CCL trophy Champions League

Mauro Biello : "We're in this tournament to win it"

Olivier Tremblay covers the Montreal Impact for

MONTREAL – Facing the last-place team in MLS couldn’t get the Montreal Impact back on track. Will playing in the continent’s top club competition do the trick?

A positive answer to this question is all the Impact are asking for after their 3-1 defeat at D.C. United on Saturday. Identifying possible solutions picked up again on Monday morning, during a lengthy, but apparently healthy, group discussion before training.

Pleasant weather even allowed players and coaches to consider their recent misfortunes outdoors, where the message, ahead of their opening CONCACAF Champions League fixture against in-form San Jose Earthquakes, was as sunny as the forecast.

“We’re in the Champions League, and that means we’re in this tournament to win it, to go as far as possible,” assistant coach Mauro Biello told reporters. “We’re certainly expecting a full [San Jose] team coming here for a result. We have to be ready to stop them and play our game.”

Despite San Jose’s three straight wins capped by a successful return from the Gold Cup for Chris Wondolowski coming into this Wednesday, Montreal can find solace in their opponent’s away record: San Jose have only tallied one win and two draws in 12 away outings in all competitions, while the Impact’s home record stands at eight wins and four ties in 13 games.

But for these positive signals to turn into a positive result that would spur Montreal on not only in the CCL, but in MLS as well, a thorough collective effort is needed, players and staff members alike insisted.

“A lot of players will be getting some time to play, some minutes and some experience at the same time,” Biello said. “It’s also a process where the team could grow and learn and gain experience, not only for the players who play regularly but also for players that don’t have much time to come in and also show to the coach that they could also be an option in a regular season game.”