Tag Archives: Impact

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Spots Asteroid Impact on Jupiter

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NASA’s Juno spacecraft has been puttering around the Jovian system for the last few years, taking images and measurements of the solar system’s largest planet. Juno reached the end of its pre-planned mission recently, but NASA renewed it for at least a few more years. There’s a lot to see on and around Jupiter, like the asteroid impact that Juno captured in 2020

Jupiter is a massive planet with correspondingly massive gravitational pull. As such, it gets hit by a lot of space debris. However, Rohini Giles of the Southwest Research Institute says most of these small impacts are tiny and so short-lived that it’s uncommon to see them. Giles is the lead author of a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters that lays out the case for this rare impact detection. 

According to Giles, the bright flash from late 2020 stood out in the data. Juno spent a lot of time scanning Jupiter’s powerful magnetic field and aurorae, but the flash on April 10, 2020 had a different spectral signature. It lasted just 17 milliseconds, but that was much longer than Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) that are common in Jupiter’s upper atmosphere. The spectral characteristics were also quite different, as indicated by the probe’s Ultraviolet Spectrograph (UVS). 

The conclusion reached by Giles’ team is that this bright flash (shown above) came from an asteroid or comet that fell into Jupiter’s atmosphere and exploded as it heated up. Based on the brightness of the flash, the team estimated the object had a mass of 550 to 3,300 pounds (249 to 1,496 kilograms), making it far too small to leave signs on the gas giant. In 1994, the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 smacked into Jupiter, but it was more than a mile across. Teams following up after that impact found visible scarring and X-ray emissions that took months to vanish. 

These impacts can have major effects on even large planets. Fifteen years after Shoemaker-Levy 9, that object was still responsible for 95 percent of the water in Jupiter’s stratosphere. If the unnamed 2020 impactor caused any local effects, Juno couldn’t detect them. Juno has a few more years to keep an eye out for more space rocks running into the planet, though.

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Samsung Believes the Automotive Chip Shortage Could Impact Phones

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The ongoing automotive chip shortage is reportedly having ripple effects throughout the industry. Samsung is reportedly concerned that problems in one area of the semiconductor market could spill over into others.

The problem is that there’s not enough chip capacity to go around, according to the Financial Times. Automakers have lobbied governments and chip manufacturers for help worldwide. TSMC has pledged to expedite orders for auto manufacturers, and other foundries across the world are likely making similar vows. That company’s statement on the topic is relevant to Samsung’s concerns: “While our capacity is fully utilized with demand from every sector, TSMC is reallocating our wafer capacity to support the worldwide automotive industry.”

TSMC has previously indicated it was converting some manufacturing to respond to additional demand in the automotive sector. But the fact that its capacity is fully utilized means the foundry is playing a game of musical chairs as far as who gets allocation priority on which product lines. Automotive chips aren’t typically built on leading-edge process nodes, but the nature of the semiconductor shortage has caused shortages across the entire industry.

TSMC’s Q2 2020 revenue, with additional data on revenue by node.

Samsung is specifically concerned that it won’t be able to deliver new phones on time because foundries will be too busy building chips for other companies, including the automotive industry. Foundry shortages could squeeze the smartphone industry by limiting the number of devices available in-market. Samsung is particularly exposed in this scenario: It’s both the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, the largest DRAM manufacturer, and the largest NAND manufacturer. If smartphone supplies are limited, Samsung will eat the hit in three separate ways.

The fear of an automotive slowdown has led governments to put an unusual amount of pressure on TSMC, according to the report. Companies in the US, Japan, and Europe have reportedly engaged in direct talks with the foundry, as well as raising the issue with Taiwan’s government.

“We believe that as economies are struggling due to the pandemic, governments, especially in the countries hit worst by the virus, see car demand as a rare growth impulse important for their overall economies,” an unnamed Taiwanese official told the Financial Times. “We would not normally see this kind of approach if it were only about a few individual companies.”

The reason we’re in this mess in the first place, ironically, is that the market for cars bounced back faster than expected. During the pandemic, TSMC reduced the capacity it allocated for vehicle production after auto sales cratered. Now that vehicle sales are ticking up again, auto manufacturers need that capacity back. Problem is, it’s still in use producing everything else.

