Sporting Kansas City-Impact Preview

The Associated Press

After closing April with their first win, the Montreal Impact saw their woes resume with an extremely disappointing result in Canadian Championship play a few days ago.

They were also embarrassed by Sporting Kansas City last month.

Looking to avenge that defeat, Montreal tries to get back on track when it hosts Sporting KC on Saturday.

The Impact (1-4-3) went winless through their first seven matches to post the longest victory drought in the franchise's three-year history before beating Philadelphia 1-0 on April 26. Felipe Martins scored in the 15th minute, becoming the first Montreal player with more than one goal this year, and Troy Perkins made a season-high five saves.

"We did a great job of fighting for every ball," Felipe said. "But the most important thing was the three points. We waited for this a long time and it's very nice to be back with a win."

However, the Impact took a big step back with Wednesday's 2-1 loss to FC Edmonton in the first leg of the semifinal series. Jack McInerney broke a scoreless tie in the 56th minute before Montreal allowed two unanswered goals, the second of which came in stoppage time as Edmonton earned its first victory over an MLS club.

The Impact face the Eddies again Wednesday.

"We have to forget about this game, put it past us and focus on our next game," midfielder Patrice Bernier said. "They were good closing down the middle of the park. Now it's up to us to make sure we put it away in the next game. We have a tough game on Saturday against Kansas City, but we are playing at home, both Saturday and Wednesday, so we can build on that to get results."

The Impact won the final two matchups with Sporting KC in 2013 but were blown out in this season's first meeting, 4-0 on April 19. Montreal's Calum Mallace gave Sporting the lead with an own goal in the 31st minute, and Dom Dwyer scored twice in the second half.

"We started the game well, we were working hard but then they scored on an unfortunate own goal," said Bernier, whose team was outshot 12-3. "In the second half, there were too many moments where we didn't rise to the occasion."

Sporting (4-2-2) went on to lose 2-0 at New England the following weekend before bouncing back Sunday with a 2-0 win over Columbus behind goals from Jacob Peterson and Claudio Bieler.

Eric Kronberg came up big with five saves, one shy of his career high. Though he's only faced 25 shots on goal, Kronberg leads MLS with 0.75 goals allowed per game.

"The big thing is, we don't give up a lot," coach Peter Vermes said. "It's very difficult for a goalkeeper to keep himself in the game and make the saves that he needs to at the right time."

While Kronberg has helped Sporting remain unbeaten at home behind four consecutive shutouts, he's allowed five goals in going 1-2-0 on the road. Sporting has failed to score in its last two visits to Montreal, going 0-1-1.

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