MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact hosts Real Salt Lake this Saturday at 4pm EDT, at Stade Saputo (ticketmaster.ca / TSN, RDS, TSN Radio 690), as it takes on another quality side from the Western Conference in regular season action.
“They have a lot of experienced players with forwards like [Alvaro] Saborio, who is always dangerous, and [Kyle] Beckerman in the middle, who is a quality player where everything goes through him,” said Impact head coach Frank Klopas, who will be serving a one game suspension Saturday. “It’s a quality team who likes to play and move the ball.”
And now that the focus for IMFC has completely shifted to MLS, the team feels it’s time to get some points at home, no matter who the opponent is.
“We aren’t pushing the panic button, but we want to win that game,” said Dominic Oduro, who is one goal away from 50 in his MLS career. “Last game [vs Portland] I thought we played well, but we couldn’t finish our chances. We are a good team, we know that and we’ve seen that.”
The key, according to the Bleu-blanc-noir, will lie in the middle of the pitch.
“Their midfield is very important for them, so we have to make sure we control that area,” added the Ghanaian striker, who has scored a goal in two consecutive games played. “We’ll get scoring chances, so if we manage the middle, we’ll be ok. We just have to finish our chances.”
Standing in their way will be goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who earned his 100th win in a Claret and Cobalt uniform last weekend - a 2-1 victory over the Fire in Chicago - and has backstopped his side to seven straight playoff appearances.
Saturday marks just the fourth all-time meeting between the two clubs. The last time RSL was in Montreal, the Impact won by a 3-2 score in May, 2013. RSL has won both of Montreal’s visits to Utah, a 1-0 victory in 2012 and a 3-1 win last season.
“Real Salt Lake has a good team, a team that moves the ball really well,” added Maxim Tissot. “It’ll be key for us to maintain possession and circulate the ball, but most importantly, we need to win at home and earn our first victory of the season.”
The Impact will then play its next game on Saturday, May 23, at 8pm, against FC Dallas at Stade Saputo (Tickets: ticketmaster.ca).