Lassi Lappalainen’s first goal or the collective serving the individual

The Finnish recruit stands out thanks to his teammates’ work

It didn’t take long for Lassi Lappalainen to make a name for himself on the North American sports scene. What a debut: two goals, two dribbles completed, one chance created, 71% of his passes completed in the final third, Player of the Week in MLS and a nomination on the Team of the Week. His acceleration and speed fascinated supporters at Stade Saputo and his in-game intelligence allowed his teammates to take advantage of his runs in the spaces he created. All this to say we can’t wait to see him back on the field, probably as soon as this Saturday, at 9pm EDT, when the Impact travels to the Rockies to take on the Colorado Rapids (TVA Sports, 98.5, TSN 690).

Lappalainen didn’t only leave his mark in supporters’ hearts, but also in the club’s record books. The Finland international is the player who scored the fastest goal in his first Impact start in MLS, in the fourth minute; a coincidence, since the Impact’s first goal in history was also scored in the fourth minute of its first game, in 1993. Lappalainen found himself on the end of a very nice collective move from Montreal, which involved five different players. Let us analyze this attacking move, piece by piece.

First of all, Montreal recovers the ball on the right flank. Zachary Brault-Guillard, Shamit Shome, and Maxi Urruti all pressed the Union, limiting passing options for Fafa Picault, who ends up getting tackled by Zakaria Diallo.

Brault-Guillard, with one touch, passes to Urruti, eliminating four players. The Argentine acts as a pivot forward should, allowing the Canadian international to run down the outside, beating the last midfielder, Haris Medunjanin, for speed.

The Montreal full-back takes advantage of Orji Okwonkwo’s run, which attracts Auston Trusty to the wing, and of Nacho Piatti’s appeal on the inside, who’s being watched by Alejandro Bedoya, to pierce in front of the 18-yard box unopposed.

Finally, some individual talent to finish things off. Lappalainen, on his toes, beats Gaddis for speed and retrieves Brault-Guillard’s nutmeg through ball before touching it past Andre Blake and sliding into an empty net.

Rémi Garde said it himself: the team works hard to bring the ball into the final third. After, it’s talent that makes the difference. A perfect way to sum up this goal.