MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact takes on FC Cincinnati at Stade Saputo, this Saturday at 7:30pm (TVA Sports, 98.5sports.ca), kicking off a sequence of five games in 16 days. Excellent tickets remain available on impactmontreal.com.
“I want my players to be hungry,” said Impact head coach Wilmer Cabrera. “We need to get back to a winning mentality, and we can’t concede goals the way we’ve been conceding goals recently. That starts with being solid defensively. At home, we also need to propose a good game offensively, and take control of the game. But we can’t control the game after conceding a few goals. We respect Cincinnati, but no matter the opponent, we need to be solid and go for the three points.”
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.
In the heart of the playoff race
Montreal enters the final stretch of the season, with just six games remaining, including a home and away series against Toronto FC in the final of the Canadian Championship. The Impact is currently eighth in the Eastern Conference and fighting for a playoff spot with Toronto FC, D.C. United, the New York Red Bulls, the New England Revolution, Orlando City SC and the Chicago Fire; eight points separate fourth from tenth in the standings, with the first seven teams qualifying to the MLS Cup playoffs.
“We need to win, and that starts this Saturday,” said midfielder Samuel Piette. “If we don’t, then we put ourselves in a very difficult situation. There’s a sense of urgency in the locker room and we know what’s at stake, and we have to go for it. It’s a bit of a trap game, especially since they’re last in the East.”
FC Cincinnati struggling
Saturday’s visitors are on a bad stretch, and if things continue going in the same direction, they can establish a record for the most goals conceded in an MLS season. Their offense isn’t in form either: in FC Cincinnati’s last nine games, during which they’ve gone winless, Ron Jans’ men have scored more than one goal in a game just once.
Forwards Fanendo Adi, injured, and Kekuta Manneh, suspended, won’t take part in this one. Assistant coaches Yoann Damet and Jack Stern, on their end, will make a return to Montreal after having served respectfully as an Academy coach and goalkeeping coach with the Montreal club.
“There are no easy games in this league,” said defender Jukka Raitala. “We can’t pay too much attention to the table. We know it’s going to be a tough game. We don’t have many games to go so we know that we need to win, but we’re approaching this end of season one game at a time.”
The Impact will play the first leg of the Canadian Championship final, this Wednesday, September 18, at 7:30pm at Stade Saputo, against Toronto FC (TICKETS – 985sports.ca). Montreal will then head to California to take on the Los Angeles Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday, September 21, at 10:30pm EDT (TVA Sports, 98.5, TSN 690), before going to Toronto for the second leg of the Canadian Championship final on Wednesday, September 25, at 7:30pm against Toronto FC, at BMO Field.