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Today: Tampa Bay Rowdies at Montreal Impact

Today

Rowdies at Montreal

When/where: 2; Saputo Stadium, Montreal

Online: fctampabay.com

The opponent: With three games left, Montreal (9-11-7, 34 points) was seventh entering Saturday in U.S. Soccer Federation Division 2. Eight teams make the playoffs. Minnesota also has 34 points, but Montreal has a better goal differential, the first tiebreaker. The Impact had won three in a row before losing 2-1 to Miami on Sept. 11. It has outscored opponents 10-3 in its past four games.

Previous meeting: Today is the final of two meetings. The Impact won 2-1 at Steinbrenner Field on June 12.

What's at stake: The Rowdies (6-10-11, 29 points), who entered Saturday just outside of the playoffs in ninth (five points behind Minnesota and Montreal), are playing for their postseason lives. Winning would help in two ways. They would pick up a much-needed three points and prevent Montreal from picking up points.

Wins needed now: More than likely, the Rowdies need to win all three of their remaining games to give them a shot at the postseason. After today, they face Minnesota on Friday then last-place Baltimore on Oct. 1. The Rowdies have just one win since May 22 and are 0-6-3 during that span.

Rowdies notes: Forward Aaron King, who scored late Thursday to earn a 1-1 draw with Austin, leads the team with 10 goals. He has four in his past four games. … Midfielder Jeremy Christie (groin) appears to be back to full strength after playing the entire game against Austin. … Forward Aaron Wheeler's minutes continue to increase as he recovers from a shin injury. He played 68 against Austin.

Eduardo A. Encina, Times staff writer

Today: Tampa Bay Rowdies at Montreal Impact 09/18/10 [Last modified: Saturday, September 18, 2010 6:48pm]
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