Different championship, same approach

Impact kicks off Canadian Championship against York9 FC

The Impact is set for a change of scenery tonight, taking a break from MLS to take on Canadian Premier League side York9 FC in the first leg of the Canadian Championship quarterfinal.

It’s still a long road to the final and a chance to lift the Voyageurs Cup. But there’s a very nice reward at the end of the road: a berth in the Concacaf Champions League.

“This game is as important as any other game,” said midfielder Saphir Taïder. “There’s a cup to be won at the end of it all. Of course, I want to play. We’re going to need everyone. But this is a game we aren’t taking lightly. We want to win.”

Montreal will be looking to bounce back against the Toronto representatives after losing its last two MLS games, the first time the Impact has lost consecutively this season.

“If we go into York with the right mentality and put in a good shift, it’ll be a good standard for us to follow,” said midfielder Shamit Shome. “It could set the tempo for the next three games we have coming in MLS, which are very important.”

Those three games will be against Toronto FC at Stade Saputo, next Saturday at 7:30pm (TICKETS – TVA Sports, TSN, 98,5, TSN 690), Columbus Crew SC on the road, on Saturday, July 20 at 7:30pm (TVA Sports, 98,5, TSN 690), and the Philadelphia Union back home, on Saturday, July 27 at 8pm (TICKETS – TVA Sports, 98,5, TSN 690), all Eastern opponents. Positive results in these games can go a long way for the Impact’s playoffs hopes, as the Montreal club now stands in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

“We need to play our game and put pressure on them quickly,” added Taïder. “We won’t underestimate them just because they play in a lower league. We’re taking this seriously to have no regrets.”