• 'They can't keep happening': Binks says Montreal Impact must curb defensive mistakes
    The Canadian Press

    'They can't keep happening': Binks says Montreal Impact must curb defensive mistakes

    With just three games left in the regular season, Montreal Impact coach Thierry Henry says every match is a must-win for his team. The Impact (7-11-2) currently hold a post-season berth, but are jockeying with about seven other squads to cement their spot in the playoffs. "We are where we are because we deserve to be where we are. The team behind is behind because they deserve to be, the team in front also," Henry said on a video call Monday. “You have eight teams on the same boat as us now. And we’re going to try to stay on it.”Expansion club Nashville SC (6-6-7) is also vying for a playoff position and will battle the Impact on Tuesday for three crucial points in Harrison, N.J.Nashville sits one spot above Montreal in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference standings, ahead by two points in the race for eighth. The top 10 teams in the East make the playoffs. Tuesday will mark the first meeting between the two sides.Henry says Nashville is physical, quick and aggressive.“It’s going to be very difficult against Nashville because they impose that battle with you," the coach said. “I have a lot of respect because it’s a new franchise and they had to deal with a lot of stuff. … And they’re more than surviving.”It's been an unusual season for the Impact. The group has spent much of the season away from Montreal, and is currently stationed in New Jersey due to border restrictions. They've also weathered injuries, absences to key players, and limited training time.Through it all, defender Luis Binks said the club has grown and "improved dramatically," and now knows how Henry and his staff want the team to play. “Now it’s about getting results," Binks said. "We all know what’s required of us but we’re not taking our chances at one end and then, me especially, we’re not getting enough clean sheets and we’re giving our goalie too much to do.”The Impact lost 3-1 to New York City FC on Saturday. Montreal gave up three goals in 18 minutes, thanks in part to some poor defending. “It is frustrating, but we’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing in training and hopefully as time goes on, we’ll develop more togetherness as a back four and these mistakes won’t keep happening," Binks said. "Because they can’t keep happening.”Learning from missteps is one thing that the 19-year-old Englishman said he's taken from his first season in professional soccer. "I'm going to make mistakes because it’s new to me, but once I make the mistakes, I can’t keep repeating them," he said. "Once is enough." NASHVILLE SC (6-6-7) AT MONTREAL IMPACT (7-11-2)Tuesday, Red Bull ArenaHOT STREAK: Nashville has lost just once in its last eight outings and is unbeaten in three games. Montreal has struggled recently, dropping three of its last four decisions. GOAL DIFFERENTIAL: Nashville has conceded 18 goals this season, third least in the Eastern Conference. Montreal has given up 39 — more than any other team in the East. FAMILIAR FACE: The Impact know one Nashville defender well. Daniel Lovitz played 84 MLS matches for Montreal between 2017 and 2019. The 29-year-old American was traded to Nashville in November 2019 and has registered two assists in 17 games for his new club this season. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2020.Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

