Home MLS Montreal Impact Impact loses preseason match to Dynamo; striker Braun leaves game

Impact loses preseason match to Dynamo; striker Braun leaves game

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The Montreal Impact has already lost one player to an injury suffered in a preseason match. Impact fans are hoping that the number doesn’t rise to two.

The lowlight of the Montreal Impact’s 2-0 preseason loss to the Houston Dynamo Wednesday wasn’t either of the goals surrendered or the fact the Impact fluffed its lines in front of the opposition goal.

The big worry is striker Justin Braun had to be helped off the field after being brought down by a tackle from Dynamo trialist Oscar Resio. Since the match was only covered through Twitter, it’s hard to judge how mean-spirited the challenge was.

Colombian defender Nelson Rivas, who was one of the Impact’s high-profile signings of the off-season, hasn’t played since coming up lame in the first half of the Jan. 26 friendly in Mexico against Club Atlas. He’s out with an injured thigh.

Justin Braun

And by all reports from earlier in the week, the first game of the Whitecaps preseason was also a spirited affair.

Now, it’s too early into the 2012 preseason to pass judgment, but MLS has been concerned in the past with violent conduct and dirty tackles that go in preseason games. Because cards don’t carry over to the regular season, preseason games over the past few seasons have been marked with controversy.

Last season, Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake had a match abandoned because of a brawl. (Click on the link at the end of the story)

In 2010, MLS responded angrily when the Philadelphia Union had three players red carded in preseason, ahem, “friendly” against FC Dallas. MLS was also concerned about a rash of red cards accumulated by the then-Preki-coached Toronto FC during its preseason, including a tackle from behind by Julian de Guzman on then-superstar Juan Pablo Angel.

“Certainly we do not want MLS to be characterized by frequent violent conduct or serious foul play,” said Nelson Rodriguez, the league’s executive vice-president of competition, technical and game operations, after the Philly-FCD match. “We are examining whether the cards being issued this pre-season are an anomaly or a pattern that we need to address.”

But, until MLS lets players know that red cards incurred in the preseason will carry over into the regular season, we will continue to have a Wild West of unsanctioned preseason games where players need to proceed at their own peril.

Back to today’s match. Colin Clark and Cam Weaver got the Houston goals, but Will Bruin, the second-year forward who will have to carry an even bigger workload now that veteran striker Brian Ching is in Montreal, was key in creating both goals.


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