MONTREAL - July 14, 2004 - The Montreal Impact took an early lead into the second half but couldn't hold on as the visiting Syracuse Salty Dogs snatched a 2-1 road victory before an Impact franchise-record 9,894 spectators at Claude-Robillard Stadium. The Impact falls to 10-3-4 while the Salty Dogs reach the .500 mark with a 7-7-3 record.
It was one of those nights where two teams came out for a soccer match and a chess game broke out. The Impact was experiencing problems early on, chasing the visitors as they dominated possession of the ball with consistent tic-tac-toe passing. However, the defence did keep the youthful Dogs at bay, out of the 22-yard box, as the statistician generously rewarded the club with two shots in the first half.
The game broke open at the 19th-minute mark as veteran Eduardo Sebrango took a perfect forward-crossing pass from Mauricio Vincello, heading the ball into the lower left part of the net for his third of the season, giving the Impact a 1-0 lead on only their second shot of the contest.
However, Vincello would become the goat on this evening in the 53rd minute as the left-footed defender redirected a low crossing Salty Dog pass from the left side into his own net. However, to be fair, had Vincello not attempted to clear the pass, a Syracuse player was ready to pound on the ball with Sutton out of the play. Nevertheless, Impact head coach Nick DeSantis was not pleased at the breakdown of the defensive wall on the play.
"There was no communication between (defender Lloyd) Barker and (midfielder Chris) Williams."
But DeSantis's frustration was mostly directed at referee Stephen DePiero, calling Vincello in the 71st minute for apparently hauling down Lars Lyssand in the box, giving the Salty Dogs an opportunity to take the lead. Although Sutton guessed right by diving to his left, so did Chris Dore, whose shot into the lower right corner of the net was just out of reach of the 6-foot-6 keeper's fingertips.
And then, as the Impact was frantically pressing around the Dog box in the 82nd minute, power was cut to the main field lights.
Notes: The Salty Dog victory over the Impact was the first in six career meetings between the clubs. The Syracuse team, in only its second season, had gone winless in five games (0-3-2) against the Impact since its inception, including an 0-3-1 record in 2003 when they were outscored 8 to 2. The clubs had played to a scoreless draw in their only meeting this season on June 27 at P & C Stadium in Syracuse… The clubs conclude the home-and-home-series this Friday night at P & C…
The 9,894 fans at Claude Robillard Stadium was 580 more than the previous mark, erasing the old record of 9,414 set on August 13, 2003, a scoreless tie with the Rochester Raging Rhinos. It was the third time that attendance has surpassed the 9,000 plateau this season… Play was delayed for approximately 20 minutes following the power failure. It could have been longer had the stadium's technical crew not been on site to promptly act to repair the problem… Keeper Greg Sutton is still two shutouts away from tying the franchise record of 13 goose-eggs (in 26 games), set by Paolo Ceccarelli in 1996…
Forward/midfielder Mauro Biello, midfielder Sandro Grande, and defender Nevio Pizzolitto missed the game due to an accumulation of yellow cards this season. Adam Braz, who was eligible to return after having to sit out a one-game suspension last Friday (a 1-0 road victory over the Rhinos at Frontier Field on July 9), was not dressed… Defender Gabriel Gervais wore the florescent yellow captain armband last night, replacing Biello… The Salty Dogs came to Montreal with fourteen players, and all played. An interesting second-half injury-time substitution occurred as head coach Laurie Calloway elected to put in backup goalkeeper Paul Nagy as an attacker in place of Temoc Suarez, most likely in an attempt to help kill a few seconds off the clock…
The Impact made only two substitutions as veteran Darko Kolic replaced Chris Williams in the 75th, four minutes after the Salty Dogs' go-ahead goal, while Yuri Lavrynenko replaced Antonio Ribeiro in the 50th. Lavrynenko, released by the Rhinos on June 25, was signed on July 7 to help the injury-plagued club. The 27-year-old, 5'10", 165-lbs Kiev, Ukraine native, who played in 39 games for the Rhinos from 2002 to 2004, including 21 starts on defence, had been drafted by the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer before joining the 2000 and 2001 Milwaukee Wave of the A-League. The converted midfielder played his college ball with the University of Indiana Hoosiers… Another signing last week came in the form of 23-year-old midfielder Adrian Cann. The Thornhill, Ontario product was the club's first-round draft choice last December 17. The former University of Louisville Cardinal player had started the season with the MLS's Colorado Rapids, but was recently released. The 6'3", 165-lbs defender, who also signed with the Impact on July 7, was dressed but did not play last night.