- Tuesday, 21 February 2012
- Written by Modou Lamin Beyai
The Montreal Impact of Gambia international Sanna Nyassi ended its stint in California with a 0-0 draw against the NCAA’s UCLA Bruins, followed by a 3-1 win over Ventura Country Fusion at the Home Depot Center, in Carson, California.
After playing a goalless draw versus UCLA, the Impact picked things up with a convincing display over the USL side. Brazilian midfielder Felipe opened the scoring at the 18th minute when he pounced on a loose ball in the 18-yard box. Midfielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic doubled the team’s lead when he got on the end of a Miguel Montaño cross, in the 44th minute.
Young forward Steven Miller scored the third goal, when he was put through on goal by Felipe, in the 64th minute. Ventura County Fusion did pull one back with a well-taken free-kick by Danny Berreira, in the 83rd minute. There was an overall sense of satisfaction during these two games for Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. Despite the initial result, he thought the players did well to end the camp in California on a positive note.
“UCLA came out well organized,” said Marsch. “It was hard for us on a hot day to continue the tempo of the game and break them down. We did get a lot out of it in terms of fitness and competitiveness.”
“We found more space in the game against Ventura County Fusion,” he explained. “We were able to create more chances and I think that the play and movement was better. To get the result and score some goals was obviously good as well.”
Defender Calum Mallace, who took part in both games, explained that the team fatigue influenced the first result, but praised his teammates on putting in a good display.
“You could see that there were some tired legs but everyone gave their all,” said Mallace. We would have liked a better result in the first game, but overall, it has been a great camp.”
Defender Jeb Brovsky played in the second game and explained the progress made during the last two weeks.
“I think that the two games showed that we could go a full 90 minutes,” he explained. “The fitness is good. Obviously, the soccer wasn’t perfect all the time, but overall it was good.”
Sanna and his Impact conclude their camp in LA with a record of 2-2-3, scoring six goals and conceding four. The team will now return to Montreal on Saturday before heading to Orlando to play the Walt Disney Pro Classic tournament, beginning February 21.
Sanna and his Impacts will kick off their inaugural season in the North American first division on Saturday, March 10, against Canadian rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place in Vancouver. The club will then host its historic home opener at Olympic Stadium against the Chicago Fire on March 17.