ExtremeTech suspects that companies will soon start talking about semiconductor shortages easing in June or July rather than the March-April timeframe that’s been floated recently. AMD has already indicated it expects supply to remain tight through this time frame, and it’s not the only TSMC customer that’s going to be supply-limited.

Pre-built gaming systems remain the best way to get your hands on a new AMD Ryzen 5000, Radeon, or Ampere GPU. It’ll be interesting to see if Rocket Lake picks up any customers on the basis of being easier to find in-stock. Auto manufacturers haven’t made any dramatic business moves in response to the ongoing supply problem, at least not yet. Hopefully, the demands of various markets can be met without destabilizing any specific market.

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Several European countries deal with impact of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine disruption

Pfizer has slashed in half the volume of COVID-19 vaccines it will deliver to some EU countries this week, government officials said on Thursday, as frustration grows over the U.S. drugmaker’s unexpected cut in supplies.

Romania will get 50 per cent of its planned volume this week and supplies will only improve gradually, with deliveries not returning to normal until the end of March, Deputy Health Minister Andrei Baciu told Reuters.

It was a similar situation in Poland, which on Monday received 176,000 doses, a drop of around 50 per cent from what was expected, authorities said.

The Czech government was bracing for the disruption to last for weeks, slowing its vaccination campaign just as the second dose of vaccinations get underway.

“We have to expect that there will be a reduction in the number of open vaccination appointments in the following three weeks,” Health Minister Jan Blatny told reporters on Thursday, with Pfizer deliveries falling by about 15 per cent this week and as much as 30 per cent for the following two weeks.

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have declined to comment on the cuts beyond their statement last week, which announced cuts to deliveries as they ramp up manufacturing in Europe.

Some countries reckon they can handle it. Norway has an emergency stockpile and will continue administering doses as planned, the government’s public health body said.

The U.S. drugmaker has told Bulgaria and Poland it will replace missing doses, top officials said.

But Denmark’s Serum Institute said its 50 per cent loss of shots this week would lead to a 10 per cent shortfall for the first quarter.

Italy reacts angrily

With governments across the region still reeling from the surprise cuts, officials say the reductions are undermining their efforts to inoculate their citizens and tame the pandemic, which has killed more than two million people.

On Wednesday, Italy threatened legal action against Pfizer, after the company said it was was cutting its deliveries by 29 per cent to the Mediterranean country.

Pfizer’s move was having a serious impact on vaccination plans drawn up by local authorities, the governor of the northern Emilia Romagna region said.

“Due to the reduction in doses, many regions have been forced to slow down or even suspend new vaccinations to ensure administration of the second dose to those who had already received the first,” Stefano Bonaccini told Reuters in an email.

WATCH | Provinces complain, but powerless amid Pfizer situation:

Pfizer told Canadian officials there would be delays in deliveries of its vaccine, but the delays now mean Canada will receive zero Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines next week. It’s left provinces scrambling to manage the doses they have left. 2:42

In Hungary, where the authorities gave the go ahead for the use of Britain’s AstraZeneca and Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines ahead of the EU drug regulator, a senior official called on Brussels to try and ensure that deliveries from Pfizer and other vaccine makers would stick to schedule.

“We would be happy if the [European] Commission could take steps as soon as possible to ensure that Pfizer and other manufacturers would change deliveries,” Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff Gergely Gulyas said.

The problem has spread to countries outside the trading bloc, too – Canada is facing delays, as is Switzerland, where the mountain canton of Grisons got only 1,000 shots from Pfizer this week, far short of the 3,000 it had been anticipating.

The EU has approved the Moderna vaccines, but the authorization came a few weeks after similar action in Canada, the United States, Britain and Israel, with the first deliveries made only a week or so ago.

Moderna has committed to delivering 10 million doses by the end of March and 35 million each in the second and third quarter, reflecting a process that will take time to ramp up. Another 80 million doses are also to be delivered this year but without a clear timetable yet.

Meanwhile, at a meeting of EU health ministers last week, Belgium said bottlenecks in the supply of the so-called Low Dead Space syringes were likely when Pfizer begins to deliver bigger volumes of its shots.

A Belgian diplomat said the country had urged the EU executive commission to speed up joint procurement for syringes to avoid “unnecessary delays.”

While there is no immediate shortage of the syringes — which are designed to ensure the maximum amount of vaccine is extracted from vials —  there are not enough syringes for mass vaccination, a spokeswoman for the Lithuanian health ministry told Reuters on Thursday, saying the Baltic country had joined the EU procurement scheme.

