The Montreal Impact will have the chance to keep two beautiful success stories active on Saturday afternoon. At first, he can extend his sequence of matches without giving goals. Secondly, he will aim for a sixth straight game without suffering defeat on the ground of the Philadelphia Union.
In a league where it is never easy to win in enemy territory, the Impact has not lost at the Talen Energy Stadium since August 9, 2014. After this defeat, the Montreal team snatched three draws before registering victories of 3-0 in August 2017 and 4-1 on September 15, 2018.
All this, however, is only in the past, warns defender Bacary Sagna.
“It’s a totally different match. It’s a different year. We started the season in a different way, and it’s especially a different time of the year, “said Sagna referring to the 4-1 win last year.
“We want to take points and it will have to go through a good collective performance. ”
Against the Union (3-3-1), which is one point less than the Impact (3-2-2), but will be in a fourth home game, defender Zakaria Diallo says he expects to a fight. This is an analogy that seems to share coach Rémi Garde.
“This is a team that, I think, has made a good change in its workforce. It’s a mix of young players, like [Brenden] Aaronson. A mixture of experience with [Haris] Medunjanin, [Alejandro] Bedoya. There is also a dose of speed in their game now with [Fafa] Picault, [David] Accam, [Cory] Burke, power too, “Guard first analyzed.
“It’s a tough game waiting for us. We had won last year there, but I know it’s a complicated place to take points, you will have to be well focused, work in a team, and of course have more problems than what you could do lately. ”
The benefits of a thrashing
Since the beginning of April, the Impact has not conceded any goals to the opposition, a sequence that began after the severe loss of 7-1 at the hands of Kansas City Sporting on March 30th.
A little bit of everyone in the Montreal group feels that this correction has led to a form of collective awakening.
Diallo, who had not participated in this game after receiving a red card, spoke of questioning. Sagna, meanwhile, argues that this setback has put things in place.
“We had to get back together, and I think that’s what we did,” said Sagna. Not only the four defenders, but it starts from Maxi [Urruti], in front, who makes a lot of effort trying to squeeze the opposing defenses.
“I think it’s a total remobilization that has kept us strong in the last few games,” he added. We see that when we are solid, even if we are in trouble in the game and we do not have complete control of the ball, we can win the game because we are able to create opportunities. And that’s what to do. ”
In the spirit of Remi Garde, the desire of players to practice a structured, disciplined style, explains the recent success of the Impact on defense. It remains, he notes, that there was awareness after the match in Kansas City.
“We did not go out there and say” well, it’ll be better next time “. We started from there thinking that there were things that did not work tactically, as we know, but also from the point of view of the state of mind. ” recalled the Impact head coach.
“Once again, in football, tactics are important, but it is often said that the animation and the state of mind that we put aside tactics are important. And there, there were failures at all levels. Yes, there was an awareness and a desire to correct. ”