Di Vaio catches McInerney in MLS golden boot race with sixth career hat trick

In the Impact's 5-3 win against the Union, Di Vaio bagged a hat trick and McInerney scored his ninth of the campaign, leaving the two players tied atop the MLS scoring charts.

MONTREAL - In Saputo Stadium on Saturday night the Montreal Impact took on the Philadelphia Union with two hottest strikers in MLS on display.

The Union’s Jack McInerney came into the game leading the league in scoring with eight goals. Marco Di Vaio, with his six goals on the season, trailed in second.

Both forwards needed very little time to add to their tallies as Di Vaio redirected Andrew Wenger’s cross past Zac MacMath in the second minute and McInerney quickly responded a few minutes later as he found himself open in the Impact box and coolly finished past Impact keeper Troy Perkins.

But Di Vaio was just getting started, and bagged two more goals to give the Impact a 3-1 lead before halftime. Both teams continued to find the net after the break, and the Impact eventually held on for a 5-3 win.

Di Vaio, who, with nine goals, is now tied with McInerney for top scorer in MLS, told reporters following the game that, in the first half, the Impact had their best attacking performance of the season.

“I think the first half was our best in terms of creating chances, pressing the opponent and the overall level of our play,” Di Vaio said in Italian. “It’s too bad we gave away those three goals, as it sort of tainted our display, but just about every time we got forward we were dangerous and so were happy with what we did."

Impact coach Marco Schällibaum has always been keen on his players adopting an attacking style of play and with 20 goals created so far, the Impact are now tied for third in the league in goals scored - and with games in hand as well.

Schällibaum acknowledged that Di Vaio has played a very big part in the Impact’s attacking production so far this season.

“But you know, this is Marco, he finds great spaces - that’s what he does - and he played really well off of Andrew (Wenger) tonight," Schällibaum said in French. "It’s an honor for a coach to have a player of his quality."

The Impact will now get set for the second leg of the Canadian Championship final on Wednesday in Vancouver, where the Whitecaps will need to beat the Impact in order to win the tournament. Schällibaum playfully said that he hopes that the Impact’s scoring prowess shown against the Union will give the Whitecaps a little scare or two as they prepare for the clash.