minutes, the Montreal Impact and FC Edmonton staged a thrilling Amway Canadian Championship match, one that showed those cynical about cup competitions that there is indeed some magic to these midweek games.

Drew Fischer

Drew Fischer

But, in the end, no one will be talking about the 95-plus minutes. They’ll be talking what happened in the last minute of stoppage time. They’ll be talking about referee Drew Fischer. Because, in the end, he was the story.

The situation: The Impact led the Eddies 3-2 in the second leg of their semi-final matchup. But, the aggregate was at 4-4, with the Eddies ahead on the away-goal rule. Six minutes of time were added on, as the Eddies were certainly milking a few, ahem, injuries down the final 20 minutes.

A free kick was played into the Eddies’ box, it was deflected by Impact defender Heath Pearce, about a couple of feet away from FCE centre back Mallan Roberts. Fearing a handball call, Roberts had his hands behind his back. The ball hit Roberts on the shoulder/upper arm, and Fischer decided to point to the spot. Did Roberts try to play the ball with his arm? He had his hands behind his back. Could he had avoided a ball that was deflected by Pearce a couple of feet away.

Patrice Bernier buried the penalty kick. And, the cameras showed a full Eddies team accosting the refs after the game in a way that reminded you of that time after the 2007 Gold Cup, when the Canadians had a winning goal at the death waved off for a phantom offside call — and the Americans got through. Finally, we saw FCE coach Colin Miller and Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo trading heated words. After the game, Miller joked that he wished Saputo a ”Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

“The guys in the dressing room are broken-hearted,” Miller said over the phone after the match. “We knew we deserved better from the game. We are devastated. The players are devastated and the technical staff are devastated. I feel so bad for our fans and our owner.
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11

The rabbit strikes: FC Edmonton stuns Montreal

FCE's Hanson Boakai pulls away from the Impact's Karl Ouimette. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS/FC EDMONTON

FCE’s Hanson Boakai pulls away from the Impact’s Karl Ouimette. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS/FC EDMONTON

It was spotted maybe an hour before the teams went onto the Clarke Stadium turf.

A rabbit. Maybe it was a hare. Semantics.

Fans saw it. Security people saw it. FC Edmonton’s harbinger of good luck. How important is the rabbit as the spirit animal for every FCE player? Each FC Edmonton jersey has the image of a running rabbit pressed on the back, below the collar.

?The supporters know; when a rabbit is seen at the stadium, good things happen for FC Edmonton. Maybe it was the mystical power of the rabbit that made Montreal Impact defender Karl Ouimette blow an 89th-minute defensive header on a long kick. Maybe it was the rabbit that gave FCE substitute Michael Nonni the foresight to jump on Ouimette’s turnover, round keeper Evan Bush, and score the goal that gave the NASL Eddies their first-ever Amway Canadian Championship win over MLS opposition.

The rabbit, er, FC Edmonton 2, Montreal Impact 1.

Yes, the Impact got the road goal — and still have everything to play for next week when the scene shifts to Stade Saputo. But Nonni’s goal gave FC Edmonton its most famous win in team history.

It started with a long goal kick from FCE keeper John Smits. The ball sailed all the way to the top of the Impact’s penalty area. Ouimette got underneath it, meaning to flick it back to Bush. And then it all went horribly wrong for Montreal.

“I thought that I’m going to take a gamble on the ball,” said Nonni. “He’d been flicking it back to the keeper all game long… when I got the first touch, I knew I was going to bury it.”
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0

Impact coach Schallibaum: “Season as a whole was a good one”

Marco Schallibaum

Marco Schallibaum

Following Tuesday’s team postmortem with President Joey Saputo and Sporting Director Nick De Santis, on Wednesday it was the Impact players as well as head coach, Marco Schallibaum, who shared their impressions of the 2013 season with the media.

Team President Saputo made a brief appearance to award the Giuseppe Saputo Cup to Marco Di Vaio, voted the Player of the Year by the club’s season ticket holders and then gave way to Schallibaum who, as he has done all year, took questions rather than make an opening statement.

As was the case yesterday the queries concerned his uncertain future with the Montreal organization.

“I think it’s perfectly normal,” he replied. “When you have a season that stats well and finishes as poorly as ours did, there are questions that arise. Nick and Joey have questions and they need answers. I’m not worried, I have questions too.