“What is now not a problem, can easily become a very big problem tomorrow,” she said.

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Deadly day, lasting impact

Every year on Oct. 22, former House of Commons security guard Maurice Montpetit makes a solemn pilgrimage to the National War Memorial before heading to Parliament Hill.

He stands at the spot where Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, was gunned down in 2014 before the sentry’s killer, armed with a rifle and a long knife, raced up the Hill and stormed Centre Block.

That day, Montpetit spent hours locked down in the antechamber and lobbies outside the House of Commons, comforting the MPs and others hiding there. Sometimes Montpetit carried a handgun, but on that day he was unarmed.

“There were MPs who were scared. An MP had her baby with her. Some MPs wanted to get out through windows and construction scaffoldings. I kept telling them, ‘We don’t know what is outside. Stay inside,'” he recalled six years later.

Montpetit, seen here in a still from a video taken the day of the shooting, was among about 30 House of Commons guards on duty when the gunman burst through the doors of Centre Block and began firing. The next day, he returned to his post ‘as if nothing had happened,’ he said. (Radio-Canada)

Confusion reigned. At one point, Montpetit heard over his radio that there could be as many as 13 gunmen on the building’s roof.

The fallout was long-lasting.

“For three years, I comforted people. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t talk about the shooting.”

Breakdown came 3 years later

Eventually, that took its toll on Montpetit. One morning in November 2017, more than three years after the attack, everything came to a crashing halt.

“Usually, I would have gone for coffee, stopped at the gym, but I did not do any of these things. I went to my locker to get ready. It took me about three hours to get dressed,” Montpetit recalled. The intense fatigue he suddenly felt was tinged with terror.

“I was afraid I would see something coming out of a corner. I felt that I was totally out of control. I finished my day and then I cried, because I knew I wasn’t coming back the next day.”

Radio-Canada has learned that out of the approximately 30 House of Commons security guards on duty when the shooting occurred, at least 13 have since suffered serious psychological problems. One has taken his own life.

Montpetit said he wishes all the guards had been convened for a debrief following the attack. Instead, he said he returned to work the next day “as if nothing had happened.”

Louis Létourneau was decorated with the Star of Courage for his part in stopping the gunman, but later began experiencing severe anxiety. ‘It’s a pressure that is there, that stays there, no matter what you do or what you’re thinking about.’ (Emilien Juteau/Radio-Canada)

‘The Hill is a bad place for me now’

While returning regularly to the scene of the shooting has been an important aspect of Montpetit’s therapy, his former colleague Louis Létourneau can’t bring himself to go back.

“I try to avoid Parliament Hill,” the Gatineau resident said. “My psychologist is in Ottawa. Technically, it would be shorter to drive near Parliament Hill. But I make a detour. The Hill is a bad place for me now.”

I emptied my cartridge. Fifteen bullets. I didn’t give him a chance to shoot back at me.– Louis Létourneau, retired Parliament Hill security guard

On Oct. 22, 2014, Létourneau was standing in the Hall of Honour, between Centre Block’s main entrance and the Library of Parliament, when he heard a boom. He turned his head to see the assailant at the top of the stairs, rifle in hand.

“I said to myself, ‘There is no way you’re going to stop me from seeing my kids tonight,'” Létourneau said. “He didn’t stop running. I emptied my cartridge. Fifteen bullets. I didn’t give him a chance to shoot back at me.” 

He reloaded and shot twice more. Bullets from Létourneau’s gun were among the 31 that struck the attacker. Létourneau was later decorated with the Star of Courage by the former governor general for his part in that day.

Létourneau shakes hands with then-governor general David Johnston after receiving the Star of Courage at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Feb. 8, 2016. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

Haunted by flashbacks

Létourneau’s retirement, forced by post-traumatic stress disorder, became permanent just a few weeks ago. Vivid flashbacks still haunt him.

“The first gunshot, when he enters the main door, and probably the end of the event, when I see him on the ground with the blood coming out — those are the images that always come back.”

Like Montpetit, Létourneau felt fatigued, but in his case it happened about two months after the shooting.

“I would be at work, and as soon as I had a 30-minute break, I would go to the constables’ room and take a power nap. That’s something that had never happened to me before. I could do 13-, 15-, 16-hour days without having to lie down.”

