History on Crew's side as trip to Montreal approaches
Fresh off back-to-back home wins, the Crew heads to Montreal for its second clash with the Impact in 2014 on Saturday. If history is on the Black & Gold's side, the Crew could have a very good chance to extend its winning streak to three matches. Since the Quebec side joined Major League Soccer in 2012 as its 19th club, the Black & Gold have dominated the Eastern Conference rivalry, taking three points in five out of seven meetings. The Crew's only loss in series history came on a controversial penalty kick awarded to the Impact in the 89th minute at Stade Saputo on July 8, 2012 in a 2-1 defeat.
In 630 total minutes of action, the Black & Gold have outscored Montreal 12-6. Six players have found the net for the Crew with Dominic Oduro's three tallies against the Impact in 2013 leading the way. Chad Marshall, Milovan Mirosevic and most recently Bernardo Anor have each scored two goals for Columbus in the series. The Black & Gold's Argentine maestro Federico Higuaín leads the club with four assists against the Impact. In contrast, just three players have scored the six goals for the Impact -- four of those strikes have come from the foot of Designated Player Marco Di Vaio.
Beyond goals and assists, it comes to some surprise that the Impact has dominated possession in five of the seven meetings. The first match, in which Montreal played most of the match with 10 men following a Jeb Brovsky red card, and the Crew's recent 2-1 victory on July 19 in Gregg Berhalter's first match managing against Impact are the two outliers. In all, Montreal has owned 52.8% of the possession per match against the Crew.
From the touchline perspective, Berhalter is 1-0-0 against the Impact. As Montreal's third Head Coach in three seasons, Frank Klopas is 0-0-1 against the Crew while managing the Impact. However, the former U.S. Men's National Team forward has a 6-3-0 record against Columbus from his time with the Chicago Fire. Jesse Marsch remains the only Impact coach to beat the Crew.
While the Crew knows Saturday will provide a tough test as the Impact battles for just its second win in nine matches, Berhalter's side should feel confident knowing the series' history is on Columbus' side.