Bleu-blanc-noir now occupying sixth and last playoff spot
The start of this week may have been a little easier for the Impact faithful. After all, the team has now won four straight games, and five of its last six. Defensively, it’s the team of the hour in MLS, having allowed just a goal in its last four wins, while offensively, contributions are starting to come from far and wide. But most importantly, with another three points this weekend, the Bleu-blanc-noir now occupies the sixth and last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
You know how it goes: when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
“When we were at our lowest, I don’t think we deserved that,” said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. “I’ve said it before, the wind was going against us and we received a face full of it. Instead of it exposing us, it solidified us, to have gone through such difficult moments together. Today, I think it helps us regarding what we’re achieving.”
The team’s climb in the standings has been impressive. With four consecutive wins, the Impact has doubled its point total achieved since the beginning of the year. If many people didn’t believe that the Bleu-blanc-noir would be in this situation just a month ago, the players that make up the team certainly did.
“I believe in this team every day,” said defender Jukka Raitala. “We are now in a very good moment, but we can’t just be happy and stop working. We have a big game on Wednesday, and then another this weekend. This month is very important, and I hope we can keep taking points like we have lately.”
With Nacho Piatti doing a lot of the team’s scoring this year, other players had to step in and take some weight off the Argentine’s shoulders in the last few games, an important factor in explaining the team’s elevated play as of late.
“It’s exciting to have more guys involved offensively,” said defender Chris Duvall. “For a minute there, it looked like if Nacho didn’t score, we wouldn’t be sure where goals would come from. Now, I think we look very dynamic. There are a lot of guys that are contributing. I think the more people we could get involved in our attacks, the more dangerous we are. It’s exciting.”
The Impact got both its goals from Designated Player Saphir Taïder in the 2-1 win against Colorado this weekend, both scored just a minute apart in the second half. Although the Algerian isn’t particularly known for his goal-scoring, the Bleu-blanc-noir’s high block allowed the midfielder to get into good scoring positions throughout the game.
“At the end it doesn’t matter who scores, because the important part is that we win,” said midfielder Nacho Piatti, who notched an assist on Taïder’s second goal. “It affects the whole team. It’s great to see that we are sixth in the standings, but we can’t stop now. We have to make the playoffs.”