About 30 House of Commons security guards were on duty when the gunman stormed Centre Block. (Radio-Canada)

Létourneau’s demeanour took a dark turn. “I would blow up for no reason,” he said. He first left his job in 2015, one year after the shooting. He tried to return in stages the following year, but it didn’t work out and he left again.

He still has difficulty concentrating and suffers bouts of depression, but said the anxiety is the worst symptom. “Anxiety is the toughest thing. It’s like a ball in here,” Létourneau said, pointing to his chest. “It’s a pressure that is there, that stays there, no matter what you do or what you’re thinking about.”

Suffering widespread

According to the president of the Union of Officers of the Parliamentary Protective Service, Létourneau and Montpetit are hardly alone.

“The great majority of officers in the Parliamentary Precinct buildings on duty that day have suffered at different levels from the events,” said Roch Lapensée.

That includes the guard who took his own life a little over three years after the attack. According to the man’s sister, he was never the same after the events of Oct. 22, 2014.

Eight months after the attack, the House of Commons and Senate security services were merged into the Parliamentary Protective Service (PPS), under the direction of the RCMP. (Simon Lasalle/Radio-Canada)

Radio-Canada has interviewed several guards and supervisors, and has identified at least 13 House of Commons security guards who suffered serious mental health problems. Every interviewee agreed the way they were treated after the attack only contributed to their stress.

Following the shooting, the government of then-prime minister Stephen Harper moved quickly to reform Parliament Hill security.

Eight months after the attack, the House of Commons and Senate security services, which were in charge of security inside the Parliament Buildings, and the RCMP unit that was in charge of security on the Hill were merged into the new Parliamentary Protective Service (PPS). Management of this new service’s operational matters was handed over to the RCMP.

“The guys felt like they had been shoved aside,” Létourneau said. “‘You did a good job, but now we’re the ones in charge.'”

‘Heroes to zeros’ 

Security guards who had never carried a weapon suddenly had to undergo firearms training. The new “protection officers” were expected to perform a job similar to that of RCMP officers, but for less pay.

In 2017, the PPS reprimanded guards who wore hats with the word “respect” as a sign of protest.

“We went from heroes to zeros,” said Jean-Louis Franchi, another former security guard who was on duty the day of the shooting, and who has also suffered from psychological problems.

“When there is a suicide amongst your security guards, you’d think that as a boss you would ask yourself questions. The employer will tell you it offered psychological support to the employees, but where is the moral support, the respect? The guys did heroic acts and you reprimand them because they are asking for better salaries and respect?”

Some PPS officers were reprimanded for wearing hats with the word ‘respect’ on them. ‘The guys did heroic acts and you reprimand them because they are asking for better salaries and respect?’ asked one former guard. (Simon Lasalle/Radio-Canada)

PPS responds

In a statement to Radio-Canada, PPS wrote: “We take mental health issues very seriously. We have initiated a series of mental health and wellness activities for all our staff. Our goal is to make sure our staff have access to the proper mental health support they need.”

The labour dispute lasted until the end of 2019, when the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board granted the officers a wage increase.

Létourneau said psychological help was offered on the evening of the shooting to the small group of guards who had been directly involved, but he believes their employer should have done a better job watching for mental problems surfacing long afterward.

In his case, it came down to colleagues telling him he didn’t seem well and recommending he seek help.

For some of the Parliament Hill security guards on duty on Oct. 22, 2014, the trauma of the day has had a lasting impact. 2:49

Oct. 22 remains a painful anniversary for Létourneau and Montpetit, but they are learning to cope with the horror of that day thanks to the professional help they sought.

“It saved my life,” Létourneau said. “It’s something you have to do for yourself first, and for your family.”

“You will hit the bottom and even beyond before you go back up. It’s normal,” said Montpetit, who now tries to find peace of mind by doing what he likes best: music and camping.

Now, the two men have agreed to share their stories to encourage others who are struggling with similar issues to seek psychological help.

Need help? Here are some mental health resources:

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Impact keep dim playoff hopes alive with shutout win over D.C. United

Saphir Taider’s goal off a deflection in the 31st minute gave the Montreal Impact a 1-0 victory over D.C. United on Tuesday night in the final Group C match of the MLS is Back tournament.

Clement Diop stopped three shots, including two saves with his feet, for his first shutout of the season.

