MONTREAL – Alessandro Nesta’s first red card in more than four years will require the Impact to make changes in their back four. So obviously, that’s when an injury invites itself to the party to disrupt matters further.
Left back Dennis Iapichino skipped training on Wednesday morning in Montreal, leaving rookie winger Blake Smith to fill in during defensive drills alongside Matteo Ferrari, Hassoun Camara and Jeb Brovsky.
Iapichino, who has elevated his play in the past few fixtures after a number of more awkward outings earlier this season, felt pain in his lower body according to assistant coach Mauro Biello. With the accumulation of suspensions and injuries, the Montreal coaches are hoping that the Swiss defender can still make the weekend trip at the Columbus Crew.
“We don’t have [injured left back] Maxim Tissot either, so he’s our lone left back at the moment,” Biello told reporters. “We don’t take any chances. He’ll rest a bit more and undergo extra therapy to recuperate.”
Montreal have additional options: they could still move Jeb Brovsky to the left and ask center back Karl W. Ouimette, who played the last two Reserve League games at right back, to step in at center or side back. But should Iapichino be fit for this Saturday, Brovsky is expected to start on the right of a Camara-Ferrari central pairing.
Center back is also where Camara completed the Impact’s 2-1 win at Kansas City following Nesta’s dismissal for headbutting Claudio Bieler. Camara himself admits that his skill set is more suited to a central role, and he would gladly deputize for Nesta.
“It’s the coach’s decision, he has several options,” Camara said on Tuesday. “It’s up to him, and I’m ready to meet his expectations.”
Montreal have conceded eight goals on the way to a 2-2-1 record without Nesta in the starting lineup this season in MLS. They have also yet to lose with him in the XI in 2013.