  • The Canadian Press

    Sergio Santos scores 3 times as Union beat Toronto FC 5-0

    CHESTER, Pa. — Sergio Santos scored three times, and the Philadelphia Union beat Toronto FC 5-0 on Saturday.Philadelphia (12-3-5) moved into a first-place tie with Toronto (12-3-5) atop Major League Soccer. The Union also improved to 7-0-0 at home this season.It was Toronto’s first defeat in 10 games.Santos scored in the 27th, 63rd and 68th minutes. He entered with four goals on the season.It was the fourth hat trick in Union history. C.J. Sapong was the last Philadelphia player to accomplish the feat, against the New York Red Bulls in May 2017.SPORTING KANSAS CITY 4, RAPIDS 0KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Alan Pulido scored for Sporting Kansas City in his first game back from international duty, and Andreu Fontàs added his first career MLS goal.Sporting KC (10-6-3) moved past Seattle and Portland and into first in the Western Conference standings with 33 points.Pulido, who missed the last four games playing for Mexico and adhering to COVID-19 pandemic-related protocols, rolled one inside the post from the top of the area to open the scoring in the 54th minute.Colorado (5-5-4) played for the first time since its 5-0 victory over San Jose on Sept. 23. It had been dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak.WHITECAPS 2, EARTHQUAKES 1PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Ali Adnan and Tosaint Ricketts scored in the second half of the Whitecaps’ victory over the Earthquakes.Vancouver (8-12-0) has won three of its last four matches while San Jose (6-8-6) is 1-2-1 in its last four. Both have 24 points and remain in playoff contention in the Western Conference.In the 51st minute, Adnan fired a shot from deep outside the 18-yard box that beat diving goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski. Vancouver then got the go-ahead goal in the 57th minute. Cristian Dajome’s cross was deflected by Marcinkowski in front of the goal, and Ricketts beat a defender and scored from close.San Jose’s Carlos Fierro fired in a right-footed shot from close range in the 24th minute.MINNESOTA UNITED 1, CINCINNATI 0CINCINNATI (AP) — Aaron Schoenfeld scored his first goal of the season in the 92nd minute, leading Minnesota United to the win.Michael Boxall hit the right post with a header off a corner kick and Schoenfeld knocked the rebound between the legs of goalie Spencer Richey in the final minute of stoppage time. Schoenfeld entered the game in the 76th minute.Dayne St. Clair made two saves for the shutout.Minnesota (7-5-6) is undefeated in its last six games. Cincinnati (4-12-4), last in the East Division, fell to its sixth loss in its last seven games.D.C. UNITED 2, ATLANTA UNITED 1ATLANTA (AP) — Gelmin Rivas scored his first MLS goal two minutes into second-half stoppage time, helping D.C. United to the victory.D.C. (4-10-6) won consecutive matches for the first time this season. Atlanta (5-11-4) dropped to 0-3-2 since a 4-0 win over D.C. United on Oct. 3.Russell Canouse gave D.C. a 1-0 lead with a header in the 77th minute. Atlanta’s Jon Gallagher tied it in the 89th when he headed in a shot on a cross from Brooks Lennon.Rivas fired his left-footed shot under the crossbar in the 92nd minute following a pass from midfielder Kevin Paredes.Atlanta’s Marcelino Moreno nearly scored in the 45th minute with a shot from long range, but goalkeeper Bill Hamid dove to his left and deflected it away.NEW YORK CITY FC 3, IMPACT 1NEW YORK (AP) — Jesús Medina, Maximiliano Moralez and Tony Rocha scored in a 20-minute span, and New York City FC stopped a three-game winless streak.Medina gave New York City (9-8-3) the lead for good in the 68th minute, when he chipped home an empty-netter from the top of the 6-yard box.Romell Quioto scored in the 89th for Montreal (7-11-2), which has lost three of its last four games.INTER MIAMI 2, ORLANDO CITY 1FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Leandro Gonzalez Pirez scored on a header in the 89th minute, lifting Inter Miami to the victory.Inter Miami CF (6-11-3) rebounded from a 2-1 loss against Montreal last Saturday that broke a three-match unbeaten streak. Orlando City (8-3-8) lost a 12-match unbeaten streak that started after a 3-2 loss to Miami on Aug. 22.In the 12th minute, Orlando City’s Antonio Carlos kicked a deep ball past midfield to Rookie of the Year candidate Daryl Dike. Dike beat one defender and scored on a left-footed shot from inside the 18-yard box for his fifth goal of the season.Inter Miami tied the match on an own goal from Orlando’s Robin Jansson in the 45th minute.CREW 1, DYNAMO 1HOUSTON (AP) — Victor Rodriguez’s own-goal on a clearing attempt at the 67th minute helped the Crew salvage a tie against the Dynamo.Though the time of possession was largely even, Houston (4-7-9) failed to capitalize on a 24-6 shot advantage against the Crew (10-4-5).Memo Rodriguez put the Dynamo on the board in the 37th minute when he punched in a short shot on a rebound off a deflected save.The Dynamo are unbeaten in the last eight meetings between the teams in Houston, with the Crew’s last victory coming in 2011.RED BULLS 2, FIRE 2CHICAGO (AP) — Brian White scored in extra time and the Red Bulls salvaged a tie against the Fire.White scored off a scrum in front in the 91st minute.Chicago (5-8-6) appeared to take control of the match when Przemyslaw Frankowski scored in the 72nd minute for a 2-1 lead.Robert Beric tied it 1-all for the Fire in the 51st with a short tap-in near the right post off a feed from Boris Sekulic.Kyle Duncan scored in the 39th minute to put the Red Bulls (8-8-4) up 1-0.FC DALLAS 0, REAL SALT LAKE 0SANDY, Utah (AP) — Jimmy Maurer posted his fifth shutout in his 13th start of the season, and FC Dallas played Real Salt Lake to a scoreless tie.Maurer finished with three saves and two crosses caught for FC Dallas (6-5-7), which managed to secure a point and move into a tie with Los Angeles for fifth in the Western Conference despite being shut out for the second consecutive game.Real Salt Lake (5-7-7) — which has four losses and just one win in its last six games — had 55% possession and outshot FC Dallas 24-8.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsThe Associated Press

