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thinking Zuninos drive had left the park.
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It was broad smiles all around from head coach Frank Klopas and Sporting Director Nick de Santis as the Impact put on their brave and cheery faces at training yesterday. Hard to imagine this is a club who are firmly entrenched at the bottom of the Eastern Conference as results this season mirror the tailspin the Impact suffered throughout the later stages of the 2013 season. Last Saturdays Kansas City shambles offered very few shreds of comfort or optimism for a club who have only claimed a solitary victory over the course of their last 15 regular season matches. Coincidentally, that win - secured in the final home match of the 2013 season - came against the Philadelphia Union who will be the opponent for the Impacts Saputo Stadium home opener Saturday afternoon. Going into this season there was no expectation the Impact would start in the same forthright manner they did in 2013, where they had already accumulated 16 points and by a distance were the form team of the Eastern Conference through seven games. By the same token nobody in the organization would have thought the club would still be in search of its first win on the back of the worst start of the season in club history. By a quirk of fate Klopas old flame, the Chicago Fire, are the only other winless team in the conference. Any thought Klopas would suffer a similar fate of so many Impact coaches before were completely dismissed out of hand by De Santis yesterday, as he offered full and unequivocal support for his besieged head coach. De Santis could not have appeared more genuine as he addressed the media first in French and then reinforced the same message when switching to English as he expressed complete confidence in his coaching staff. “Its frustrating, its disappointing but we do need to stay patient,” De Santis said of the Imapcts start. The opening goal conceded against the reigning MLS Cup champions was a Callum Mallace attempt at a headed clearance that found nothing but the roof of the Impact net. It typifies the run of ill fortune the Impact has experienced so far this season. One that by this stage drains, and erodes confidence levels allowing for the doubts to set in. This was evident during the second half in Kansas where as a team they completely lacked conviction and confidence. After Marco Di Vaio was forced off injured in minute 55, many players became mere shadows of themselves as they conceded three soft goals. After the match Impact captain Patrice Bernier could offer little explanation of why the team had performed so poorly though the second half. If the Impact is to salvage their season this has to represent rock bottom. Playing at Saputo Stadium for a first time this season offers up the perfect tonic. Training yesterday took place at the clubs training pitch adjacent to the stadium and was conducted under glorious blue skies, which is in stark contrast to training and playing at a dreary appearing Olympic Stadium. A spring was in everyones steps, a certain buoyancy in the air. Di Vaio - who will be the first to admit that his form this season is far from where he would like it to be, or where the club needs it to be - seems likely to overcome the slight hamstring strain and should be available Saturday. Someone who likely again wont feature is Argentine DP Hernan Bernardello. Yesterday De Santis spoke of the midfielders fellow countryman Igniacio Piatti, who currently plays for San Lorenzo. The Impacts Sporting Director admitted the club was very much hoping to bring him in during the upcoming transfer window. Dont expect summer shopping to be limited to merely adding a third and final DP. This is a club who throughout its 20-plus-year history doesnt shy away from making the investments where needed. Bolstering the lineup and adding greater depth will certainly enhance the Impacts chances in the second half of the season. For now, though, its about getting the optimum performances from all the players at their disposal. This is something Klopas admitted earlier in the week was keeping him awake at night. In the lead up to Saturdays game much has been made in both Montreal and Philadelphia about Andrew Wengers return to Saputo Stadium. Wenger even got in on the act himself in the week when he spoke of his time in Montreal and learning much from Marco. Referring to Di Vaio, this was clearly a backhanded slap in the direction of Marco Schallibaum. As the team were putting in some of their final preparations for Saturday afternoons encounter, the finishing touches were been applied to Saputo Stadium. The pitch looks in perfect shape. The last time the club took to that pitch was last Oct. 19 in what was a must-win game for the Impact - who had gone into the game on the back of a six-game winless skid. Philly took the early lead before Di Vaio notched his 20th goal of the season and Karl Ouimette scored the late winner. The opponent will be the same Saturday afternoon, and the club fully need a similar result. Or as De Santis put it yesterday: “We are a win away from relieving the pressure on everyone.” You can reach and follow Noel Butler at: Noel.Butler@BellMedia.ca @TheSoccerNoel on Twitter Listen to Montreal Impact vs. Philadelphia Union live on TSN690 Montreal [TSN690.ca] Saturday at 4pm et. Rick Moffat [@RickMoffat] and Grant Needham [@GrantNeedham] have