Home MLS Montreal Impact Impact overwhelms NASL champs, Toronto FC swamps USL’s Orlando City

Impact overwhelms NASL champs, Toronto FC swamps USL’s Orlando City

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A day after the Vancouver Whitecaps made some waves by chopping Canadians Jaime Peters, Jacob Lensky and the injured Andres Fresenga from their training camp roster, Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact got back to work, each facing non-MLS competition.

And, the Impact scored early and often as it overwhelmed the reigning NASL champion Tampa Bay Rowdies 4-1 at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic in Orlando, while, at the same tourney, Toronto FC overcame a terrible start in a torrential first-hald downpour to overcome USL-Pro’s Orlando City 3-0. TFC’s goals came in the second half, after the rain was replaced by a windstorm — which offered a decent approximation of the normal windy conditions at BMO Field.

Some highlights from the two matches:

• It’s interesting that Impact coach Marco Schallibaum decided to start regulars like Felipe — who scored in the second minute — and Marco Di Vaio, who added two first-half goals. I would have thought that a game against a Div.-2 would offer the chance for the Impact to unleash a side filled with trialists, draft picks and academy prospects. But, I also get what Schallibaum must have been thinking — use the game against the Rowdies as a chance for some regulars to get needed minutes and, more importantly, build their confidence. Hassoun Camara, Alessandro Nesta, Matteo Ferrari and Justin Mapp all got significant minutes. Contrast that with Toronto FC’s game against Orlando City, which saw the Reds start veterans Danny Califf and Darren O’Dea in the back, but use a lineup that was mainly filled with young prospects.

• While he didn’t hit the scoresheet, Andrea Pisanu, on loan from Bologna to the Impact was key in the creation of two goals, the second-minute marker from Felipe and Di Vaio’s second goal. Di Vaio scored his first on a penalty after a foul was called on Tampa Bay keeper Andrew Fontein, who has some awfully big shoes to fill now that former TB keeper Jeff Attinella has made the move to Real Salt Lake.

• Evan Bush, who was named the best keeper in NASL in Montreal’s final season in the league (but, strangely, wasn’t one of NASL’s Best XI that year) gave up the lone goal on a penalty that was converted by Takuya Yamada.

• Sanna Nyassi got Montreal’s first after a nice interchange of passes between himself and newly acquired Argentine Andres Romero.

Taylor Morgan

• After a poor showing in the first, TFC was livelier in the second. Supplemental Draft pick Taylor Morgan’s breakaway goal was set up by a perfectly weighted pass from Luis Silva that unlocked the centre of the Orlando defence. Really, Morgan’s goal was just desserts for an Orlando team that had plenty of chances in the first half but didn’t find the back of the net.

• And, after a silly hand ball in the box, Terry Dunfield converted a penalty with a shot down the middle to give the Reds a 2-0 lead. After the goal, Orlando’s Adama Mbengue was sent off for throwing a punch at Kyle Bekker.

• Just a few minutes after coming in as a late sub, Jonathan Osorio showed some real nice feet before finishing the third goal of the game, and the youngster keeps pushing for coach Ryan Nelsen’s attention.

• Orlando bossed the game in the first half, especially down Toronto FC’s left flank, with attack after attack coming down that wing. In fact, Kyle Bekker was moved to the left side early in the game to help out overwhelmed LB Derrick Bassi. Orlando’ Bryan Burke and trialist Keammar Daley absolutely dominated down the wing. Bekker eventually saw yellow after committing a frustration foul (which may have planted the seed for the Mbengue’s red card).

• Former Whitecap Long Tan should have converted a tap-in off of one of those crosses from the left but, somehow (we’ll blame the rain) the ball skipped by him. Tan got the ball into the back of the net later in the first half, but it was ruled out for offside.

• TFC only had one decent chance in the first half, as centre back Danny Califf, up front on a free kick, got his head onto a free kick and forced a diving stop from OC keeper Miguel Gallardo.

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