Fire-Impact Preview


The Montreal Impact and Chicago Fire are still seeking their first wins.

Impact coach Frank Klopas would surely love nothing more than to get it against his former team.

Jack McInerney could make his Impact debut Saturday as Klopas faces the visiting Fire for the first time since he was fired in October.

Klopas was hired by Montreal on December 18 after Chicago dismissed him following a 14-13-7 season. Klopas, who led the Fire to the playoffs in 2012 before just missing out last year, also played with Chicago in 1998 and '99.

"Chicago's my home," Klopas told the Impact's official website. "It's where I started my career. The Fire gave me an opportunity to be involved with the game. It has a special place in my heart, but now, my team is the Montreal Impact. This is where I work. I really love this city here, the fans have been great."

Klopas' players are also looking forward to Saturday's showdown.

"It's special for him and for us," midfielder Felipe said. "We want to get a result for him. He gets here and works so hard with us."

While Klopas is still beloved in Chicago, the Fire are trying to focus on the task at hand.

"I know Frank is a good guy, he had a lot of years and he's a legend here," Fire coach Frank Yallop told the team's official website. "He did well with this squad but there's no difference to this game. It's three points (on the line) for both squads. Both Franks will be trying to get three points for their team."

The Impact (0-3-2) are hoping to get a boost from McInerney, who was acquired from Philadelphia in exchange for fellow forward Andrew Wenger last week. The 21-year-old McInerney led the Union with 12 goals in 31 games in 2013.

There's a chance McInerney could play alongside Marco Di Vaio, who finished third in MLS with 20 goals last season.

"Jack is an important piece and we need to find the right formula for him and the rest of the roster to help the team win," assistant coach Mauro Biello said.

The Impact are coming off back-to-back draws, including 2-all against visiting New York last Saturday.

"The season is long, but it's now that we have to win," Felipe said. "After five games, this is the time to win. It's the perfect time to win in front of our fans, in our home. We've worked hard for this, and for sure, this Saturday, we're going to get three points."

The Fire (0-1-4) have posted four consecutive draws following last Saturday's 2-2 result against the Union. Mike Magee gave Chicago an early 1-0 lead and assisted on Juan Luis Anangono's tying goal in the 86th minute.

"I'm still learning about the squad," Yallop said. "We're unbeaten in four, by the way, so that for me is always a good thing for a coach. We haven't won in five, which is not a good thing, so I try to look positive; we have to look for the next game. I thought we did enough to win this match."

Chicago went 1-0-1 in the last two meetings with the Impact last season after falling 2-0 during its lone visit to Montreal on April 27.