The win gives the Impact a chance to advance as one of the four wild-card teams, while the United were eliminated with a loss and two draws. Montreal has three points (one win, two losses) and a minus-one goal differential. It is one of five squads with three points, but it has a better goal differential than two other teams.

Toronto FC and New England each have five points, but Toronto wins the group on the basis of more goals scored. New England will face Philadelphia in the round of 16 on Saturday, while Toronto will face one of the wild card teams on Sunday.

WATCH | Impact shut out D.C. United to stay alive:

Saphir Taider lifts Montreal Impact to a 1-0 win over D.C. United. 1:02

There are six more group stage matches left to play to determine the rest of the field.

Taider scored his third goal in the past two games with a rocket off his right foot from 34 yards out. The shot deflected off the right foot of DC’s Frederic Brillant and changed direction, catching goalkeeper Bill Hamid flat footed.

Montreal had a chance to double its lead in the 68th minute, but Maximiliano Urruti’s shot hit the left post.

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Akinola’s hat trick leads Toronto FC past Impact for 1st win at Disney

Ayo Akinola scored three goals, upping his tournament total to five, and Spanish playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo had three assists as Toronto FC defeated the Montreal Impact 4-3 Thursday at the MLS is Back Tournament.

The win moved Toronto atop the Group C standings, at least for the night, with four points from two games, while the future looks bleak for pointless Montreal.

It was another wild night involving Canadian teams at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex, although this time the fireworks were largely limited to the first half. San Jose rallied late Wednesday to edge the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-3.

Algerian international Saphir Taider made things interesting, converting his second penalty on the night in the 95th minute after video review confirmed a Laurent Ciman handball.

Richie Laryea also scored for Toronto. Honduran international Romell Quioto had the other Montreal goal.

Akinola, who had one goal in 12 games spread over the two previous seasons, has made the most of the chance to fill in for Jozy Altidore so far at the tournament. The 20-year-old joins Tosaint Ricketts as the only TFC players to score two or more goals in consecutive MLS matches. Ricketts, now with the Whitecaps, did it in September 2017.

Pozuelo, meanwhile, has set up five of the six Toronto goals at the tournament.

Laryea opened the scoring in the eighth minute, taking a fine pass from Pozuelo down the left flank before eluding Shamit Shome to fire a low right-footed shot past Clement Diop.

Quioto replied in the 14th minute after Argentine midfielder Emanuel Maciel, in his first Impact start, sliced open the Toronto defence with a long ball. Quioto outpaced the chasing Omar Gonzalez and slid the ball past Quentin Westberg.

Akinola restored the TFC lead in the 25th minute, capping off a slick nine-pass sequence that started back in the Toronto end when Gonzalez headed away a Montreal cross to Laryea, who had to fight his way out of the corner.

WATCH | Akinola’s magic helps TFC upend Impact:

Toronto FC homegrown player Ayo Akinola of Brampton, Ont., scored a hat trick as Toronto FC beat the Montreal Impact 4-3. Akinola has now scored five goals in two games. 1:56

Michael Bradley eventually found Auro on the right flank and the Brazilian combined with Pablo Piatti and Pozuelo, who slid in a perfectly weighted low cross for Akinola to knock in.

Montreal was awarded a penalty when a sliding Chris Mavinga brought down Quioto. Taider converted the spot kick in the 37th minute.

Swift start

Toronto scored less than a minute later from the ensuing kickoff, with Akinola taking another perfect Pozuelo pass and outmuscling a defender before beating Diop.

Akinola scored his third in the 83rd minute, bundling aside a defender after taking a Nick DeLeon flick-on from a Westberg goal kick before chipping Diop.

Toronto took a more defensive approach as the second half wore on, with Toronto looking to absorb the pressure. Unlike the opening game, the defence stood tall with Westberg leading the way.

Both teams were coming off disappointing opening matches. The Impact managed just two shots on target in a 1-0 loss to New England while Toronto gave up a pair of late goals, including a stoppage-time equalizer, in a 2-2 tie with 10-man D.C. United.

Montreal had six days preparation for Thursday’s match while Toronto, whose opener was pushed back because of the team’s late arrival in Florida, had two.

Toronto made one change to its starting 11 with Laryea in at left fullback for Justin Morrow, who exited at halftime of the D.C. United game because of Achilles tendinitis. Altidore, who is working his way back to fitness, and midfielder Jonathan Osorio, who has a quad strain, did not dress for the second game in a row.

