© Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Replacing Saphir Taïder against the Red Bulls

Options available for head coach Rémi Garde

As the Impact readies itself for a hotly contested matchup against the New York Red Bulls, it does so knowing that its Designated Player Saphir Taïder will be unavailable for the contest, as he serves a one-game suspension for a red card he received in the early stages of the game against New England.

This changes things for head coach Rémi Garde. Whether or not he’ll adjust the formation he’s been using for the past two games is still up for discussion.

“These are things I’m thinking about,” said Garde. “I’m not necessarily looking at the game against New England and jumping to conclusions because it was skewed. I think it’s a system that allows many players to be well positioned on the field, but we’ve tried other systems that allowed us to play well, in Columbus notably. It’s interesting for the players and I to know that we can change formations during a game or from game to game.”

Changing formations or not, Montreal’s coaching staff has a few options to consider when looking at how to replace someone like Saphir Taïder in midfield, and his offensive and defensive presence. One of those options is Louis Béland-Goyette, who came on in the 55th minute in the game against New England, and in the 66th minute in the game against Toronto.

“Louis is a candidate,” added Garde. “He’s worked really well since the beginning of the season. He took the time to show me what type of player he is, and his entrance into the New England game in very difficult circumstances gave me a lot of answers concerning his capacities. He’s definitely part of the players who can fill that role.”

For Béland-Goyette, being an option to start the game changes nothing in the way he’s prepared himself since the beginning of the season.

“Every game of the season, I need to be ready to come into that position,” said Béland-Goyette. “You never know when that type of stuff happens, so I always prepare myself as if I was going to start the game. We still don’t know who will start and it’s the coach’s decision at the end, but it doesn’t change my preparation.”