An opportunity for young players to earn their place
One more game before the break. The first half of the season was a busy one for the Impact, although they’ll have the opportunity to recharge their batteries during three weeks following the visit of the Seattle Sounders FC, Wednesday at 7:30pm at Stade Saputo (TICKETS – TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5, TSN 690). It’s the type of game that would give any head coach a headache: on each side, numerous absences among key players will mean that Rémi Garde and Brian Schmetzner will need to be creative in choosing their starting 11. On the Impact’s end, five players were selected by their national teams – Zachary Brault-Guillard and Samuel Piette with Canada, Daniel Lovitz with the United States, Micheal Azira with Uganda and Jukka Raitala with Finland –, but there are also more injured players than usual, with Mathieu Choinière and Bacary Sagna suffering injuries last Wednesday. The Washington state representatives are in the same boat, with 10 players already gone to represent their countries, while defender Kim Kee-hee and midfielder Victor Rodriguez remain questionable.
Montreal has a few things to take care of on its end: the 3-0 loss to Orlando City SC was a counter-performance and the Impact’s players will want to mark this unofficial end to the first half of the season with a win. Also noteworthy is the fact that the Impact hasn’t lost two consecutive games since June 2018, boasting a record of nine wins and three draws in games following a defeat. Can Rémi Garde’s men bounce back? Here are three ways how.
- Start things off on the right foot
Last Wednesday against Real Salt Lake, the Impact owned the field in the first 10 minutes. Saturday against Orlando, their start was a little slower. The Impact will need to impose its rhythm right from the start to gain confidence and allow some of the younger players to quickly get accustomed to a game at the highest level.
- Follow the team’s principles of play
With the large number of absences due to international call-ups and injuries, Rémi Garde will have to field an unusual 11 to kick things off. Because of this, players will need to focus on the principles instilled by the French head coach to quickly adapt and create offensive opportunities.
- Use the space behind Torres
The large Panamanian defender was never the most mobile, at six feet two inches and weighing 195 pounds, but at 33 years old, it’s pretty clear that his role is to be a physical and aerial presence rather than cover a lot of ground. The Impact’s objective will be to create one-on-one situations and attack the space behind him to break defensive lines, make progress up the field and create scoring chances.