Changes for Impact

Thierry Henry made four changes, taking out Maciel, Quioto, Shome and Jorge Corrales for Rudy Camacho, Rod Fanni, Orji Okwonkwo and Spain’s Bojan.

Kenyan international Victor Wanyama dropped into the backline from the midfield.

Camacho returned to Montreal to be with his wife who is about to give birth.

Toronto had a couple of early chances with Pozuelo’s shot deflecting off a defender after a nifty backheel from Piatti in the fifth minute. Bradley fired wide off the ensuing corner. Impact defender Luis Binks’ header hit the post off a corner just before halftime.

Henry brought on Fanni at halftime in a bid to steady the defence.

Both teams wrap up group play Tuesday, with Toronto facing New England and Montreal meeting D.C. United.

The three group games count in the regular-season standings, leaving Toronto at 2-0-2 and Montreal at 1-2-1.

Toronto is now unbeaten in its last 13 regular-season outings (5-0-8). Its last regular-season loss was Aug. 3, 2019 — a 2-0 defeat at the New York Red Bulls.

In other tournament news, MLS reported Thursday there had been no positive COVID-19 tests from the 1,124 people tested Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Impact, Toronto FC aim to bounce back in 401 Derby after disappointing 1st matches

The Montreal Impact and Toronto FC both disappointed in their opening matches at the MLS is Back Tournament.

Now they look to bounce back at the expense of the other Thursday night at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in the Orlando area.

Both teams have room for improvement.

Montreal looked disjointed in a 1-0 loss to New England last Thursday, leaving coach Thierry Henry to lament’s his team’s lack of desire on the night.

Toronto conceded two late goals in a disappointing 2-2 tie with 10-man D.C. United on Monday morning, with coach Greg Vanney ruing the late collapse from his veteran team after a commanding opening 80 minutes.

WATCH | TFC squanders strong effort in late collapse to D.C. United:

Despite playing down a man in the second half, D.C. United’s Federico Higuain scored in the 84th minute and Frederic Brillant scored in stoppage time, as D.C. salvaged a 2-2 draw with Toronto FC. 2:31

With the top two teams from each of the six groups and the four best third-place finishers advancing to the knockout round of 16, both Toronto and Montreal need points.

New England, which leads Group C with three points, takes on D.C. United on Friday.

Asked where his team stands given each club in the group has played one game, Henry was brutally honest.

“Well right now, at the bottom of the group. That’s where we stand,” he told a virtual news conference Tuesday. “So we’re going to try to make sure we don’t stay there too long.”

Given the fierce rivalry between the two clubs, Henry suggested playing at a neutral site won’t dial down the occasion.

“At the end of the day it is a rivalry, whether you play it in your garden or Stade Saputo or another stadium,” he said. “That’s the one you don’t want to lose. So for me, I don’t even have to motivate the players because they already know what time it is. And I’m sure it’s the same for Toronto.”

WATCH | Impact look disjointed in loss to Revolution:

Revolution designated player Gustavo Bou scored the lone goal as New England beat the Montreal Impact 1-0 in both teams’ first game of the MLS is Back tournament. 1:17

A somewhat prickly Henry also took pains to remind reporters that his criticism of the Impact’s desire was related solely to the New England game and that he was not having a go at his players.

“I said at the end of the game that we have always been fighting. We didn’t have that on the day … it can happen. I hope it won’t happen again. But I have been in teams, for example, where we had that some games, we were missing that. I was just stating a fact — on the day.”

The Impact will have had six days to prepare. Toronto just two.

The game was originally slated for Wednesday but was pushed back a day when Toronto’s match with D.C. United was delayed 24 hours due to COVID-19 test issues.

One plus for Toronto is Thursday’s game is an 8 p.m. ET kickoff. Its last group game against New England marks a second unwelcome 9 a.m. start.

Results from the three group games count in the regular-season standings. Toronto comes into the contest at 1-0-2 while Montreal is 1-1-1.

On Monday, Vanney suggested Jozy Altidore may be available off the bench Thursday. The star striker was behind in his training after spending much of the lockdown at his Florida home, which necessitated a self-quarantine when he returned to Toronto.

Canadian midfielder Jonathan Osorio, dealing with a quad issue, may have to wait another game to see action.

