HOUSTON, Texas – The Montreal Impact will take on the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium this Saturday at 8:30pm EDT (TVA Sports, CJAD 800) facing a similar challenge to the one it tackled in the season opener at D.C. United: an MLS road game following a hugely emotional Champions League contest.
“We are absolutely pleased with being able to advance in the Champions League, but we have to re-focus quickly,” explained Patrice Bernier. “We have to make sure that we get points early on in MLS. The league is where we play primarily, we are not always in Champions League, so we have to makes sure we get some points.”
The Impact is coming off of a thrilling game in Costa Rica, qualifying for the Champions League finals under difficult conditions Tuesday night, and must get back to work following a short turnaround to Houston.
“As a professional player, you have to be able to find a way to re-ground yourself after an emotional moment like Tuesday’s game,” said defender Laurent Ciman. “We have to make sure we are well-organized against Houston and implement our playing philosophy.”
With an all-time record of 4-4-1, IMFC has scored 17 goals over the nine matchups against the Dynamo, allowing just 11 goals against in regular season play.
“Houston is a very tough place to play,” added Dominic Oduro. “It’s tough to play with the humidity and they love playing at home because their field is small. Our emotions are high and hopefully we can go out there and play hard.”
New-look Houston Dynamo
The revamped Houston Dynamo is currently in 9th spot in the Western Conference with a 1-2-2 record, good for five points, but falling in its last game 1-0 to the Seattle Sounders FC.
Former IMFC technical director Matt Jordan is now in Houston, while former EPL manager with Bolton, Owen Coyle, has taken over the coaching reins after Dominic Kinnear’s move to San Jose.
Goalkeeper Tyler Deric has performed more than admirably, earning a Save of the Week nomination in all five weeks of play in MLS and three shutouts in the three results earned by the Dynamo this season.
Spanish centre back Raul Rodriguez and striker Erick “Cubo” Torres will have to wait to make their first appearances versus the Impact as the former La Liga man with Espanyol left the game versus Seattle last weekend after getting an elbow to the head and is expected to be out, while Torres is still out on loan with Chivas Guadalajara after concluding his season with the now defunct Chivas USA.
IMFC will then play the Stade Saputo home opener on April 18 against the Chicago Fire at 3pm EDT. The club is offering a 15% discount when tickets are purchased for both the Fire matchup and the huge Champions League final with Club América on April 29 at Olympic Stadium.