“You have to say that the season as a whole was a good one. We may not have achieved everything we wanted but it’s normal. We’re going to have some serious discussions. It’s important for the future that the club move forward and that everyone is going in the same direction.”
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4

Niagara Falls’ Opare puts Impact’s playoff hopes in troubled waters

Kofi Opare: 1st MLS goal puts Impact's playoff position in doubt

Kofi Opare: 1st MLS goal puts Impact’s playoff position in doubt

In a battle of the Eastern and Western Conferences’ fourth-place teams — both more concerned with the teams closing on them from below than any they may be chasing up the ladder — the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the visiting Montreal Impact 1-0 Wednesday. The Galaxy moves into third place in its half of MLS standings, almost guaranteeing its appearance in the playoffs.

Reluctant to rotate his personnel for the bulk of the season, Impact head coach Marco Schallibaum, prompted by injuries and suspensions to his regulars, fielded a squad that read like a reserve side, starting Evan Bush in goal, putting three youthful academy products on the back line and adding another couple to his bench.

While the home side dominated possession, the Galaxy holding the ball for fully two-thirds of the first half, Montreal got the best chances in the early going before the flow of play established itself in Los Angeles’s favour.

Two minutes after play got underway, Collen Warner fed Andrew Wenger on the right side but the forward’s shot rolled wide of the far post.
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0

Impact gets bittersweet, hollow victory over Heredia as CCL campaign comes to a halt

Andrew Wenger: Scored once, could have had more

Andrew Wenger: Scored once, could have had more

The Montreal Impact’s CONCACAF Champions League hopes came to an end at Saputo Stadium Tuesday evening. Despite the fact that Marco Schallibaum’s men won the match, defeating the visiting CD Heredia side by a 2-0 score, the group portion of the competition will be decided when the Guatemalan side meets San Jose at Buck Shaw Stadium on Oct. 23.

Dominating every facet of the game, Montreal was superior both technically and tactically but the gritty, physical Heredia squad never gave up, its energy and determination providing the 13,703 fans, several hundred of whom were supporting the visiting XI, with one of the more entertaining games to which Montrealers have been treated so far this season.

“We took it seriously this evening,” said Impact gaffer Schallibaum. “They played aggressively with a lot of will. With a little luck we could have scored five or six. We fought through to the end.

“We had players playing for pride too. I’m very happy with my team,” he continued. “They played a very good match with a lot of character.”

The home side got on the score sheet early in the opening half. Four minutes in, Daniele Paponi scored, his goal coming after a flurry of passes between he, Felipe and Andrea Pisanu, the successful play being put in motion by a corner kick.
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0

Impact’s CCL hopes now hang by a thread after humbling loss to San Jose

Chris Wondolowski

Chris Wondolowski

The fat lady hasn’t sung yet, but the Montreal Impact might be hearing someone practising scales backstage after dropping a 3-0 decision to the San Jose Earthquakes in CONCACAF Group 5 play in front of a sparse crowd at Buck Shaw Stadium.

The Impact has just three points from three Group 5 matches, with a home game left to Heredia, which will be played next week. The Guatemalan side is already at six points after just two games. The Impact needs to beat Heredia by a handful of goals and hope the Earthquakes, sitting at three points, also beat Heredia, but only do it by the skin of their teeth. Heredia is currently five goals ahead of the Impact on goal difference, the Earthquakes are four goals up.

To advance the Impact needs all the teams in the group to finish with six points each — and a massive shift in goal difference.

Head coach Marco Schallibaum put out a somewhat re-jigged starting XI with Evan Bush in goal and Daniele Paponi and Andrew Wenger up top while Felipe and leading MLS scorer, Marco Di Vaio, watched from the sidelines for the first hour of play while his opposite number, Mark Watson, went with his best XI from the outset.

The game began with both teams opening the throttle as play went end to end and each side had opportunities in the early going. Paponi had the first kick at the can in the opening minute, his try missing the mark.

