Saturday's clash involves a pair of teams that each hired a new coach after nosediving in the second half of 2013. This is the only regular season meeting for FCD and the Impact.Two veteran-laden teams, two new head coaches.
That's the story as the Montreal Impact head to Texas to face FC Dallas on Saturday in a match that kicks off a new regime for both clubs.
Frank Klopas has taken the reins as Montreal's third head coach in as many seasons following the exit of fiery Swiss Marco Schallibaum over the offseason. The Impact had actually met their own goal of reaching the playoffs in 2013, but it was the way that the team fell apart in the final months of the regular season that sealed Schallibaum's fate.
An embarrassing one-and-done loss at Houston in the postseason was the final nail in the coffin for a campaign that had started off so promisingly for Montreal, and Klopas has been tasked with turning around a team that was clearly in a downward spiral.
Unfortunately for the Impact, the repercussions of that playoff game against the Dynamo are still being felt as talismanic striker Marco Di Vaio will sit this one out due to a suspension picked up after his foolish actions at the end of that match. His absence will be huge as Klopas doesn't have another proven MLS striker at his disposal, with underperforming Andrew Wenger and Uruguayan import Santiago Gonzalez the best candidates to fill in.
READ MORE: Goal's full 2014 MLS preview
Like Montreal, Dallas will be playing under a new coach. Oscar Pareja orchestrated a move to Frisco after leading an exciting young Colorado Rapids side to an unexpected playoff appearance last year, and he'll be expected to breathe new life into FCD after Schellas Hyndman's departure.
In another parallel to its opening night opponent, Dallas started 2013 in torrid form and hit a mid-summer wall. Unlike Montreal, however, the Texas side didn't manage to hang on to its playoff spot and instead fell way out of the postseason picture. Pareja's job will be to add some consistency to what is clearly a talented squad.
It all starts Saturday night in Frisco, with the match kicking off at 8:30 p.m. ET at Toyota Stadium.