Toronto FC and Montreal Impact - A Year in Numbers

USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact head into one final clash in the MLS 2013 season closer at BMO Field. Let’s see how these two teams compared by the numbers in 2013:

"When In Goal, Do As the Keepers Do"
Toronto FC and Montreal Impact Keepers Nearly Identical

There’s not much separating Joe Bendik and Troy Perkins. Both goalkeepers have started and played in 32 league games, with Stefan Frei and Evan Busch replacing them on one occasion, respectively. This means the two have played 2880 minutes in league play this year.

Bendik has had to deal with 136 shots so far this season; Perkins, 152. Bendik has saved 87 shots and has conceded 46 goals; Busch has saved 105 and conceded 47. This means the two keepers have similar GAA and Save Percentage stats – Bendik averages a goal against in every 1.44 shots, while Perkins does so in 1.47. Bendik saves the ball 66 per cent of the time while Perkins does so 69 per cent of the time.

Both keepers post up similar stats, but Toronto FC has conceded 47 goals to Montreal’s 48. So who’s the best goalkeeper?

Iker Casillas – duh.

But in MLS, between the two teams? It’s a toss up, really.

"Ready, Aim, Fire!"
How do the two sides forwards compare? The scoresheet says it all!

The Montreal Impact has scored nearly twice as many goals as Toronto, with 50 to Toronto’s 29. Many of those goals come from the foot of Marco Di Vaio, Montreal’s top scorer. The 37-year-old Italian hitman has scored 20 goals himself, while Toronto’s top scorer, Robert Earnshaw, has scored less than half that, with seven to his name.

Now, while Montreal pots goals left, right and centre, a lot of that comes from how often the club manages to find a shot on goal. Montreal has recorded 402 shots, of which 165 were on goal, a ratio of one shot on goal for every 2.44 shots, total. Toronto has recorded 329 shots, 102 of those on goal, for a one in 3.22 shot ratio.

Simply put, Montreal is getting more shots on goal than Toronto FC at a higher frequency. Montreal’s 165 shots on goal is the third highest in the league. Toronto FC sits near the bottom. Toronto FC desperately misses Danny Koevermans. The Dutch forward managed to score 17 goals in 26 games for the club.

Now, who wants Fabio Quagliarella and Alberto Gilardino?

"Come See the Leafs and Canadiens, On Grass!"
It’s a physical game, so get those studs up and start tackling!

Who would have guessed that the hardnosed Toronto FC can dish it out just as often as it can take a hit? It’s no surprise, seeing as the club suffered 421 fouls so far but doled out 419 fouls of its own.

Montreal, not quite as hard tackling, it seems; the Impact has suffered 464 fouls, the second highest in the league, but has only fouled 359 times, the league low. A lot of that comes down to Patrice Bernier, who has committed 50 fouls in league play himself; for Toronto FC, Jeremy Hall leads in fouls committed, with 34 of his own.

Now, up top, Toronto FC has been judged offside 75 times; 24 of those instances were called on Robert Earnshaw, who leads the team in offside calls. Now, can anyone guess which Montreal forward managed to get called offside 77 times out of the Impact’s league-leading 124 offside calls? If you guessed Alessandro Nesta, you’re wrong; it’s Marco Di Vaio, who leads the league in offsides!

As for discipline, Nesta stands out; he’s the only Montreal player to pick up a red card this season; Hassoun Camara and Matteo Ferrari have both picked up seven yellow cards this season, though. Meanwhile, Doneil Henry has found himself red carded twice, and has picked up six yellow cards on top of that; Bendik, Steven Caldwell, Reggie Lambe and Ashtone Morgan have all been red carded, giving Toronto FC a total of six red cards to Montreal’s one.

While we’re on the topic of Italians, fouls and red cards, is Gennaro Gattuso looking to come out of retirement?

"It’s a Numbers Game"
Points, Points per game, the results matter for these two outfits.

In 33 games, Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact have managed to find very different results; Toronto has earned 26 points to Montreal’s 49. Toronto FC earns 0.79 points per game; Montreal, 1.48. Toronto FC won five games, lost 17 and drew 11; Montreal won 14 games, lost 12, and drew seven.

Head to head, the two sides met twice in league play and twice in the Amway Canadian Championship; in MLS, the Montreal Impact beat Toronto FC 2-1 on March 16, goals courtesy of Marco Di Vaio and Patrice Bernier for Montreal and Robert Earnshaw for Toronto. The second league encounter was arguably one of the most exciting games of the season. Toronto FC drew 3-3 with the Montreal Impact on July 3, with goals coming from Di Vaio, Camara, Darren O’Dea, Steven Caldwell, Jeremy Brockie and Andres Romero.

In the Amway Canadian Championship, Toronto FC beat Montreal 2-0 at BMO Field with goals from Henry and Andrew Wiedeman, but the Impact managed to batter Toronto 6-0 in Montreal. On the day, Justin Mapp, Maxim Tissot, Daniele Paponi, Di Vaio, Romero and Andrew Wenger all managed to score.

So, safe to say that this final game of the season will be a hotly contested one. The numbers don’t lie, and it has been two drastically different seasons for these two sides. However, the one number that remains the most important is zero.

Toronto FC has nothing to lose tomorrow, and Montreal has an entire season it can potentially watch get flushed down the drain with a loss. Toronto FC will want to play season spoilers, for certain. As the 2013 season comes to a close, so too does Toronto and Montreal’s rivalry for now, but with the 2014 season just over the horizon, this rivalry will pick up where it left off without much convincing.

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