The Montreal Impact will look to become just the second MLS club to advance to the final of the Concacaf Champions League when it takes a 2-0 lead in the second leg of its semifinal series at Costa
Rica's Alajuenense on Tuesday night. The only other MLS team to win its semifinal series was Real Salt Lake, which also won its first leg at home, 2-0, and advanced against a Costa Rican club,
The Impact will be short-handed for the second leg in Alajuela. Since the first leg, rookie star Cameron Porter
, who had huge games
in both Impact home CCL matches, was lost for the season with a knee injury. Also sidelined is Justin Mapp
, who needed elbow surgery after injuring himself in
the MLS opener at D.C. United.
Midfielder Eric Alexander
and backup keeper Eric Kronberg
are cup-tied, so
the Impact has acquired the services of Canadian goalkeeper John Smits
on loan from the NASL's FC Edmonton to serve as backup to Evan Bush
for Tuesday's game.
"This game is going to be huge," said Impact defender Bakary Soumare
, a Mali international.
"I've played in Africa for the national team in very hostile areas, so I know what to expect from their fans. We are going there to get a result and implement our game plan. We have to be disciplined
and make sure that we don't sit on our two goal lead, but to push to try and score a goal. We are confident in our abilities and if we play the way we have so far in the tournament, we will be
The Impact defense will need to hold firm at the Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto, where Alajuenense pounded D.C. United, 5-2, in the first leg of their quarterfinal series.
"This is a very dynamic team and we saw that when they scored five goals against D.C. United at home in Champions League," said Impact assistant coach Mauro
. "They are a team that pushes a lot of players forward and we have to be ready for that, especially now that they are behind and need to push the game. They've made some adjustments over
recent weeks and are in good form recently and we know they'll come out and try to score an early goal. We have to be solid, both mentally and defensively." Jonathan McDonald
(8 goals) and Johan Venegas
(7 goals) have combined for more than half of LDA's total goals scored in league play (29).