GUADALAJARA, Mexico – A day after playing to a scoreless draw with Chivas Guadalajara in its first game of the preseason, the Impact was back on the pitch Monday preparing for its next opponent training camp opponent, Estudiantes Tecos, scheduled for Tuesday at 11am ET.
The Montreal Impact will once again line up against a first division team from Mexico, Tecos, which in its latest regular season game, tied fellow top-tier side América last Saturday.
On Tuesday, the team will be divided in two groups that will each play a 40-minute half, to gradually give more playing time to the players.
“After playing 30 minutes each on Sunday, the players will see 10 more minutes of action in order to gradually get back physically into game shape,” said Impact assistant coach Mike Sorber. “The Mexican teams have already played three season games, so they are ahead of us in terms of conditioning. These games are good challenges for our preparation at this early point in the season. We are starting to implement our ideas, in order to get everyone on the same page.”
“We are a little tired now mentally, but that’s a normal part of the process to regain our form,” noted forward Brian Ching. “We are anxious to play these next few games because they are the best way to prepare for the season. It has been good for us to get that repetition in our legs on the pitch.”
During this trip, the Impact takes advantage of the altitude of Guadalajara, located 1,600 metres above sea level (5,200 feet).
“Our lungs are really working as a result of the altitude, so that is a plus,” said midfielder Patrice Bernier. “All of the guys are at different levels in terms of conditioning, but we are slowly finding our rhythm and feel for the game. We see more and more connection between the players on the field. It is important that we continue to be solid defensively, as we did against Chivas, and the offense will follow.”
Estudiantes Tecos won the first division title in 1994 and finished as the runner-up in 2005.
The Impact will go on to meet University side ITESO on Wednesday, followed by its final game in Mexico against top flight club Atlas on Thursday.