Montreal Impact U21 team ties York 0-0 in season opener
RDP, Quebec - The Montreal Impact U21 team opened its Canadian Soccer League season on Sunday with a 0-0 draw versus the York Region Shooters, at the Centre Sportif St Jean Vianney, in RDP.
After a few spells of sluggish play over the first 60 minutes, the Impact U21 picked up their game and had most of the possession in in the final 30 minutes, but was unable to score as York’s goalkeeper made a number of key saves throughout the match.
Impact goalkeeper Jason Beaulieu earned the shutout.
“We were a little disappointed with the result, simply because we came here to get the three points,” said Impact U21 head coach Philippe Eullaffroy. “We had fewer options in the final third as we are missing some offensive players. However, this was a good game for us to start the season. York is a good team, one that challenges for the title every year, so we were able to see how we matched up with a top team.
The Impact came close in the 65th minute when first team forward Eduardo Sebrango played the ball back towards the top of the box from the goal line. Midfielder Wandrille Lefevre fired a hard left-footed shot that the goalkeeper stopped with the tips of his fingers, diving to his left.
“We are pleased with the way things went overall, despite wanting to win, as we battled the whole game,” said Lefevre. “We reacted well against a team that plays a physical style. We stayed focused and remained in the game and gave ourselves a chance to win.”
Sebrango was forced into action following a rash of injuries to offensive players, including Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Kevin Luarca and Mircea Ilcu.
“Having Eduardo here is a bonus for our guys,” added Eullaffroy. “They get to share the same field with a pro, which gives them some confidence and he is a true life example of what it takes to make it to the next level. It’s also a good chance for him to get more playing time. He’ll show up to the first team’s next practice a little sharper. It’s a win for both of us.”
Former TFC Academy forward Stefan Vukovic, who had been on trial with the Impact U21, signed a three-month contract with the club. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Vukovic led the Canadian Soccer League in scoring last year with 18 goals.
“We liked what we saw from Stefan,” said Eullaffroy. “This contract is a nice balance for both sides, to see how he fits in here and to see if he likes it here as well. After the three months, we will revisit things then.”
The U21s will be back in action on Sunday, May 20, at the Centre Sportif St Jean De Vianney, at 2pm, versus the St. Catharines Roma Wolves. The game is open to the public and admission is free.
MTL – GK- Jason Beaulieu; D – Karl W. Ouimette, Amine Meftouh (Francesco Augustin 65’), Kai Morton, Hugo Lapointe-Senecal; M – Wandrille Lefevre, Maxim Tissot, Dominique Morin, Victor Ndiaye; F– Eduardo Sebrango; Messoudi Zakaria (Stefan Vukovic 58’)
MTL – Messoudi 43’
MTL - Ndiaye 45’
MTL - Lefevre 66’