Three ways to uncrown FC Cincinnati

Impact visits Ohio club for first time in MLS

We’re close to the end of another busy weekend for the Montreal Impact: a third game in eight days will be played Saturday at 1pm (TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5, TSN 690) against expansion club FC Cincinnati, at Nippert Stadium, a place becoming more and more notorious for its intense atmosphere. Montreal therefore visits the third largest city in Ohio for the very first time in MLS. The last time they faced a club from Cincinnati was in 2002, at Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard, against the Cincinnati Riverhawks, in a game that finished 4-1 for the visitors.

Rémi Garde’s men make their way to Evan Bush’s native state riding a two-game win streak on the road, something the club had only accomplished twice since it joined MLS. The team’s next victory on the road will establish a record in the Impact’s MLS history; with already four wins, Montreal has already won as many times on enemy territory as it did in 2013, 2015, and 2016, which are also the three years the club qualified for the MLS Cup playoffs. But since we’re still a long way away from the fall tournament, here are three things to be wary of during the game against FC Cincinnati.

  1. Score in the first half

Maybe we’re being a little difficult here at Impact Media, but we would sure love it if our team scored in the first half, something that hasn’t occurred since the win on March 16 in Orlando. Yes, the Impact has a 4-3-2 record since then, but you must admit that an early goal would take a lot of pressure off this team. That being said, the start of the game in New Jersey was a lot more assured than the two previous games at Stade Saputo, which is a good sign.

  1. Keep the warrior mentality

Since the beginning of the season, Montreal has approached away games with the same state of mind. During times of war, you need to be ready to battle every second, to risk everything in every duel if you want to bring points back home. It will, however, be difficult at Nippert Stadium, a place where the players of interim head coach Yoann Damet – former head coach of the Impact U18 – haven’t played in almost a month.

  1. Be wary of counterattacks

Beware, there’s speed in this Cincinnati side. Mattocks, Lamah, Manneh are players that take advantage of spaces behind the defenders due to their speed. With a striker like Fanendo Adi, the recipe is simple: break defensive lines and set wingers loose so that they can cross, either in the air or on the ground. Considering this, Montreal’s preventive coverage and defensive organization – from everyone on the pitch – will be essential.