Montreal Impact still has not stomached its elimination in last fall’s MLS Cup Playoffs against Columbus Crew SC.
Five months almost to the day after the fateful game that ended Montreal’s hopes to reach the MLS Eastern Conference finals – in extra time, to put salt in the wound –, the Impact now gets a chance at revenge against Columbus Crew SC, this Saturday, April 9, at 4pm at Olympic Stadium (TVA Sports, 98,5fm & TSN Radio 690).
Goalkeeper Evan Bush is still feeling the effects of the club’s early exit from the end of season tournament.
“We obviously didn’t want to get knocked out in the playoffs, and we felt, in many ways, that we were the team that should have advanced in that series, but it wasn’t meant to be,” Bush recalled. “You can’t right all those wrongs in a regular season game in the fifth week of the season, but it’s a good stepping stone to try and wash that clean a little bit.”
“I think we have a chip on our shoulder because we lost the last two,” he continued. “Columbus is another team that’s coming hungry and dangerous. They haven’t won a game. They’re another team that’s going to be in a little bit of a desperate time, and it’s a very good team again. We have to be ready for them. We’re just excited that we don’t have to fly all the way across the country again.”
Captain Patrice Bernier is glad to come back in Montreal after travelling over 14,000 km these past couple of weeks.
“We are back home. We feel good here. We are determined. There’s nothing better than playing in front of our home crowd to get back to winning ways. We want to end this losing streak and continue our good home form.”
Head coach Mauro Biello is aware of what is at stake in this game not only for the club, but also for the fans.
“Everyone remembers we lost against them in the playoffs and we want to bounce back from our latest defeats. We know we face a good team on Saturday. We have to be ready. The level of intensity has to rise. It’s the message this week.”
And he who laughs last, laughs best.