  • The Canadian Press

    Montreal Impact allow three second half goals in 3-1 loss to NYCFC

    BRONX, N.Y. — The Montreal Impact missed an opportunity to climb upward in the Eastern Conference standings as they hope to secure a place in the MLS playoffs. New York City FC got goals from three different goal scorers as they defeated the Montreal Impact 3-1 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Jesus Medina, Maximilliano Morales and Tony Rocha each scored  for NYCFC (9-8-3) as they handed Montreal its third loss in its last four games. Romell Quioto scored the Impact's (7-11-2) only goal. "We could have done better," Impact defender Joel Waterman said. "We fell back into our old habits of giving away cheap goals. New York came out and they had more desire than us and pressed us a little bit more. I thought we battled well and defended well in the first half, but we kind of collapsed with those three quick goals." NYCFC's victory puts them in fifth place in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference. The team is a perfect 9-0-0 when they score the first goal of the game.  Montreal's loss will keep the Impact in ninth place in the East. If the Impact had won, they could have potentially risen to seventh place tied with the New York Red Bulls, who drew 2-2 with the Chicago Fire Saturday night. The Impact would have been level on points with 26, but they would have had one more victory than the Red Bulls.  Impact manager Thierry Henry wished his team would have scored earlier in the match while they had the run of play.  "We had to score earlier. We suffered when we were having difficulties again," Henry said. Impact goalkeeper James Pantemis was put to work as early as the fifth minute of Saturday night's contest as he made a highlight-reel save on a Maximilliano Morales shot. As the Montreal native dove to his right, he was able to deflect the ball out of play with his right hand. Through 45 minutes of scoreless play, Pantemis had already made four saves.  But his attempt at a clean sheet would be tarnished in the second half after Medina's goal.  NYCFC's Ronald Matarrina ran up the wing and sent a pass through the penalty area. Montreal Impact defender Rudy Camacho got a foot on the ball but couldn't completely clear it from danger. Instead, Medina was first to the ball and put it past Pantemis for his third of the season. The Impact had a chance to equalize in the 79th minute when forward Romell Quioto made a run up the wing of his own before finding Maxi Urruti near the net. Urruti then tried to one-time the ball past Sean Johnson, but it didn't have enough power to trouble the NYCFC 'keeper. Morales would later score in the 83rd minute before Rocha would put the home team up three goals with his first-ever MLS goal in the 86th.  Quioto's goal came just before stoppage time, but it was too little, too late for Montreal.  The Impact will be back in action Tuesday night against Nashville SC at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.  NOTES: The match went on as scheduled despite a reported positive COVID-19 case by an undisclosed NYCFC player. The team says the player is asymptomatic and in self-isolation. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 24, 2020. The Canadian Press

