Soccer

Impact look to remain perfect as they face Toronto FC on TSN

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The Sports Network
3/16/2013 11:31:12 AM
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Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - The Montreal Impact will open the home portion of their schedule in search of their third straight victory on Saturday when they welcome Canadian rivals Toronto FC to Olympic Stadium.

Watch the game live on TSN and TSN Mobile TV, today at 4pm et/1pm pt.

The Impact go into Saturday's match as the hottest team in the young MLS season. New coach Marco Schallibaum's side had trouble winning away from home last term -- claiming three points just twice -- but have won each of their first two road tests this season in Seattle and Portland.

Last week's win at Jeld-Wen Field saw defender Hassoun Camara score on a spectacular overhead volley for the first goal of the contest and Brazilian midfielder Felipe doubled his team's lead in the 60th minute.

The Timbers got one back with 10 minutes to play, but Montreal held on for the impressive victory.

"We didn't come in here and steal the three points tonight," said Schallibaum. "We were solid defensively and had a lot of help from our midfield. It was a difficult and tight game, but we responded well."

Toronto, meanwhile, is coming off an impressive victory of its own after knocking off Sporting Kansas City, 2-1, at Rogers Centre last week.

Welsh international Robert Earnshaw netted a first-half brace for Toronto, while Claudio Bieler got one back for Sporting in the 77th minute, but the Reds held on for their first win under new head coach Ryan Nelsen.

Earnshaw's two-goal performance garnered him Player of the Week honors, making him the first Toronto player to claim the award since Danny Koevermans was named Player of the Week for Week 17 in July 2012.

Since entering the league in 2007, Toronto fans and players alike haven't had much to cheer about as the club has never made a postseason appearance and won just five times last season.

But last week's victory over one of the top clubs in MLS should give Nelsen's troops a nice boost of confidence heading into Saturday's clash.

Central defender Darren O'Dea said the club's victory came down to the managerial approach of Nelsen, as well as good performances from the side's veteran players.

"We've beaten a very good Kansas [City] team today. It is the gaffer, but also the players that he has brought in as well. Players like Danny Califf at the back and Robert [Earnshaw] up front. It's a bit of experience and a bit of mental toughness and we probably lacked that last year."

The clubs met three times last season with each side earning a victory to go with a scoreless draw in the last match of the season on October 20, 2012.

Jeremy Hall Sanna Nyassi (Photo: Abelimages/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Abelimages/Getty Images)

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