Article competition 29 mars

“Nothing is given” – Rémi Garde

Healthy competition is an essential part of building a winning squad. Too often comfort kicks in, lowering standards on the field and in training. Montreal Impact head coach Rémi Garde won’t let that happen.

“Nothing is given,” explained head coach Rémi Garde. “It’s my job to grow the team’s collective spirit and have them conserve it. I think the players are looking at our new additions positively rather than saying they’ll get less playing time. They understand the season is long and that we’ll need everyone.”

The new additions mentioned were Rudy Camacho in defense and Alejandro Silva in midfield, both announced as the club’s newest acquisitions last week, and both considered “selectable” by Rémi Garde for Saturday’s tilt in Washington State.

“Our job is to play with the guys that are on the field,” said goalkeeper Evan Bush. “We think we can be extremely competitive with the players we have in this locker room, and moving forward, I think we’ll have a lot of positive experiences and positive results.”

More competition, more intensity

For the players, this is nothing new. Jukka Raitala, for example, has been acting as a center back since the season started following the long-term injury suffered by Zakaria Diallo. Since then, the Impact has added two center backs by trade to its roster, Rod Fanni and more recently, Rudy Camacho.

“This is part of being a professional athlete,” said Raitala. “You have to fight all the time and put the coach in a difficult situation to choose between you or someone else. That’s how it works. Because of this, everybody has to give more every day. It’s good for the team, it pushed us forward.”

It especially pushes the team in training, leading to higher intensity drills and a more applied collective effort. This in turn adds to the first team’s depth, an important detail to factor in as the season moves along.

“It’s good to have more players,” said midfielder Samuel Piette. “It makes it competitive and harder to break into the starting 11. That’s very important, because it pushes us to put the work in every day.”

“It’s a healthy competition,” said midfielder Louis Béland-Goyette, who came on as a substitute during the second half of the game against Toronto. “The kind of competition that pushes everyone upwards.”