Montreal Impact, Di Vaio, Draw New England Revolution


Marco Di Vaio scored twice to help the Montreal Impact draw the New England Revolution.

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Coming in, this would most likely be Di Vaio’s second-to-last game with the Montreal Impact, as he is set to retire at season’s end.

The Impact fielded their consensus strongest lineup for the first time in a long time. This was captain Patrice Bernier’s first match since August 30th and it was only Justin Mapp’s second game back. Both were out for extended lengths of time with injuries.

As for the Revolution, they took out Montreal easily back in September and their new superstar Jermaine Jones – who had an assist in the aforementioned game – was on a two game goal streak.

The match started off very well for the Impact and for MDV.

Barely 12 minutes in, Calum Mallce sent a long ball over the Revolution defense for Di Vaio to run on to. The striker did just that and hit home a fabulous one-touch half volley to give his side the lead.

As soon as I played that and I saw the offside flag stay down, I knew he was going to put it away. – Calum Mallace

There were cries for offiside, but he had timed his run perfectly. Would that be the Italian’s final goal of his career? Spoiler alert: No.

However, only a few moments later, the Impact backline was caught flat-footed. Kelyn Rowe played a nice one-two with Charlie Davies and put it past a helpless Evan Bush. It was just too easy for Rowe.

The Impact should have taken the lead in the 26th minute, as Andres Romero created a turnover and hustled down the pitch. He found himself in the box, but took one too many touches and ‘keeper Bobby Shuttleworth came out and smothered the ball.

In the 40th minute, Di Vaio was at it again. Romero sent a long ball forward and Marco did really well to let the ball run through the defenders and slot it off the far post and in. Some truly quality stuff and definitely worth taking a look at.

A few minutes into the second half, Mapp should have doubled the IMFC lead when Dilly Duka put him through on goal. Much like Romero in the first half though, Mapp took too much time and Shuttleworth made the save. Mapp was then caught offside on a second chance opportunity.

Montreal would regret not taking that chance, as Lee Nguyen scored a chip shot in the 70th minute. It was a heads up play by Nguyen to catch Bush off his line.

Needing only a draw to qualify for the playoffs, the Revolution held back after the equalizing goal and were successful in earning the lone point.

All in all, it was a pretty solid performance for Montreal.

Rowe’s goal was the lone defensive breakdown and Bush will save a shot like Nguyen’s nine times out of ten.

Up front however, the Impact were guilty of playing quite a bit of dump and run, looking for Di Vaio every time they lifted their heads. It worked twice, but I’m not sure there’s another player in Major League Soccer who could finish off both of those chances.

The dump and chase strategy will not work next year when Di Vaio’s enjoying the retired life back in Italy.

Regardless, manager Frank Klopas was very happy with his star’s performance.

“I told him I wanted to sign him for three more years!,” said the coach in a press release following the match. “We talked about the last two games and finishing strong and getting a win for Marco. It was great seeing him play tonight. It reminded me of Marco Di Vaio 20 years ago.”

The Impact now have two games remaining in the regular season; on the road against Toronto F.C. and then back home versus D.C. United. It is unlikely Di Vaio will travel to Toronto.

Note: The Montreal Impact honoured ex-Montreal Alouette quarterback Anthony Calvillo before the game. His #13 will be retired by the Als on Monday.