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Impact-Red Bulls Preview

By PAUL DIGIACOMO

STATS Senior Editor

(AP) -- Recent expansion teams in MLS have typically struggled. The Montreal Impact don't appear to be any different.

Montreal's quest for its first win continues Saturday when it visits a New York Red Bulls team coming off a dominant performance on its own pitch.

The Impact opened their inaugural season with a 2-0 loss at Vancouver on March 10 before playing to a 1-all draw against Chicago in their first home match a week later.

Montreal hit the road again last Saturday and lost 2-0 to Columbus, continuing a league-wide trend of first-year clubs having trouble picking up wins.

The Impact are the seventh team added to MLS since 2007, and only two of the first six clubs managed to post double-digit victories in their first seasons - Seattle with 12 in 2009 and Portland with 11 last year.

Montreal may have a hard time joining that list if it continues to play like it did last weekend.

The Impact allowed the Crew's Milovan Mirosevic to score on a penalty kick in the 30th minute after defender Felipe Martins tackled Columbus' Emilio Renteria on the right side of the box.

The goal came 11 minutes after Montreal midfielder Jeb Brovsky was given a red card for elbowing Mirosevic in the back of the head. Columbus put the short-handed Impact away with another goal in the 66th minute.

"There's frustration for obvious reasons," coach Jesse Marsch said. "But even with 10 men, there were good stretches. We fought hard and played for each other. It seems that some bounces are not going our way, but we still have firm belief in who we are and what we are about."

Captain Davy Arnaud, who has scored Montreal's lone goal, said playing a man down was a valuable lesson for a new team.

"It may not have been a bad situation to deal with because when you go through tough moments together, you get to prove what you are about," he said. "I think we still gave them a tough game."

New York figures to give Montreal a rough time after beating Colorado 4-1 on Sunday for its first win. The Red Bulls had been outscored by that same margin in losing their first two matches on the road.

Thierry Henry scored in the third and 54th minutes and assisted on a sixth-minute goal by Kenny Cooper, who also scored in the 89th.

"It's safe to say that the players were a little shaken confidence-wise coming off those losses," coach Hans Backe said. "But we got off to a flying start, scoring two goals in the first five minutes. All around, we looked very solid.

"This is the way we have to dig in and play with emotion every game. You could see in the warmups how focused we were. We lost the two games and were under pressure. We needed to perform. We have to be unbeatable here. That's theory and not just talk."

Cooper, acquired from Portland in the offseason, has scored three of New York's five goals.

"This is an incredibly talented group and I'm just glad to be a part of it," said Cooper, who scored eight times in 34 matches for the Timbers last year.

Updated March 30, 2012

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