MONTREAL – The Impact’s newest Designated Player, Ignacio Piatti, has only ever played against Marco Di Vaio, back in 2010-11 when both were in Serie A. He’s thus eager to play with him.
He may get his wish this Saturday against the Chicago Fire at Stade Saputo: while Piatti is set to make his Impact debut, Di Vaio has fought off the ankle injury that kept him off the field in Philadelphia last weekend.
Di Vaio's four goals and two assists this year are nothing like his 2013 MVP candidate numbers – he’s only managed to start 11 of Montreal’s 22 games. But this Saturday would be great timing to pick up some steam: there’s CONCACAF Champions League action coming on Wednesday in El Salvador against FAS, who Montreal beat 1-0 at home.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, Di Vaio said Montreal would travel to El Salvador with a full roster – minus the suspended Hassoun Camara. With CCL understandably a top priority for last-placed Montreal, they want something to build on ahead of Wednesday.
“We want to prepare Wednesday’s game well,” Di Vaio said. “We’ll also try to win in front of our fans, as always at home. “We also know that Wednesday’s very important. If we get there with a win, maybe we’ll do well on Wednesday.”
Chicago, who’ve already picked up a tie in Montreal this season, will be a tricky proposition for their hosts. Frank Yallop’s men will look to move on from the “shocking” 6-0 beating Seattle Sounders gave them in the US Open Cup this midweek.
“You never know how it turns out,” said Hassoun Camara, who otherwise praised Chicago’s work ethic. “Either it’s demoralizing to them, or it’ll galvanize them instead. The only thing we can do is focus on ourselves and having a team that’ll be ready to fight until the end to pick up points here. But they’ll have to walk all over us, because we’ll be in that exact state of mind. We’ll absolutely want to win this game.”
After all, after seven straight MLS losses, Montreal are looking forward to getting their heads out of the water.
“You look at the last six or seven games, and you take Toronto out of the equation where I felt that it wasn't a strong game for us, and all the other games were games that we should have walked away from with points,” head coach Frank Klopas said. “It’s just about getting back on track any way we have to go about it and get a result that can change a little bit of what we're feeling right now.”