The Crew defense has faced a strong run of opposing strikers in recent matches: Deshorn Brown, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Thierry Henry and Dom Dwyer have all lined up against the Black & Gold in July alone. The road doesn't get any easier on Saturday as the Montreal Impact visits Crew Stadium. The Impact boasts the duo of Jack McInerney and Marco Di Vaio, two of the most dangerous strikers in the League.
Montreal Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel Frank Klopas hasn't always started both McInerney and Di Vaio together, but he has done so in two consecutive matches after not starting the pair together for all of June.
"They both move very well off the ball," said Crew Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter on the duo. "When they're both playing, you have to look out. There's certainly some danger with movement. When they're both not on the field, it lessens that and they become a little bit less dangerous."
If the strike tandem does line up together at Crew Stadium on Saturday, the Black & Gold need to watch out: no two current teammates have more goals over the past two seasons than McInerney (who spent 2013 and the early part of 2014 with Philadelphia) and Di Vaio:
|Players||Team||Goals||Shots||Shots on Target||Matches Played|
|Jack McInerney/Marco Di Vaio||MTL||42||211||114||91|
|Robbie Keane/Landon Donovan||LA||38||158||88||74|
|Mike Magee/Quincy Amarikwa||CHI||35||143||84||72|
|Alvaro Saborio/Javier Morales||RSL||31||124||60||71|
|Thierry Henry/Bradley Wright-Phillips||NY||31||170||84||71|
|Obafemi Martins/Lamar Neagle||SEA||29||156||80||83|
|Eddie Johnson/Fabian Espindola||DC||27||150||78||79|
|Chris Wondolowski/Atiba Harris||SJ||27||199||92||97|
|Will Bruin/Giles Barnes||HOU||27||233||98||100|
|Lee Nguyen/Diego Fagundez||NE||27||144||84||98|
|Diego Valeri/Will Johnson||POR||27||173||83||97|
|Dom Dwyer/Claudio Bieler||SKC||27||151||66||71|
Speaking to what Berhalter said about their movement, only one other duo (Houston's Will Bruin and Giles Barnes) has more shots, and nobody else has as many shots on target. Movement creates chances, and Montreal's McInerney and Di Vaio figure to be a test for the Crew's re-bolstered backline, which did a good job against Dom Dwyer on Wednesday and needs to be ready again on Saturday.