Avant-match MTL-ROC

FC Montreal faces the Rochester Rhinos Saturday

ROCHESTER, New York – FC Montreal will face an old club rival this Saturday as they play against the Rhinos in Rochester, at 5:05pm (EDT) at Sahlen’s Stadium.

The Bleu-blanc-noir has had a rough start, staying winless in 2016 with a 0-3-0 record. The last team’s loss was away, last Sunday, against Wilmington Hammerheads FC.

“These are not the results we expected,” said forward Charles Joly. “But we learn from our mistakes. We need a bit more flow, and the last pass needs to be timed better. It will be a game where we’ll have to fight for every ball and be at 100%.”

The challenge will be massive. The Rhinos, in addition to being reigning champions, are known not to give many goals. In 2015, the team only allowed 15 goals in 28 games, the best defence by far across the league. After three games, Rochester have only conceded one goal, with a 1-1-1 record. But the team has only scored one goal, coming from Christian Volesky.

“Rochester had the best defence in the league last year by far,” said head coach Philippe Eullaffroy. “It’s their strength. We know it will be a game where they’ll give us very few chances. We’ll have at least one, and we’ll have to score on it. It will be important to be good in the duels as well since this is a big team. It’s a good challenge because they are the defending champions, and it will be their home opener. On our side, there’s no way we can have the same start as we did in Wilmington.”

FC Montreal will count on the return of winger Alessandro Riggi, who ended last season as the team’s top scorer with nine goals, after healing from an injury suffered in the preseason camp. Riggi might get his first minutes of the season on Saturday.

“We focus on the positive and build on this,” said Alessandro Riggi. “With Rochester, we know what to expect, we faced them four times last year and they are the champions. The chemistry is here and last years’ experience as well.”

The team has scored only one goal thus far in 2016. Winger Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla scored his first USL goal against TFC II on an assist from Charles Joly.

Once again, first team players might join the group on the trip to get some playing time in this rivalry game.

The game will also be available via live streaming at www.montrealimpact.com.