COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Montreal Impact will look to put an end to a difficult stretch of games, this Saturday at 7:30pm, as Rémi Garde’s men take on the Columbus Crew SC at MAPFRE Stadium (TVA Sports, 98.5, TSN 690).
“From what I saw in their midweek game, they’re a team that doesn’t seem too far away from confidence,” said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. “They played a good game against a good Chicago team, very offensive. They came back from behind twice. This won’t be an easy team to play against, and it’s not an easy place to play in either. They’ve been unlucky this season, playing without their maestro Federico Higuain. I’m expecting a tough game.”
A bigger, energized group
The Impact, who can establish a club record in MLS this weekend for the most wins on the road in a single season, has seen the squad come back to full form with the return of players gone to represent their countries. With more players available to Garde, competition and intensity were increased at training this week, a good sign in preparing for this important game against the Crew.
“We live the group life, the locker room life,” said full-back Bacary Sagna. “We need to use that to bounce back and change our nervousness into something good on the field. I’m not worried. Everyone is disappointed right now. It’s hard for everyone to accept our recent losses, but we must continue working together.”
Since it joined MLS, the Impact has played 10 games in the Ohio capital, collecting one win and two draws. Striker Anthony Jackson-Hamel has scored two goals in two games against the Crew, while Designated Player Saphir Taïder has a goal and three assists in three games against the Black and Gold.
“A lot of their bad results have been a byproduct of missing guys,” said goalkeeper Evan Bush. "They’ve had a lot of rough luck, but they’ve also made a lot of changes in the past few weeks, and with change comes an increased motivation to get things back on track. It’s not a game that we can look at with any type of ease going into it. It’s a team that doesn’t quit. We’re aware of that and we’ll continue to focus on ourselves and on what we want to do.”
An opponent in difficulty
Caleb Porter’s men are also going through a difficult stretch, having collected just one point in six MLS games. Numerous players will be unavailable due to injury, notably Designated Player Federico Higuain, defenders Gaston Sauro, Josh Williams and Milton Valenzuela, while Jonathan Mensah remains questionable. American international striker Gyasi Zardes, on his end, is back after taking part in the Concacaf Gold Cup.
The Impact will play two games at home in four days, staring on July 24 with the return leg of the Canadian Championship quarterfinal (TICKETS – 98,5, TSN 690). The leaders in the East, the Philadelphia Union, will then visit Stade Saputo on Saturday, July 27, at 8pm (TICKETS – TVA Sports, 98,5, TSN 690).