D.C. United played a part in Montreal’s first losing streak of the season, but the Impact will get to host their Eastern Conference rivals in the rematch.
Montreal will try to add to D.C.’s 12-game road winless streak while avoiding a third consecutive defeat Saturday night.
United have the fewest points in the league but beat Montreal 3-1 on Aug. 3 to snap a five-game winless skid. D.C. (3-16-4) followed with a victory in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals four days later but couldn’t keep its momentum going in its next MLS game last Saturday, falling 2-0 in Philadelphia.
Montreal lost 2-1 to Chicago that same day as it came up empty in a two-game road stretch. Designated player Hernan Bernardello made his debut for the club, playing the first 55 minutes.
The Impact (10-7-5) have gone 1-4-3 in their last eight to fall from first to fourth place in the East. Montreal, though, plays its next two games at home, where it’s 7-1-3 this season and 13-2-4 in its last 19.
“It’s a good opportunity to face a team who just beat you,” defender Jeb Brovsky said. “I take it personally when we get beat. I hope all the guys feel the same. Now (United are) coming into our house and we want to make a statement. We can’t throw points away anymore.”
The Impact defeated D.C. 3-0 on Aug. 25, the lone matchup in Canada. Patrice Bernier had two goals and an assist.
Having failed to win on the road since Nov. 8, D.C. is mired in the second-longest such drought in team history. It’s the lone team not to earn a victory away from home this season, going 0-8-3 while getting outscored 18-2.
D.C., which had an 18-game road winless streak during the 2001 and ’02 seasons, will try to end its current skid by taking advantage of a Montreal club allowing the third-most goals per game at 1.55. United, though, are second at 1.65.
“They have the third-worst goals-against average in the league, so they leak goals,” D.C. goalkeeping coach Preston Burpo said of Montreal. “There’s a lot of pressure on (the Impact). They’ve only won one game in the last eight. … We’ll put them on the defensive as much as possible, put the pressure on them and try to walk out of there with three points.”
United might get some help from defender Dennis Iapichino, who was put on waivers by Montreal on Tuesday and signed by D.C. two days later. Iapichino is expected to be available for this game.
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