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Impact blanked by Revolution in rusty beginning to MLS tournament

Argentine forward Gustavo Bou scored early in the second half Thursday to give the New England Revolution a 1-0 win over the Montreal Impact in their opening game at the MLS is Back Tournament.

Both teams looked rusty, hardly surprising given the league’s four-month hiatus caused by COVID-19. New England had the better of a scoreless first half that saw the Impact fail to test goalkeeper Matt Turner.

Montreal rallied to open the second half and the Revolution needed a fine save from Turner to deny Max Urruti in the 50th minute after Samuel Piette put him in alone for Montreal’s first shot on target.

But the Impact surge didn’t last.

The stalemate ended in the 56th minute when Bou rounded 38-year-old defender Rod Fanni at the edge of the box and hammered a left-footed shot high over an outstretched Clement Diop.

New England had chances to extend the lead but couldn’t finish them.

Montreal pressed in the dying minutes but New England, with bodies behind the ball, held firm. Turner had to make a one-handed save in the 96th minute off substitute Ballou Tabla to preserve the win.

The Impact became the first Canadian pro team to resume play in the pandemic, with Toronto FC set to return to action Sunday against D.C. United and the Vancouver Whitecaps kicking off their tournament next Wednesday against San Jose.

Thursday night marked Montreal’s first outing since March 10 when it lost 2-1 to CD Olimpia in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-finals at Olympic Stadium.

The teams and officials took to the field on a hot night at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports wearing face masks, discarding them before kickoff. Players and officials took a knee before kickoff with Impact coach Thierry Henry doing the same on the sideline.

Henry knelt for the first eight minutes 46 seconds of the game, marking the time a Minneapolis police officer had his knee on George Floyd’s neck.

WATCH | Henry kneels for start of game:

Montreal coach Thierry Henry took a knee at the start of the Impact’s opening match in the MLS is Back tournament, in honour of George Floyd, a Black man, who died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes. 1:58

Back in Foxborough, Mass., Gillette Stadium hosted a drive-in viewing party for Revolution fans.

Thursday’s Group C game, played without spectators, came hours after Nashville SC became the second team forced to withdraw from the World Cup-style tournament due to COVID-19 positive tests.

Montreal faces Toronto next Wednesday in the latest chapter of a fierce rivalry. The group games at the tournament count in the regular-season standings with Thursday’s result leaving both Montreal and New England at 1-1-1.

Henry recorded his first-ever MLS victory when the Impact met the Revolution on Feb. 29 — just two days short of 19 weeks ago — in their season opener. Montreal rallied from a goal down to win 2-1 thanks to strikes by Romell Quioto (37th minute) and Urruti (80th).

On Thursday, Henry suffered his first league loss.

WATCH | Bou’s marker sends Revolution past Impact:

Revolution designated player Gustavo Bou scored the lone goal as New England beat the Montreal Impact 1-0 in both teams’ first game of the MLS is Back tournament. 1:17

The hiatus allowed both clubs captains to return from injury

Montreal’s veteran Finnish defender Jukka Raitala was back from a fractured right fibula sustained in CONCACAF Champions League play ahead prior to the season opener. Defender Rudy Camacho also returned from a knee injury.

New England playmaker Carles Gil was back after missing the first two games of the season with a foot injury. The Spaniard was named MLS Newcomer of the Year in 2019 when he led his team with goals (10) and assists (14).

Victor Wanyama, signed nine days before the league shut down in March, made his MLS debut for Montreal. The former Spurs, Southampton and Celtic midfielder showed his physicality in the fifth minute, bowling Gil over from behind.

Piette, normally a central midfielder, started at right wingback for Montreal.

Neither goalkeeper was called into action until the 19th minute when Diop was forced to make a diving save to get a hand on a Gil shot through traffic. The Revolution kept up the pressure, penning the Impact in its own end.

WATCH | Turner preserves Revolution lead with diving stop:

Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner stopped Ballou Tabla’s drive on the second-last play of the match, to preserve New England’s 1-0 win over Montreal in both teams’ first game of the MLS is Back tournament. 1:36

Ecuador forward Cristian Penilla came close in the 34th minute, driving past two Montreal defenders before sending his shot just wide. Minutes later, the Impact defence was breached again but Gil could not get a shot off.

Diop almost gave a goal away when he came well out of his box in the 40th minute in search of the ball, only to have a New England attacker get there first. The ensuing goalbound shot from Bou was headed away by Impact defender Luis Binks, saving Diop’s blushes.