  • The Canadian Press

    Toronto FC thrashed 5-0 by Philadelphia Union in top-of-the-table showdown

    CHESTER, Pa. — A top-of-the-table showdown turned into a lopsided loss Saturday for an understrength Toronto FC that saw its nine-game undefeated run snapped in a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of the Philadelphia Union.It was one-way traffic all night long, a night to forget for a Toronto franchise used to being the hammer rather than the nail. Philadelphia took advantage of TFC's shambolic defending and non-existent attack, bullying a team that had been on a 7-0-2 run.It was a costly defeat, given a win would have put TFC six points ahead of its nearest challenger. Instead, the Union moved into first place in both the league and Eastern Conference on goal difference over Toronto with the two teams at 12-3-5.Toronto had gone unbeaten since suffering a pair of losses Sept. 1 and 5, against Montreal and Vancouver respectively.Toronto coach Greg Vanney called it a "hard lesson," the kind of performance he had not see for "a long, long time.""What went wrong? It was wrong from start to finish," he said. "We weren't close to them the entire night, really...We couldn't put passes together and they were just at a different speed than we were on the night, that's for sure."The decision matched Philadelphia's largest margin of victory and Toronto's largest margin of defeat in MLS play, according to Opta. TFC lost 6-0 to the Montreal Impact in a Canadian Championship semifinal second-match in 2013.Philadelphia outshot Toronto 27-3 (12-1 in shots on target) and had 11 corners to TFC's three."There's no time to feel sorry for ourselves and nobody's panicking, I can promise you that," said captain Michael Bradley, who marked his 200th career MLS start.Sergio Santos scored three goals, Mark McKenzie and Jamiro Monteiro added singles with Kacper Przybylko contributed three assists for a rampant Philadelphia side. The margin of victory could have been higher had it not been for some fine saves by overworked Toronto 'keeeper Quentin Westberg."The way that we play represents, I think, (Philadelphia) in a lot of ways," said Union coach Jim Curtin "We don't fear anyone. We'll go toe to toe with any superstars and our guys stick together and really fight for each other."It marked the first time Toronto had given up five goals since a 5-1 loss to Houston in April 2018. That day, Toronto fielded a second-string lineup in advance of a CONCACAF Champions League game.Vanney and Bradley were singing off the same hymn sheet after the game, saying it was a reminder for some of the intensity of play in the run-up to the post-season and the playoffs themselves.Bradley, who came off the bench last week in his return from a knee injury, made his first start since Sept. 1. Fullback Justin Morrow, who had missed the last four matches with a calf strain, returned to action off the bench.But Vanney had plenty of other injury concerns including designated player Pablo Piatti who sat out with calf tightness.Centre back Chris Mavinga and striker Ayo Akinola missed their second straight game with hamstring issues. Midfielder Jonathan Osorio, who left last week's 1-0 win over Atlanta after just 20 minutes with a hamstring injury, did not dress.Star forward Jozy Altidore, another Toronto DP, is a long-term casualty with a Grade 2 hamstring strain."Yeah, we were missing some guys but guys had the opportunity to step in and try to show that this time of year they might be able to help us" said Vanney.Akinola could be back for Wednesday's game against New York City FC. Osorio is being pencilled in for either NYFC or next weekend's game against Inter Miami, TFC's penultimate regular season match. Vanney is awaiting a final verdict on Piatti from club doctors.Richie Laryea, Nick DeLeon and Gallardo came into the starting 11. Gallardo had played just 62 minutes in two substitute appearances since March 7, when he started the second game of the season.The Venezuelan lasted just 35 minutes before Vanney brought on Patrick Mullins in a bid to find someone to boost an impotent attackPhiladelphia ran its undefeated streak to five (4-0-1) since a 2-1 loss to Toronto on Oct 3 in East Hartford. The Union also improved to 7-0-0 in league play this season at Subaru Park, which has opened its door with local authorities allowing 15 per cent capacity or approximately 2,775 spectators."They're making a lot of noise, really pushing the players on," said Curtin.Philadelphia wasted little time taking it to a Toronto lineup missing some big names through injury. The Union outshot Toronto 15-1 (6-0 in shots on target) in the first half alone, with 60 per cent possession and nine corners to TFCs one.The Union went ahead in the 27th minute on a rapid-fire counter attack after Brazilian fullback Auro and Gallardo both lost possession for Toronto in the Philadelphia end. Jose Martinez swept the ball wide to Kai Wagner, who made a run down the left flank and floated in a perfect cross that Santos headed in as defender Omar Gonzalez lunged in vain at the ball.The Union doubled the lead off a corner in the 33rd minute, taking advantage of some dreadful defending. Monteiro's corner found Przybylko alone beyond the back post and he floated a header to an unmarked McKenzie to head it in from close range as a half-dozen defenders looked on.Monteiro made it 3-0 in the 56th minute with a booming shot off that cracked in off the cross bar after a giveaway by Liam Fraser. Santos scored his second on the night in the 63rd minute, knocking in a cross from Wagner with little opposition from Toronto. A dummy run by Brenden Aaronson added some sizzle to the goal.Santos' hat trick came in the 68th minute, with the unmarked Brazilian knocking in an Aaronson cross over Westberg. It raised Santos' season goals total to sevenAlejandro Pozuelo played up front with Tsubasa Endoh, Gallardo and DeLeon trying to offer support. But the Toronto attack offered nothing and Pozuelo, usually a game-changer, was rarely seen.Morrow and Fraser replaced Auro and Marky Delgado at halftime.Midfielder Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, who turned 16 on June 16, became the youngest player to appear for TFC when he came in the 72nd minute -- four minutes after Santos exited to applause. Raph Priso, an 18-year-old midfielder just signed as a homegrown player, also made his Toronto debut in the 64th minute.Coming into the contest, Toronto had lost just two of 29 regular-season games (16-2-11) since a 2-0 defeat at the New York Red Bulls on Aug. 3, 2019.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 24, 2020. The Canadian Press