Top Stories

Di Vaio leads Impact to CCL victory over Red Bulls

MarcoDiVaio (USA Today Images)


After both teams dominated group mate CD FAS, Wednesday’s clash between the Montreal Impact and New York Red Bulls gave both teams the chance to an upper hand in Group 3 of the CONCACAF Champions League. Behind a Marco Di Vaio goal, it was the motivated Impact who took that chance.

Di Vaio scored the game’s lone goal in the 16th minute, as the Impact positioned themselves well to advance to the quarterfinal round with a 1-0 win over the Red Bulls at Stade Saputo.

With mathematical elimination from the MLS Playoffs all but a formality, the Impact deployed a formidable starting XI that included Di Vaio and Ignacio Piatti, the teams two Designated Players, who were both withheld last weekend in preparation for the CCL.

Meanwhile, the Red Bulls featured a more makeshift lineup, as head coach Mike Petke opted to rest all but one starter from Saturday’s 2-2 draw with the Philadelphia Union. The visitors had played two games in the last week already and remain focused on the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The Red Bulls were punished almost immediately, as Piatti hit the post just three minutes into Wednesday’s matchup before providing the helper on Di Vaio’s opener 13 minutes later.

After a lackluster clearance by the Red Bull defense, Piatti played a diagonal ball onto the chest of a streaking Di Vaio. The Italian, who just barely stayed onside, corralled the ball down to his feet before firing past Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara for the game’s lone goal.

Following Di Vaio’s finish both sides turned to a hard-nosed style that produced a series of cards. That proved costly for both sides, as Di Vaio earned a suspension by via his second yellow card of the group stage, while the Red Bulls’ Connor Lade was sent off with a pair of cautions.

The Impact earned their third win in as many games, having previously picked up a pair of victories over FAS. Meanwhile, the Red Bulls sit on three points with two games remaining.

The Red Bulls return to CCL action Sept. 24 in a a trip to El Salvador to conclude their series with FAS. Meanwhile, the Impact await what could be a potential winner-take-all clash with the Red Bulls on Oct. 22 at Red Bull Arena.

What did you think of Wednesday’s CCL result? How should the Red Bulls approach their final two group stage games? What do you think of the Impact going all-in on the CCL?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Entirely absurd 2nd yellow on Lade. Complete play acting pounding of fist on the ground sold the ref who clearly had no idea. It wasn’t even a foul. It was a 50/50 ball that Lade got to first and the defender fell over the ball.

  2. I didn’t watch MLS much before the my Sounders moved over.

    After watching their coach not show up to a LH USOC game and now putting this lineup out there, it is easy to see why they don’t win anything all those years…. They don’t want to. Seriously.

    It is easy to SAY you want to……

  3. Still don’t understand why we couldn’t get at least one of Cahill or Luyindula in the lineup. Petke won’t be starting both vs Seattle unless BWP can’t go. Why are you saving both of them for a depleted Seattle side at home?

  4. Wait, a “motivated Impact” could only score one goal (questionably offside to boot) against the RB reserve side? This was supposed to be an important game for Montreal and they actually left the door open for NYRB. The group is actually in Red Bull’s hands; win the remaining games and they move on.

    • All true. Two one-goal wins will do it. Montreal left the door open by accumulating only a +3 GD in three game sgainst FAS and the RBNY subs.

      • Actually, just found out that first tie breaker is goal difference in games between the two tied teams, including away goals. So if RBNY wins 2-1 or 3-2, Montreal will actually go through.

      • You are correct. The relevant tie-breakers are, in order:
        – Head-to-head points
        – Head-to-head goal difference
        – Head-to-head away goals
        – Overall goal difference
        – Overall goals scored
        – Overall away goals

        So the magnitude of a win at FAS will never count. If RBNY beat Montreal by 1-0, then even a 1-0 win at FAS would give RBNY a better overall goal difference (+3 to +2). If RBNY beat Montreal by 2 or more goals, they win on head-to-head goal difference regardless of the size of the win over FAS. And if RBNY beat Montreal by 1 goal in anything other than a 1-0 game, Montreal will go through on head-to-head away goals

      • Yep so considering that the odds of RBNY keeping a clean sheet are not that great, they will likely need to win by more than one goal to advance.

  5. The replay wasn’t very enlightening, so can anyone tell me whether DiVaio may have been offside?

    Didn’t you just *know* that DiVaio would score, and that he would do so on a goal that looked offside?

    And that Eckersley would be involved?

    • Looked slightly offside to me, not blatant. And the defender was so far out of position, even if he was leaning backward instead of forward, it would have been scored.

  6. As a Red Bulls fan it’s disappointing we can’t put out a first team squad for this game. I would prefer to see MLS focus less on expansion and more on how to deepen MLS squads. Deeper squads will put all MLS teams in a better position to win the CONCACAF Champions League. If the league wants to be taken seriously, I think we need to win this tournament consistently.

    I believe the success of the league thus far should allow for some adjustments to player pay structure that will allow for more quality players and deeper squads.

  7. Considering the team RBNY put out there this isn’t a horrible result. Even a one goal win at home against the Impact on Oct 22 will put RBNY through if they also beat FAS next week.

    No wonder Montreal has the worst record in MLS. That was their first choice team and they only won 1-0 against a Red Bulls team that did not have a single first choice player in the starting XI. They even had Connor Lade in the lineup. Well, until he got sent off. Dude has been playing minor league soccer this summer in Hempstead. I couldn’t see the game because Fox chose to screen it on FS2 which isn’t offered by my cable company but it looked from the stats that it was pretty even.


Leave a Comment