Bou shot wide after a fine pass from distance by Scott Caldwell split the Montreal defence in first-half stoppage time.

Montreal brought on Zachary Brault-Guillard for Nigerian Orji Okwonkwo to start the second half. Bojan, Montreal’s Spanish star midfielder, had a quiet first half and was replaced in the 57th minute.

New England came close to doubling its lead in the 63rd but a sliding Adam Buksa could not get a boot to Penilla’s low cross. Bou failed to find Buksa at the far post in the 83rd minute.

Canadian Tajon Buchanan and Teal Bunbury, a Canadian-born U.S. international, came on late for New England.

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Impact, Whitecaps to begin MLS tournament campaign July 9, one day ahead of TFC

The Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps will be the first Canadian teams out of the blocks at the MLS is Back Tournament in Florida.

And the good news for both is they each avoid the unwelcome 9 a.m. ET start in their three group games at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in the Orlando area. Toronto FC will have one early-morning start, which coach Greg Vanney has said will require a 5:30 a.m. pre-game meal and meeting.

Games are scheduled for 9 a.m., 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. in a bid to escape the Florida heat.

The World Cup-style 54-match tournament opens July 8 with Orlando City SC facing state rival Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC taking on Chicago Fire FC.

The Impact and Whitecaps play the next day with Montreal facing New England (Group C) and Vancouver taking on FC Dallas (Group B) at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. ET, respectively.

Toronto (also in Group C) begins play July 10 against D.C. United in an 8 p.m. start.

Montreal and Toronto face off July 15 in an 8 p.m. game with the Whitecaps playing San Jose in a 10:30 p.m. nightcap.

WATCH | Details of MLS’ resumption plan:

All 26 teams will take part in a tournament to be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in the Orlando area beginning July 8. 1:37

Vancouver wraps up its group play on July 20 against the defending MLS champion Seattle Sounders in a 10:30 p.m. start. Toronto has an early 9 a.m. game July 21 against the New England Revolution.

The three group games count in the MLS regular-season standings. Clubs have to arrive in Florida no later than one week before their first match, with the Canadian teams saying they will train in their home markets for as long as possible in advance.

The San Jose Earthquakes, who had yet to start full team training at home, left Wednesday for Florida, the first team to arrive.

Whitecaps coach Marc Dos Santos said his team plans to arrive July 1.

Florida’s COVID rate reaches new high

On Wednesday, Florida’s Department of Health confirmed 5,508 additional cases of COVID-19, setting another daily record high since the start of the pandemic. South Florida, rather than central Florida where the MLS tournament is taking place, remains the hot spot.

“The numbers are real and you’re not lying. It’s not a rumour. It’s out there and it’s real,” Dos Santos said Wednesday when asked about the Florida figures. “Right now it looks like everything’s going forward.”

As for the Florida heat in July, Dos Santos said it will be hot whatever the kickoff time. But he said the 10:30 p.m. ET kickoffs would be welcome for the fans back home who will be watching in prime time.

In addition to the heat, Dos Santos said players will have to deal with thunderstorms. The tournament will be all about adapting and mind set, he added.

“What we are going to have to do very well, though, is prepare the players to live a different type of life, when it comes to sleeping until later, having a later breakfast, a later lunch, a later pre-game meal Their life changes when you play at 10:30 (p.m.). Most of our training sessions are also going to be at night, so that’s going to be a kind of change for all of us.”

Tournament format

The 26 teams are a split into six groups — five with four teams and one with six teams — with the league announcing a tweak to the qualification process for the knockout rounds.

The top three finishers in the six-team Group A will advance to the knockout rounds. They will be joined by the top two teams from the other groups plus the next three highest-ranked teams in the group stage based on points total.

The fourth-placed team in Group A will be eligible to advance.

Previously, the rules stated that the top two in each of the six groups plus the four-best third-place finishers advance to the knockout round of 16, which starts July 25 and runs through the Aug. 11 final.

The tournament, which will be played before empty stands, marks a resumption to the league’s 25th season, which was halted March 12 after two rounds due to the pandemic.

The hope is the league, once the Florida tournament is completed, can continue the regular season with a revised schedule in home markets.

In addition to the regular-season points in the group stage, the teams are competing for $ 1.1 million US in prize money and a CONCACAF Champions League berth.

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