MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact has just eight games remaining in the MLS regular season, the next one taking place this Saturday, August 17, at Stade Saputo against FC Dallas, the former club of Argentine striker Maxi Urruti (TVA Sports). Excellent tickets remain available on impactmontreal.com.
“They’re a team that plays really good football,” said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. “They have good footballers and they’re very well organized defensively. They’re consistent tactically, which makes them a difficult team to maneuver. They barely concede goals away from home. It’ll be a difficult game. Both teams will be equal in the sense that we both played away games in the middle of the week. It’ll be hard, but we’re at home. We’ll need to elevate our game and circulate the ball well in possession.”
Stade Saputo's gates will open at 5:30pm, allowing you to take advantage of the summer. From 5:30pm to 6:30pm, the 2-for-1 special on all drinks will be in place, and animations, numerous activities, and photobooths will be available beneath the stands. Video game enthusiasts can try their luck against LyesMTL, the Impact's eSports player in the BMO Celebration Zone, on FIFA 19 on PS4. Finally, a new pregame ritual, during which supporters will be able to welcome players in the stadium's North stand, will take place as of 6pm, 90 minutes before kickoff. Please note as well that our new IMFC grilled cheeses made by chef Danny Smiles will henceforth be on the concessions' menu at Stade Saputo, starting as low as $2.83 (plus tax).
The MLS bag policy will be in place for this game. Backpacks, camera bags, and big tote bags, as well as any bag larger than 35cm x 35cm x 15cm will not be accepted inside the stadium.
Also, please note that more traffic than usual is to be expected in the Sherbrooke/Pie-IX/Pierre-de-Coubertin/Viau area, as well as to access the different parking lots around Stade Saputo due to roadwork.
The Viau metro station is undergoing an important renovation project. Construction on the new bus rapid transit corridor (BRT) on Pie-IX Boulevard has begun, and as such, traffic on Pie-IX between the A40 and Pierre-de-Coubertin Street will be impeded, while bus routes may be diverted. The P1, P2, P3, P4 parking lots are available. The P5 parking lot is reserved for Members with a parking pass.
Two teams in the playoff race
Montreal and FC Dallas are in the playoff race in their respective conferences. The Impact, seventh, is tied for points with its two closest pursuers, Orlando City SC and Toronto FC, while FC Dallas, eighth in the West, is just one point behind the Portland Timbers and the last qualifying spot for the fall tournament. This annual game between both teams is therefore of equal importance for both sides.
The Impact has suffered two consecutive losses in MLS, both on the road, but won its last league game at home, beating the leaders in the East, the Philadelphia Union, 4-0. Rémi Garde’s men also won the second leg of the Canadian Championship semifinals, defeating Cavalry FC 1-0 Wednesday night.
This could also mark the first game at Stade Saputo for the Impact’s new number 9, Bojan, recruited on the last day of the transfer window, last Wednesday, and the return of Ballou in an Impact uniform, after he rejoined his hometown club, on loan from FC Barcelona until the end of the season.
“It’s not easy with all that travel, we have to adapt,” insisted midfielder Saphir Taïder. “On Saturday, we’ll have to play to our strengths, which are to defend well, but also to be efficient offensively. We have to score goals and we’ll do everything we can to take all three points.”
Hard time against East opponents
Luchi Gonzalez’s men are also going through a difficult stretch: they were in Los Angeles on Wednesday, where they lost 2-0 thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimović brace. In four road games against Eastern opponents, FC Dallas has just one win, losing the three others. In Montreal, the Texans have a record of one win, one draw and a loss in three visits.
“We were very happy with the result we got on Wednesday, going through to the cup final,” said defender Jukka Raitala. “It gives us a big boost for the upcoming games. Now, every game in MLS is a final for us. It’s a big game. It’s important that we have each other’s back every day. We definitely have to win this game.”
The Impact will play the second and last rivalry game in the MLS regular season against Toronto FC on Saturday, August 24, at 7:30 pm at BMO Field (TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5, TSN 690). Another Canadian club will then visit Stade Saputo, when Montreal hosts the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday, August 28, at 8pm (TICKETS – TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5, TSN 690), followed by D.C. United and Wayne Rooney’s visit to Montreal on Saturday, August 31, at 7:30pm (TICKETS – TVA Sports, 98.5, TSN 690).