Impact will play 10 of final 16 games at home
There are many reasons to be positive for the second half of the season, set to kick-off when the Impact takes on the Portland Timbers on Wednesday, June 26 at 7:30pm at Stade Saputo (TICKETS – TVA Sports, 98.5, TSN 690). With 18 of the 34 regular-season games already played, Rémi Garde’s men can be proud of their record of eight wins, seven losses, and three draws, which also includes four hard-earned wins on the road.
It’s allowed the Impact to take the second spot in the Eastern Conference, a mere four points away from the Philadelphia Union, currently in first with 31 points.
“In many ways, we’re very happy with where we are,” said goalkeeper Evan Bush. “We’ve had a lot of adversity: injuries to key players, suspensions at different times, a lot of travel and road games. All those things need to be considered, but we’ve still maintained a good pace. We’re doing well, but we feel like there’s more. I think that as we get more bodies back and play more home games, we’re going to be in good shape moving forward.”
The second half of the 2019 campaign is set to look a little different for the Impact than the opening half. After kicking off the campaign with six consecutive road games, and playing 11 of their first 18 games away from home, the Impact will now play 10 games at Stade Saputo of the remaining 16, a stadium that’s turned into somewhat of a fortress since the second half of the 2018 season: in their last 13 games at Stade Saputo, Rémi Garde’s men have lost just three times.
“It’s a positive first half,” said midfielder Saphir Taïder. “All in all, we’ve done good things. Not everything has been perfect, but we’ve constantly progressed since last year, with the proof being where we are in the standings. The second half of the season will be difficult. It’s up to us to be well-prepared and stick to our game to go as far as possible.”
From the 16 games remaining, only two opponents are ranked higher than the Impact in the standings: the Philadelphia Union, one spot ahead of Montreal in the East, and the Los Angeles Galaxy, two teams the Impact will face before the regular season is all said and done on October 6. For the Impact, the recipe is simple: keep piling up points on a consistent basis: Montreal hasn’t lost two consecutive games yet in 2019, a key factor to where they find themselves in the standings.
“As long as we continue to compile points and keep our mentality, I think we’ll be in a good way,” added Bush. “But we’re not content and we’re not complacent. We want to get to the playoffs and we want to give ourselves the chance to do something when we’re in the playoffs.”