The Impact’s 1-0 win in Washington against D.C. United, this past Saturday, translated into pride and optimism. The good energy in the locker room was at the heart of the players’ answers as they met with the media after the game.
But beyond the win, beyond the fact that this was the first away success this season, one aspect was especially satisfying to the Bleu-blanc-noir: this was the first clean sheet this season.
“For me, the clean sheet is everything,” said defender Chris Duvall. “We came into halftime with a one-goal lead and we knew that if defended we would get the win. That’s all it comes down to. If you fight and you grit and you can defend, you know that you can come out with a win.
“I think the guys did a great job not giving up too many great opportunities in the second half,” Duvall continued. “They had some half-chances, but no really good opportunities. We did well.”
Continuity must have helped. This was only the second time this season that no injury or suspension prevented the back four from the previous week to play the following game.
The only adjustment was centre backs Laurent Ciman and Kyle Fisher switching sides – to great effect.
“For me, it’s the same whether I play on the right or on the left,” said Ciman. “Only little things change when I’m turning my back to the play or when I have to make an interception. It’s easier on that side, as I’m already on my right foot. Then, I only have to make two or three little adjustments, but the more I play with the other centre back, the better I’ll feel. We were solid defensively today. We all worked very hard. I’m proud of my team.”