After owner Joey Saputo vowed to shake things up with his team mired in a disappointing start, the banged-up Montreal Impact started making those changes ahead of their visit to the nation's capital.
With new acquisition Issey Nakajima-Farran expected to make his debut, Montreal looks to snap a nine-game road winless streak Saturday night when it takes on former captain Davy Arnaud and D.C. United.
Following another sluggish effort in a 3-0 home loss to Sporting K.C. last Saturday, Saputo took to his Twitter account to vent after his Eastern Conference-worst club fell to 1-5-3 on the season.
"Our fans deserve better," the owner wrote. "Changes will be coming, guaranteed."
The Impact began that process on Friday, sending starting midfielder Collen Warner to Toronto FC in exchange for Nakajima-Farran.
The 30-year-old midfielder has two goals in five MLS matches, including two starts. He's also taken part in two games in the Amway Canadian Championship, scoring the game-winning penalty kick Wednesday to help Toronto advance to the final.
"He is a player whose qualities will fit well within our group and style of play," Montreal head coach Frank Klopas said. "We feel his experience with both the national team and abroad will benefit our team."
Nakajima-Farran will try to provide a boost for a Montreal team that is tied for last in the league with seven goals and has been shut out in two of its last three matches.
Marco Di Vaio was third in the league with 20 goals in 2013, but he's scored once in five matches this season and could miss his second straight contest due to a hamstring strain. On Aug. 17, the forward scored both goals to lift Montreal to a 2-1 home win over United.
Jack McInerney, who has just one MLS goal this season, hopes to build on his two-goal effort in Wednesday's 4-2 win over FC Edmonton in the Impact's Amway Canadian Championship semifinal series.
"We've been talking about it a lot," United goalkeeping coach Preston Burpo said. "They have real attacking pieces. Everyone knows Di Vaio can be dangerous at any point."
The Impact will face Arnaud - their former captain - for the first time since trading him to D.C. in exchange for an international slot in December. Arnaud, who spent the past two seasons with Montreal, has two goals in his eight starts while helping United (4-3-2) to third place in the East.
D.C. improved to 4-1-1 in its past six matches last Saturday when Chris Rolfe scored in a 1-0 victory at Philadelphia. Now United is looking to win four straight at home for the first time since a seven-game run in 2012.
D.C. has gone 2-0-1 in three all-time home meetings with the Impact, winning 3-1 in the most recent matchup there Aug. 3.
Eddie Johnson, who is still seeking his first goal with United, returned last Saturday after missing one game with a hamstring issue. Nick DeLeon, tied for the club lead with three assists, is questionable with a right hamstring injury.
Montreal is 0-6-2 away from home since its last road win Sept. 8.
- Sports & Recreation
- Montreal Impact
- Davy Arnaud
- Amway Canadian Championship