Impact-Timbers Preview

The Associated Press

While with the Portland Timbers, Troy Perkins was on the losing end of the team's only matchup with Montreal, but he shined in his first season opener with the Impact last week.

The Montreal goalkeeper will try to lead his team to another win when he visits his former club for the first time Saturday night.

Perkins played 51 games for Portland over two seasons before being traded for another goalkeeper, Donovan Ricketts, on Aug. 7. He played nine games after the deal, helping the Impact earn 12 points while allowing eight goals and posting four shutouts.

"I'm excited," he said. "The way I had to leave there was tough for me. One day, I get the phone call and the next day, I'm gone and I haven't been back since.

"It's a whole new team this year, but they're still going to feed off their fans."

Perkins recorded another clean sheet this past Saturday in Seattle, and Impact captain Davy Arnaud scored in a 1-0 victory over last year's Western Conference finalist.

Perkins made four saves as Montreal took its opener after starting 0-4-1 in its first season.

"I think this year in preseason we've been really solid defensively," Arnaud told the team's website. "If we can continue to score one goal and get points on the road, we're going to be OK."

The Impact earned the second win in franchise history by topping Portland 2-0 at home April 28, as Ricketts stopped four shots in one of his five shutouts last season. Perkins made two saves but gave up both goals in the second half.

He allowed three goals in the first 28 minutes of Sunday's opener against New York, but the Timbers came away with a 3-all tie thanks in large part to a Red Bulls own goal in the 83rd minute. Darlington Nagbe scored early in the second half, and designated player Diego Valeri had a goal in his debut for Portland.

"It doesn't happen very often, coming back from two goals down," said first-year coach Caleb Porter, who spent his previous seven seasons at the University of Akron and won an NCAA title in 2010. "But this team has shown incredible toughness and resiliency. ... This team continues to impress me, mostly with their determination and their talent."

Porter's club might have to rely on that determination following the news that Sal Zizzo will miss four to six weeks. The midfielder needed surgery on his left knee after tearing his medial meniscus in practice Monday.

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