MONTREAL -- The Montreal Impact’s perfect start to its sophomore MLS season continued Saturday afternoon as Marco Di Vaio scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls. The goal came in the 19thminute of play as midfielder Patrice Bernier sent a pass through the center of the Red Bull defense for Di Vaio to latch on to and bury past keeper Luis Robles for his second goal of the campaign.
Though Di Vaio failed to convert several opportunities to put the game beyond doubt in the second half, Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum applauded the Italian’s ability to continuously get himself into dangerous scoring positions.
“Today he looked really sharp and had a lot of chances. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a second goal, but he worked really hard. Physically, for a 36-year-old, I have to say he’s quite extraordinary. He attacked the spaces really well and thought he looked really quick today,” Schällibaum said in the post-game press conference in French
Sometimes you don’t take your chances - that’s part of the game. Obviously I would have liked him to get a second or third goal, but considering the chances he was able to create, I thought he did really well”.
Di Vaio told Goal.com following the game that he felt the team at times needed to try and keep possession instead of always attempting to catch the opposition on the counter attack, and though Bernier agreed with his teammate, the Montreal native explained that Di Vaio’s movement often makes playing the ball quickly down the field too tempting to resist.
“We try and play quick. A lot of times when we win the ball their midfield is gone and their defense is playing high and Marco (Di Vaio) is always in good positions. Sometimes I think we overplay and we should relieve the pressure by keeping the ball more, but were successful, we create a lot of chances,” Bernier said.
We need to be a bit more levelheaded in possession and give our defense a chance to breathe, but I think everybody’s just always looking for Marco because he always seems to be in a good position and its tough not to want to play him the ball. But it’s going well, why stop something that’s successful”?
Karl Ouimette gets first start in MLS
Montreal native and Impact academy product Karl Ouimette got his first start in his MLS career against New York as he replaced the injured Alessandro Nesta in the center of defense and helped the Impact to their second shutout of the season. Schällibaum told reporters that the 20-year-old put in a faultless display.
“He’s a really good kid. He was very solid. He didn’t make any mistakes. I told him to play simple, and he did that. Hats off to him,” Schällibaum said.
Ouimette discovered that he was going to start the game on Thursday and said he had a difficult time sleeping in the leadup to the match. He was initially overwhelmed with fright when the game got underway, but explained that his nerves eventually settled and was happy with his performance.
“I was nervous, extremely nervous. When I walked onto field my whole body was shaking with goose bumps, but once you’ve played your first good ball, once you’ve won your first duel, you're able to play through to the end of the game,” Ouimette said in French.
I was satisfied with the game. We didn’t give up a goal. I find that we didn’t give too many good opportunities to the Red Bulls, so I thought that was really good. I won my battles, I read the game well and that’s what I wanted for my first start”.
The Impact, who sit in first place in the eastern conference, will take on Sporting Kansas City away from home next week, where they will be looking to equal last year’s record of five consecutive wins.