Homecoming GM
© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Players excited for homecoming

Impact readies itself for first game at Stade Saputo

In sports, as in life, there are some things that will always be out of your control. For the Montreal Impact, that something is the weather. The Bleu-blanc-noir has six games played in its repertoire this 2018 MLS campaign, and five of those were on the road, including two long trips to the West coast.

With the MLS season usually starting in the beginning of March, this is the unfortunate reality for a team like Montreal, whose northern climate doesn’t allow to play outside in the beginning of the season.

“When you’re travelling for weeks at a time to places like Seattle and Vancouver, which are difficult places to travel to, it gets to us sometimes,” said midfielder Ken Krolicki. “Travelling to the West coast takes six hours, with a three-hour time difference. Going there and coming back, it’s not easy. We don’t make any excuses, but it’s tough, even though we pride ourselves on our fitness.”

Protect this house

That being said, the Impact will now play four of its six upcoming games at Stade Saputo, the first one being this weekend, when expansion side Los Angeles FC comes to Montreal for the first time. It will also be a first experience at home in Montreal for a few of the Impact’s newcomers, like midfielder Alejandro Silva and defender Rudy Camacho, who made his debut against the Red Bulls on Saturday.

“At home, you need to take points,” said Camacho. “We’ll need to play like we’re at home and impose our style of play and do a lot better than we have in the previous few games. Everyone is excited to play in our stadium and see our supporters. I think it will galvanize the entire group.”

The Bleu-blanc-noir does have one home game under its belt, a 1-0 win against Toronto FC at Olympic Stadium on March 17. It was the team’s first win of the season, following one-goal losses in Vancouver and Columbus to start the campaign.

“I remember against Toronto, we had a little bit of a different mentality going into the game. We had the ‘protect this house’ attitude, so to speak. We obviously try to win every game, but for home games, there’s a little more excitement to it.”

The excitement should be two-fold this Saturday, at 1pm, for the Impact’s game against LAFC. Excellent tickets are still available here in limited quantity.