the call. Cheap MLB Jerseys . Raonic, the mens No. 8 seed from Thornhill, Ont., needed more than three hours to overcome Frenchman Gilles Simon 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 and become the first Canadian man into the fourth round at Roland Garros. Cheap Rockies Jerseys China .C. -- Clemson celebrated a senior class Saturday that brought the program back as a national contender. http://www.cheaprockiesjerseys.com/ . Ronaldo netted his 14th goal of the season in Europes top competition to give Madrid a clear advantage ahead of next weeks quarterfinal return leg in Germany. But it came at a price as the Portugal forward, who came into the first-leg nursing a sore left knee, came off in the 80th minute. Cheap Rockies Jerseys . Murakami gracefully executed a double triple toe jump and a triple flip jump that put her at the top of a tightly contested race with 64.73 points, just ahead of Li Zijun of China on 62. Cheap Colorado Rockies Jerseys . TSN platforms will broadcast 75+ live games per season – tripling the networks current slate of MLB games.  With the new deal TSN retains rights to ESPNs SUNDAY NIGHT BASEBALL and, for the first time, acquires rights to ESPNs MONDAY NIGHT BASEBALL and WEDNESDAY NIGHT BASEBALL.SEATTLE -- Derek Jeter made his final regular season appearance in Seattle memorable. Seemed appropriate. Of all the stops on Jeters season-long farewell tour, Seattle holds a bit more meaning because this is where his career started. "You tend to think about the first time you came, when you got here," Jeter said. "Its still hard to think Im not going to play another game here but when you come to some of these cities you start thinking about a lot of the memories youve had here. Seattle will always be special because it was the beginning." Jeter had three hits, two RBIs and scored twice as the New York Yankees completed their first three-game sweep of the season with a 6-3 win over the Mariners on Thursday night. Jeter was honoured by the Mariners before the start of the series, then helped jump start the Yankees. Jeter had singles in his first two at-bats off Seattle starter Roenis Elias (5-5), then greeted reliever Dominic Leone with a two-run single in the fourth that gave the Yankees a 6-1 lead. Jeter finished the series with seven hits. "It feels good to come out here and win three games. Its not an easy place to win," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "Obviously they pitch very well and we had not scored a lot of runs off them." This night, and much of the series, was about Jeters farewell tour. His professional start came in Seattle in May 1995. He was given thundering ovations every time he stepped to the plate. Jeter received a standing ovation from the entire stadium on his final at-bat in the ninth. He grounded out on a comebacker to the mound and tipped his helmet as he jogged of the field. "Fans have always been good to me here. Even when they get on you a little bit they still respect you," Jeter said. "They were awesome." Jacoby Ellsbury hit a two-run homer in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 16 games and gave starter Chase Whitley (2-0) an early lead. Whitley threw a career-high 7 2-3 innings to get his second straight win. He also got a huge defensive play from Ellsbury in thee fifth, robbing former Yankees star Robinson Cano of at least a RBI double with a leaping catch at the wall in centre field.dddddddddddd Whitley allowed just five hits and his only mistake was a pitch left up in the strike zone to Logan Morrison, who hit a line drive homer in the second inning. Whitley struck out six and has not walked a batter in his past four starts. David Robertson got the final two outs for his 16th save. "Chase has been consistent with his stuff. He doesnt beat himself. He doesnt walk people. Hes doing the little things," Girardi said. "Hes mixed in an outstanding changeup with his fastball and slider. He gets ahead in the count. We only saw him as a reliever. We werent sure what we had as a starter but hes done a really good job." Ellsbury did give the Yankees a brief scare when he left later in the game with tightness in his right hip. Ellsbury said he expected to be in the lineup Friday in Oakland. Both times Seattle was on the verge of a rally it could not get a two-out hit. The Mariners had runners at the corners in the third but Kyle Seager struck out looking on an inside fastball. In the fifth, James Jones chopped a two-out single to score Brad Miller. Cano then drove the first pitch from Whitley to deep left-centre, only to watch Ellsbury jump and haul in the drive crashing into the wall. Two innings later Brett Gardner added another defensive gem, hauling in Mike Zuninos drive at the top of the fence in left-centre to take away extra bases. Whitley said he was already looking toward the umpire for a new ball thinking Zuninos drive had left the park. "They were making good plays out there, keeping the ball in the yard and saving their guy some runs," Zunino said. "Thats all you can do is try and square the ball up." NOTES: Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist Macklemore threw out the first pitch on the night he was honoured by the Mariners with a bobblehead. ... Yankees are 17-10 in their last 27 road games. ... Whitley has gone 114 consecutive batters without issuing a walk. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '



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