SANDY, Utah – The Montreal Impact will make its biennial trip to Utah, this Saturday at 10pm EDT (TVA Sports), to face Salt Lake City.
“We can refer to the game we played in Portland, which was also against a team that is difficult to maneuver at home and that was on a good streak,” compared Impact head coach Rémi Garde. “We approached that game well, whether psychologically or in our game plan. The approach was the right one and we caused them a lot of problems. We can refer to that game, or even do the same thing. We need to put in the same ingredients and reapply them.”
Three new players to close out the season
The Bleu-blanc-noir will play its first game since the closing of the MLS transfer window on Thursday at 1am. The club welcomed three new players to its squad Wednesday: right-back Bacary Sagna, unavailable for the game against RSL, midfielder Micheal Azira and striker Quincy Amarikwa, who both joined the team in Utah and will be available for head coach Rémi Garde.
These reinforcements come at a good time for Montreal, who only has 10 games left to play in MLS regular season.
Currently in fifth in the Eastern Conference standings, the Impact can certainly aspire to qualifying for the MLS Cup playoffs; points on the road will however be crucial to achieving this objective before the end of the season.
“We always try to play the same way, whether at home or away,” said midfielder Samuel Piette, who can break an Impact record for most consecutive starts in the same season if he’s on the starting 11 this Saturday. “Obviously it’s always a little harder, especially because we have less possession, but defensively we have the same block. We had the same block last Saturday, but it was a little too low. We want to be more active with the ball defensively. I think we can bring back something positive from Salt Lake.”
“We worked a lot on tactics this week,” said defender Rudy Camacho. “We should be able to go back to our base that allowed us to win games. Even if it’s a long trip, we’re going to Salt Lake to win. There are 10 games left and we’re in the race. We’ll do everything possible to win this game, even if it’s away and against a good team.”
Club records within reach
Nacho Piatti and Alejandro Silva are still very close to equalling the Impact record in MLS for most assists, which is 10, and held by a few players: the Argentine boasts nine assists in 2018, while the Uruguayan has one less.
Real Salt Lake on a positive stretch
Mike Petke’s troops are in the middle of an excellent stretch of games at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL is unbeaten in its last 11 games in Utah and has lost just one MLS game at home this year. Their attack is balanced, with five players having scored five goals or more, and three others with at least six assists in 2018. Nick Rimando, on his end, is still between the post with Real Salt Lake; at 39 years old, he has six clean sheets since the start of the campaign.
The Impact will face two direct rivals in the race to an MLS Cup playoff spot in its next two games. First off, the Chicago Fire and Bastian Schweinsteiger will be in town to take on the Bleu-blanc-noir at Stade Saputo on Saturday, August 18 as part of the Pride game, at 7:30pm (TICKETS – TVA Sports, 98,5fm). Then, the second game of the season against our biggest rival, Toronto FC, will take place on Saturday, August 25 at 8pm, at BMO Field (TVA Sports, TSN, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690).