Hating to lose or loving to win?

Impact looking to turn things around against Atlanta

There’s a classic conundrum in sports: is it more important to hate to lose or to love to win? At first glance, one might say there’s no difference between the two. But dissecting the question, especially from a professional athlete’s perspective, shows they aren’t exactly the same.

“Hating to lose, as a professional, is a formidable driving force,” said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. “There will always be difficult moments in a game. Your opponents are allowed to experience strong bouts of play. In those moments, the most important reaction you need to have is telling yourself that you don’t want to lose.”

The Impact is going through a difficult spell, although external factors have had a negative effect on the team in the past three games: two red cards, injuries, and suspensions have riddled the Bleu-blanc-noir’s starting 11, leading to inconsistency through 90 minutes of play.

“It’s in these difficult moments that we need to roll up our sleeves and give everything we have to give,” added Garde. “We’re a team and we need to show the same solidarity in defeat or in victory. Whether you started the game or you’re on the bench, I want everyone to have the same reaction at the end of a game.”

Turning it around in Georgia

The Impact’s next test will be in Georgia, for a game against Atlanta United, this Saturday at 1pm (TVA Sports, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690), in one of the more imposing places to play in MLS, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. But that won’t be on the players’ minds too much leading up to the matchup.

“It’s not an easy place to play, but this week is going to be more about us,” added Lovitz. “It’s a good time to transition and make sure that we can make the game look the way we want, regardless of who we’re playing and where we’re playing.”

Atlanta hasn’t lost a game since its 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Houston Dynamo to start the season and have picked up 17 goals in the process. They currently sit second in the Eastern Conference, a point behind Patrick Vieira’s New York City FC, after beating Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s LA Galaxy 2-0 at the weekend.

I don’t think anybody expects us to go there and get a result,” said defender Daniel Lovitz. “That’s an awesome opportunity for us and a great way to take some pressure off. It’s a great way to show that even in difficult places, we can go and get the result. I’m excited for it and I know the guys are.”