Andres Romero had the ball at his feet and the time to set himself for a shot but passed instead only to have Wenger’s attempt blocked by a San Jose defender, the beginning of a difficult night for the rarely used Impact forward.
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2

Impact’s 10 men fall 1-0 in Guatemala

Piscu: Saw red

Piscu: Saw red

Montreal Impact head coach Marco Schallibaum decided to leave five veteran starters back home rather than risk playing them on a synthetic surface. So, he let the younger players on the roster carry the baton for the team’s CONCACAF Champions League game against CD Heredia in Guatemala City. The kids came within a couple minutes of a result, ultimately allowing the match’s only goal in the 88th minute, a respectable outing since Montreal played the second half a man down.

Jeb Brovsky was the only familiar face on the back line, playing alongside homegrown Wandrille Lefevre and Maxim Tissot while Adrian Lopez made his first appearance for the Impact, listed under the nom de pitch, Piscu.

Heredia, home side despite playing some 250 km from its stadium, took control of the game after an opening quarter-hour that saw both teams start tentatively with each benefiting from some good fortune in the early going

In the 19th, Lefevre was called for tripping up CD Heredia froward, Enrique Miranda, in the box, sending Charles Cordoba to the spot. His rising drive was bounced back into play by the horizontal bar as Evan Bush, anticipating a low shot, dove towards the corner of his goal.
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0

Schallibaum’s decision to play Impact regulars in CCL surprises San Jose

Montreal Impact supporters were signing in the rain. PHOTO: MIKE WYMAN

Montreal Impact supporters were signing in the rain. PHOTO: MIKE WYMAN

The Montreal Impact got its CONCACAF Champions League campaign of to a positive start, capturing the opening group-stage match against San Jose by a 1-0 score in front of just over 15,000 somewhat soggy fans at Saputo Stadium.

Playing a first half under rains that ranged from slight showers to monsoon-like, the home side scored early, survived a dangerous penalty kick and, while not holding the advantage in terms of ball possession, did manage to reach the interval holding a lead that stood up for the rest of the match.

Showing particularly well for the Impact was recently acquired midfielder, Hernan Bernardello, who started the game, getting his first minutes in his new uniform.

The 26-year-old Argentine midfielder, who earned his first applause of the evening for heading away an Earthquakes shot in the seventh minute of play, worked from box-to-box in this evening’s game, stopping enemy forays effectively and turning the ball up the field on the counterattack. His passes invariably found their desired target time after time with 50 minutes elapsing before a first one went astray.
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0

Whitecaps’ defence-first strategy pays off in Montreal; Brovsky breaks nose and “maybe” his cheekbone

Jeb Brovsky: Injured after collision with Jordan Harvey

Jeb Brovsky: Injured after collision with Jordan Harvey

The first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship final finished in a scoreless draw as the Vancouver Whitecaps played the Montreal Impact in front of an announced crowd of just over 12,000 fans at Saputo Stadium.

“It was a tight game tonight. Montreal has started the season very well with some excellent results. Tonight I think we did a good job of shutting them down, had a couple half chances ourselves,” said Vancouver head coach Martin Rennie.

“It would have been nice to have stolen one but overall we’ve given ourselves a good chance going into the second game. The game’s still alive. We get 10 days off before the next leg. It’ll be nice to be playing at home at BC Place but tonight I feel as if it was close game.”

The visiting side fielded a defensive lineup and left with the result for which it had hoped, to keep the home side off the scoreboard and return to their home pitch to try to prevail in Vancouver on the 29th of this month.

“I feel like on the road we’ve been a little bit too open. At times we’ve played quite well but our results haven’t been as good as I would have liked on the road so I felt we should become more difficult to play against,” Rennie opined. “I think the players did their jobs tonight. They made the game more compact and we weren’t as open and easy to play against.”
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2

Montreal coach Schallibaum: TFC could not deal with “injured tiger”

Marco Di Vaio

Marco Di Vaio

For the first time in five years, the Amway Canadian Championship will not be awarded to Toronto FC, soundly drubbed by a Montreal Impact squad eager to erase its lacklustre performance of last Wednesday from its followers’ hearts and minds.

The 6-0 score probably did just that, provoking numerous pyrotechnic displays and enticing the almost 15,000 fans in attendance to end the game with repeated refrains of a Montreal standard usually reserved for the ice rink.

A contingent remained behind afterwards, singing as they awaited their heroes’ departure from Saputo Stadium for over an hour once hostilities came to an end.

“I felt all day that we were going to have a good result,” said head coach Marco Schallibaum. “I also felt it yesterday in training and during my pregame speech tonight. The guys were pumped.
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