MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact couldn’t have dreamt of a more appealing opportunity to bounce back.
It is archrivals Toronto FC that Marco Schällibaum’s men are facing this Wednesday, four days after suffering a last-ditch 4-3 defeat against the Colorado Rapids. While avoiding a second straight defeat for the first time this season is reason enough for Montreal wanting to respond, TFC provides them with an added incentive: the Impact have never won at BMO Field.
They have lifted a trophy on the banks of Lake Ontario all right (the Voyageurs Cup in 2008), but they have only racked up a 0-4-2 record in all competitions there at TFC’s ground since it was opened.
“We’re lucky that it is a rivalry game,” defender Jeb Brovsky said when asked about this fixture after Saturday’s game. “If we’re not chomping at the bit now, it's never going to happen. It’s a sign of a good team to bounce back from a loss like this, and I hope we can come back and be even stronger.”
It could be argued that Montreal have never been in a better position to notch a first-ever win at their rivals’ home. Despite the loss this weekend, Montreal are still in first place in the East, one point ahead of New York Red Bulls with three games in hand and a points per game average just short of two.
Moreover, Gold Cup call-ups will deprive TFC of four players and a coach while the Impact suffer no such fate. Nonetheless, for midfielder Patrice Bernier – whom the Canadian Soccer Association last called upon in October 2012 –, TFC remains a challenge every single time.
“They’re a team from our conference against whom we must take the points away from home,” Bernier said on Saturday. “They’re always intense games, and we have to expect more of the same. The points will be essential to maintain our position.”