MLS Preview: Montreal looking for improvement
By Football News
Montreal Impact will look to bounce back from their surprise 4-3 defeat to Colorado Rapids when they face Toronto FC in MLS on Thursday.
It was the Eastern Conference leaders' fourth loss of the regular season and they will need to return to winning ways if they are to maintain the pace at the top of the standings, with second place New York Red Bulls just a point behind, although they have played three games more.
MLS joint top-scorer Marco Di Vaio has scored 10 goals in 15 games so far this term, but has netted only once in his last four outings, with Montreal having failed to secure back-to-back wins since May.
Red Bulls take on the Rapids, who had not won in five matches prior to their 4-3 victory against Montreal, with New York having won just one of their five trips to Dick's Sporting Goods Park since its opening in 2007.
Elsewhere in the Western Conference, leaders Real Salt Lake host Philadelphia with Jason Kreis' men looking to make it five wins on the bounce and maintain their three-point lead over third-placed FC Dallas.
Schellas Hyndman takes his Texan side to basement outfit Chivas USA on Friday who are without a win in 11 league games.
Each Conference's respective fourth-placed teams will meet on Thursday at Sporting Park as Sporting Kansas City welcome Vancouver Whitecaps while the Eastern Conference's bottom club DC United can move level with ninth-place Toronto.
United travel to CenturyLink Field desperate for three points, having won just once in seven games, but will need to improve upfront against Seattle Sounders, having scored just eight times in the campaign so far.
The final game of the round takes place at the Stubhub Center on Friday as the Western Conference's fifth-placed side LA Galaxy entertain Columbus Crew, who are on a torrid run of form, having won just once in six games.
USA youth international Jose Villarreal will be available for selection after his return from the FIFA Under-20 World Cup and is determined to force his way into the Bruce Arena's plans.
"(My mindset is to) get back in training, work hard, and if I do well during training and show well, I'll get my minutes," he told the MLS official website.
"It doesn't matter if I get five or 35 or a whole 90. I've just got to be able to have a solid performance."