Andrés Romero vs Toronto FC
François Mellet /

Montreal Impact's depth on the flanks helps them weather injuries

MONTREAL – In 2012, coping with injuries to wide players was a delicate matter for the Impact. In 2013, there seems to be a silver lining to every injury.

Therefore, while lower-body knocks will likely rule out Justin Mapp and Sanna Nyassi from this Saturday’s game against the Colorado Rapids at Stade Saputo, Andrés Romero and Andrea Pisanu provide peace of mind to the Montreal staff after they themselves fought off injuries in the past weeks.

Depth on the flanks was an issue in 2012. Montreal addressed it in the offseason as they brought in the likes of Romero, Pisanu and Blake Smith. Fitness struggles have given everyone a chance to shine, and for assistant coach Mauro Biello, disappointments have been minimal.

“You see wide players that don’t play but then do their job when we call upon them,” Biello told reporters. “When you look at the depth we have there with Justin, Sanna, Romero and even Blake, who’s done well when he came on, it gives us lots of options.

“It tells us that they’re professionals who work hard in order to be ready when they get their chance. Andrea was out, he came back and had an excellent game. Romero was out, he also came back and had an excellent game.”

Last Wednesday against Houston, it was Romero who replaced Pisanu for 25 minutes on the Italian’s first start since April 27. Both players have been training as usual and look fit for a start on Saturday.

For the Argentinean forward, teammates hitting the infirmary just as others leave it is a shame indeed. But it also acts as a reminder that, in 2013, the Impact have done a good enough job expanding their options out wide that each one can bring its particular flavor to the group.

“Our variety of options is interesting,” Romero told “Every player brings something different. If we need speed on one side, we can put Sanna there. If we need someone to go for goal, we can ask Pisanu. In truth, we have options for every situation.”