Expansion Montreal a familiar Timbers foe
On Saturday in Montreal, the 2011 MLS expansion Timbers take on the 2012 MLS expansion Montreal Impact, but these are two teams that know each other very well.
When the Timbers went up to Major League Soccer in 2011, there was understandably a lot of focus on the their traditional Cascadia rivals in Vancouver and Seattle. But starting this season, another United Soccer Leagues rival has made the jump to MLS in the form of the Montreal Impact. Though the Timbers did not play the Impact as many times as they did the Whitecaps or Sounders, the Timbers had a remarkable amount of success against the traditional USL powerhouse Impact, including an astonishing knack for winning on the road. “We own Montreal in Montreal” was a well known fact in the USL days, as the Timbers were 4-1-2 in Montreal, while they were 4-3-1 at home against the Impact.
Of course for many Timbers fans, the strongest Montreal memory was August 12, 2009 when while the Timbers were earning yet another victory in Montreal, 1-0 on a goal by Ryan Pore, defender Cameron Knowles went down with a broken leg that ended his playing career with the Timbers, though of course he has returned to Portland this season as an assistant coach.
Ironically, after recovering from his broken leg in 2011, Knowles played one last season, in Montreal for the Impact.
The eight matches vs. Montreal produced some entertaining results, including a 3-0 thrashing of the Impact the first time the teams faced each other in 2002. In 2005, Timbers fans will remember well a 1-0 loss to the Impact at PGE Park on a 45 yard goal by Sandro Grande on a free kick, with the Impact players attempting to celebrate in front of the Timbers Army, and being stopped in their track by Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar (see video in match report below).
In early June 2009, the Timbers and Impact played a hard fought scoreless match for 89 minutes and 59 seconds until Keith Savage scored with one second left in regulation play off a cross from Cameron Knowles. Later that month the teams met again in Portland, with the Timbers lighting up the Impact by a 4-0 score with Mandjou Keita getting two goals. The last time the two teams faced each other was in Portland in 2010, where the Timbers dropped a 1-0 result.
So while we won’t get to see the Impact in Portland in 2012 (barring an unlikely playoff matchup), look back at a few of the entertaining matches these teams played in their USL days and look forward to resurrecting an intense rivalry with another of our former USL foes.
Home matches vs. Montreal Impact:
August 29, 2002: Timbers win 3-0
June 30, 2005: Montreal wins 1-0
August 31, 2006: Montreal wins 1-0
June 21, 2007: Timbers-Montreal draw 1-1
August 16, 2008: Timbers win 2-1
June 4, 2009: Timbers win 1-0
June 28, 2009: Timbers win 4-0
May 19, 2010: Montreal wins 1-0