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Montreal Impact visit D.C. United looking to build on mid-week success

The Montreal Impact are hoping to build off a big mid-week victory when they resume their Major League Soccer schedule on Saturday.

Montreal won a roller-coaster match against FC Edmonton in the Amway Canadian Championship semifinals on Wednesday, with captain Patrice Bernier scoring on a stoppage time penalty to book the Impact into a second consecutive national final.

"It's about time something goes our way this season," Impact striker Jack McInerney said after the dramatic victory. "Hopefully we can use this as a turning point."

Mired in a season-long slump, the bottom-of-the-table Impact (1-3-5) will be looking for a reversal of fortune in the league when they visit D.C. United (4-2-3) this weekend.

Montreal has an MLS-worst six points from nine games so far in 2014, conceding the first goal an abysmal six times. The Impact have the least potent attack in MLS and are they only team averaging less than a goal per game.

Looking to jumpstart their season, the Impact acquired Canadian international midfielder Issey Nakajima-Farran from Toronto FC in exchange for Collen Warner on Friday.

Nakajima-Farran, who turned 30 on Friday, had two goals in five games with TFC this season.

"Birthday surprise!! Wow! Just like that. Surreal," he tweeted after the trade. "Thanks to those who helped me settle in and made (Toronto) feel like home. Fans too have been great to me."

In the last five years, Nakajima-Farran has played at club level in Denmark, Australia and Cyprus. He has also made 30 appearances for the Canada since his debut in 2006.

"We are very pleased to be able to add Issey Nakajima-Farran to our roster," Impact head coach Frank Klopas in a statement. "He is a player whose qualities will fit well within our group and style of play. We feel his experience with both the national team and abroad will benefit our team."

The trade comes amidst some off-pitch turmoil within Montreal's organization. After a 3-0 loss to Sporting Kanas City last Saturday, Impact president Joey Saputo tweeted: "Our fans deserve better. Changes will be coming, guaranteed."

Looking to put a damper on what could be Nakajima-Farran's debut is a third-place United side that has won four of its last six games, outscoring opponents 11-5 over that stretch. Most recently, D.C. shut out the Philadelphia Union 1-0 on the road — the club's first away victory since November 2012.

"Any time you get a win, it's going to be a good environment in the locker-room, so we just want to continue building," D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid told the team's official website Friday. "It wasn't the best performance but we want to continue building off of good results."

Saturday's game will be midfielder Davy Arnaud's first match against his former club. Arnaud, who captained the Impact during his two seasons with Montreal, was traded to United following the 2013 campaign for an international roster spot.

Besides Arnaud, veteran forward Fabian Espindola could pose problems for Montreal on Saturday. In his eighth year in MLS, Espindola leads D.C. in goals (four), assists (three) and shots (20).

"We have players who have been around the league a long time," said D.C. goalkeeping coach Preston Burpom, who held the same position with the Impact last season. "Mentally, they understand that Saturday is the time to show up and be organized and put everything you have into it to get those three points."

Notes: Impact striker Marco Di Vaio, still nursing a hamstring injury, is questionable for Saturday. Di Vaio has not played since April 26. ... Bernier will likely make his 140th appearance for Montreal. ... Impact defender Matteo Ferrari (calf) trained with the team on Thursday and may be ready for a return to the lineup this weekend. ... The Impact have never won at RFK Stadium.

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