Shifting focus to MLS

Montreal opens season against New England Revolution this Saturday

The Montreal Impact has truly hit the ground running so far in 2020. As the New England Revolution gets set to play its first competitive game of the season this Saturday, it’ll already be a third one for Montreal.

Thierry Henry’s men emerged victorious over two legs against Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa, managing a scoreless draw a few days ago in Montreal after managing a 2-2 draw in San José.

Now, the focus shifts to MLS for the next two games, before returning back to Champions League for a quarter-final matchup against Honduran side CD Olimpia, with the first leg also taking place at Olympic Stadium.

“An elimination game is often different,” explained head coach Thierry Henry. “We played a team that kept possession really well, who was able to hurt us in the first leg and in the second one as well. Now, it’s our first game in MLS. In general, you want to have a good start and make a good impression on your fans. We’ll need to recover well, because it was a difficult game the other night.”

It’s only the second time that the Impact opens its regular season at home, and the reasoning behind that is quite obvious. A quick peek out of a Montreal window, and you’d realize that opening the season outside in Montreal in February is simply not an option. That’s why this one will take place at Olympic Stadium, where the Impact has an overall record of nine wins, nine draws, and three losses since 2012.

Tough test against Arena

Head coach Thierry Henry is familiar with the Revolution’s boss, Bruce Arena, from his time as a player in MLS. Arena was at the helm of the LA Galaxy back when Henry was still a member of the New York Red Bulls.

The Boston side squeezed into a playoff spot last year under Arena’s command, the MLS legend managing to turn things around for the Revs after arriving midseason, following a horrid start to the 2019 season. Now with a whole year ahead of them, the Revs and Arena will look to get off to a flying start north of the 45th parallel.

“I have a lot of respect for Bruce Arena, having played his team in the past,” added Henry. “He’s doing excellent work and there’s kind of a renewed spirit since his arrival in New England. His teams are usually well positioned and very difficult to maneuver.”

Although juggling Champions League and the start of the MLS campaign can be a challenge at the start of the season, that isn’t the mindset in the Montreal locker room.

You can still purchase tickets for the home opener this Saturday at 3pm here. The Impact will then return to Olympic Stadium to take on CD Olimpia in the first leg of the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals, with tickets on sale as of right now.