Dennis Iapichino back in Montreal as Impact host D.C. United
Left back waived by Montreal on Thursday
It won't take long for the Montreal Impact to renew acquaintances with Dennis Iapichino.
The left back was signed by D.C. United on Thursday after being waived by the Impact and will be available to face his former team when the two clubs play Saturday night at Saputo Stadium.
"Yeah, sometimes football is strange but first of all I want to wish the best of luck to Dennis because he's my teammate but also my friend," Impact centre back Matteo Ferrari said. "I'm happy for him that he found another situation that's good for him because he needs to play and I think he will be good in D.C."
Jeb Brovsky agreed that it was a curious coincidence that he may be facing his former teammate so soon after the 23-year-old Swiss defender was let go.
In a little over a year with the Impact, Iapichino played 16 MLS regular season games, including 12 as a starter.
"It's always interesting to see a guy in a different jersey," said Brovsky, who scored his first MLS goal in the 3-1 loss in Washington on Aug. 3. "Obviously we hope for the best for him as an individual and on and off the field I think we can only hope for his success, but on Saturday we're certainly not hoping for his success."
Saturday's match comes two weeks after league-worst D.C. defeated the Impact 3-1 at RFK Stadium.
The Impact have been struggling against everyone lately. A frustrating 2-1 loss in Chicago last Saturday left Montreal with just one win its last eight MLS games.
The Fire scored six minutes in before dropping the Impact into a 2-0 hole in the 23rd minute.
"In Chicago we walked in the locker-room and everyone was exceptionally frustrated, to say the least, because we knew that we were probably the better team on the day," Brovsky said. "We wanted to get some goals and it's never going to be pretty but frustration is a good word for us right now. But that's the great thing about this game. We get to come back on Saturday and prove ourselves again."
The Impact have lost three straight on the road, beginning with a 4-0 thrashing by the New York Red Bulls on July 13.
Montreal has been outscored 9-2 during the three road losses. Brovsky wonders what happened to the team that won a pair of West Coast road games on its way to a 4-0 start.
"You know at the beginning of the year I think we had a bit of nastiness," Brovsky said. "I think we had a bit of grit, especially coming down the stretch, especially away from home. I thought in Portland and Seattle you saw a team who was just willing to put their face in front of the ball and really do anything they can to keep it out of the net.
"Obviously we haven't got a couple of bounces in the past couple of weeks but I think you make your own bounces and obviously away from home we haven't been making our bounces lately. We need to get back to that because we need to win some games on the road to get into a good playoff spot so I think it just comes down to a willingness to go the extra two or three feet."
While success has eluded the Impact lately on the road, coach Marco Schallibaum's squad has been treading water throughout its last four home games.
Undefeated at 6-0-1 through their first seven games in Montreal, the Impact have won once and tied twice at Saputo Stadium since June 29, when a 4-3 loss to Colorado sunk their perfect home record.
The rematch against D.C. United on home turf is timely in Schallibaum's eyes.
Washington went 13 games without a regular season Major League Soccer win over a three-month stretch from mid-March to mid-June.
Last in the Eastern Conference with a 3-16-4 mark for a league-worst 13 points, D.C. United has yet to win in 10 road games this season, including seven losses and three draws.
Curiously, Washington has streaked through U.S. Open competition. D.C. United won 2-0 in its semi-final at Chicago on Aug. 7 and will face Real Salt Lake in the final on Oct. 1.
"It's good. It's always important to have another chance," Schallibaum said. "We know that they're a team that had a good result against us and Chicago, but they lost again in the championship so it's our job to make this pressure, it's our job to score the first goal and it's our job to win the game and get the three points."
The six days off between games this week were a welcome oasis for the Impact, which has yet another busy stretch ahead with a CONCACAF Champions League game in Guatemala on Wednesday.
"We played three games in eight days so we've got guys that have played a lot of minutes," midfielder Patrice Bernier said. "The rest of this week has been concentrating on trying to elaborate a little bit more and vary our game like we did in the second half in Chicago, where we opened up the game.
"That creates space for everybody and then we can find the right solutions because we have a lot of guys with a lot of talent to find players and we have to be able to do that and be unpredictable against our opponents. A lot of teams have realized that going through the middle and blocking the middle and forcing us to maybe force passes and then countering on our mistakes, now we have to open the game and create as much space as we can for ourselves."