MONTREAL – It’s an opportunity for redemption for the Impact this Saturday.
It’s not the easiest opportunity against MLS Cup champions Sporting Kansas City at Stade Saputo, but Montreal still have a chance not only to put their 2-1 midweek loss against FC Edmonton in the Amway Canadian Championship behind them with the second leg coming this Wednesday, but also to right arguably the Impact’s harshest wrong in MLS this season: the 4-0 drubbing at Sporting KC on April 19.
“The 4-0 we suffered there is still in our heads, and I think – and we all think – that it wasn’t a game we deserved to lose 4-0,” defender Wandrille Lefèvre told reporters after training on Friday afternoon. “There were circumstances in that game, set plays, messes in the box, and we paid for that, but I don't think it necessarily reflects how the game went down.”
Lefèvre has a point. Montreal held their own for a half-hour, coming close to scoring. But the end result – one of their four defeats and a significant contribution to their current minus-7 goal differential – remains, and the Impact’s torturers on the night are expected to be at Stade Saputo.
Aurélien Collin, whose dummy set up Dom Dwyer’s first goal, has served his suspension, and after calling Dwyer a “pain in the ass” for Montreal’s defenders last time around, Peter Vermes will surely be tempted to include him this Saturday again.
“A guy like Dwyer, he’s just like a bulldog in there,” defender Jeb Brovsky said. “You’ve got to want it more than he does, and that’s how you stop players like that. You have to have some grit in the box against guys like that. Maybe it wasn’t there that night, but I think, come Saturday, the guys know that’s going to be needed.”
While Montreal are expected to field a number of pieces that were missing in midweek, a few issues linger. Forward Marco Di Vaio and center back Matteo Ferrari will undergo tests on Saturday to determine if they're fit, while defender Eric Miller is “still not there” yet, said head coach Frank Klopas, who also has to deal with Hassoun Camara’s suspension for yellow-card accumulation.
“But we talked on relying on everyone on the team, and I think the guys are ready,” Klopas said. “If those guys, for some reason, are not able to go, I know the XI we put on the field are going to leave everything tomorrow to get a good result for the team.”