HOUSTON, Texas – The Montreal Impact will play its second game of the 2019 MLS regular season, this Saturday at 5pm EST, against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium (TVA Sports, 98,5, TSN 690).
“We need to stay very humble and have respect for our opponent,” said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. “Houston is a team that qualified for the Concacaf Champions League, and that means something. These players are used to playing difficult games and having a condensed schedule. We won a game [last Saturday] which I thought we deserved to win, but we didn’t dominate to the point of saying that we’re eager to beat our next opponent. For now, we’re happy to be playing the beautiful game together. If one thing is certain, we’ll give our best in Houston.”
Team spirit, a force
Last Saturday in San Jose, the Impact fought tooth and nail to bring three points back to Montreal, coming back from behind in the first half and holding on after the break, resisting repeated attacks from the hosts. The team’s togetherness and spirit were at the heart of this first victory of the season.
“It makes the week a little easier in terms of preparation and the way we work,” said defender Daniel Lovitz. “Everyone is more motivated and ready to get back at it. It’s also great to get the win after such a long trip. We want to keep the momentum going in the right direction and make sure we’re all on the same page.”
150 games for Piatti
If the midfielder and Designated Player Nacho Piatti plays against Houston, it will mark his 150th game across all competitions for the Bleu-blanc-noir, becoming the 16th player in Impact history to reach the milestone. Goalkeeper Evan Bush and midfielder Samuel Piette, on their end, can continue adding to their number of consecutive starts in MLS; the American has started the last 35 games and sits just five games shy of the club record for ‘keepers, while the Canadian international is at 35 consecutive games started, just seven games from the record set by Patrice Bernier.
Two players on the MLS Team of the Week
Following the win against the San Jose Earthquakes, Saphir Taïder, with a goal and an assist, was named to the MLS Team of the Week as the player with the most points in the Audi Player Index. Defender Zakaria Diallo, with an assist and a solid performance, was also chosen on the Team of the Week.
“Certain mistakes made last year and that fact that we know each other better have fortified and solidified the group,” said midfielder Saphir Taïder. “On the field, on certain details, we’ve made a lot of progress and the group is really solid. It’s always positive to come back from behind and win, but if we can avoid conceding the first goal, it’s even better.
The Impact will be back on the road next weekend, this time in Florida, to take on Orlando City SC at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday, March 16 at 4pm (TVA Sports, 98,5). The Bleu-blanc-noir will then have a week off due to the international break, before facing Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, March 30, at 3pm at Children’s Mercy Park (TVA Sports, TSN, CTV, 98,5, TSN 690).