The top team in the Eastern Conference will look to secure its footing against the desperate visitors from Columbus.
With the Columbus Crew (9-14-5) coming to town Saturday, the Impact (13-7-6) will have a prime opportunity to pick up three points against a team fading fast from the playoff race. While Montreal has two games in hand on New York and Kansas City in the three-way tie for first, Columbus has lost three of four and is five points out of a postseason spot.
Columbus hopes to have the services of playmaker Federico Higuain, who, after missing two games to suspension, was sidelined last weekend with an adductor strain. Center back Chad Marshall (quad contusion) also is questionable, though versatile defender Josh Williams (concussion) is out.
A shorthanded Columbus back line would be a welcome sight for Montreal striker Marco Di Vaio, who has bagged a brace in three of the past four matches to move back atop the MLS scoring chart. The surge has come with Di Vaio, 37, publicly contemplating retirement at season's end, perhaps putting even more urgency on Montreal's quest to claim silverware this fall.