Second half of the season crucial for the Impact

Sport 19 July, 2017

Photo: Michael Perez, Associated Press
The head coach of the Montreal Impact, Mauro Biello

As it heads into the second half of its season, the Montreal Impact knows that the margin is already slim hope for the playoffs.


After a truce of two weeks, the Impact (5-6-6) will take over the collar, welcoming the Union of Philadelphia (6-7-5), Wednesday, at Saputo stadium. A victory would allow the troop Mauro Biello of doubling the Union in the eighth rank of the association and get closer to the red line.


“We already have the impression that we absolutely need to win the meeting, said rear side Chris Duvall, earlier this week. This is the beginning of the second half of the season and we’ve squandered several opportunities in the first half. We face a rival direct in the playoffs and this is how we will approach this duel. “


The Union has not lost in its last three outings in MLS (2-0-1), and the Impact is expected to have to work hard to get the ropes, despite the absence of goalkeeper Andre Blake, who represents Jamaica at the Gold Cup. The American John McCarthy is expected to take over in front of the net visitors.


“Philadelphia plays better for some time, noted Biello. Defensively, they are more organized than in the beginning of the year, when they got into trouble. “


“They are in a similar position to ours, was added to the rear side Daniel Lovitz. They will work hard and want to close the game while taking advantage of their opportunities. We need to be ready and match their intensity. “


In addition to Blake, the Union will be deprived of midfielder Chris Pontius was recalled by the american team. The captain Alejandro Bedoya could also be absent, he who has obtained leave of the american education since his girlfriend was expecting the birth of their second child.


The side of the Impact, Patrice Bernier, Anthony Jackson-Hamel and Maxime Crépeau have an appointment with Blake and their new teammate Shaun Francis on Thursday when Canada takes on Jamaica in the quarter-finals of the Gold Cup. Biello has also confirmed that Ignacio Piatti was going to miss the duel against the Union since he is not yet recovered from an injury to the adductors.


The Impact will be on a schedule more favourable in the second half of the season with 10 home games out of 17. The Blue-white-black has a home record of 4-2-1 since the beginning of the campaign, including three wins in its last three outings in front of his supporters.


“We all know how difficult it is to get points in the world in this league, recalled Duvall. When we play at home, we must each time obtain the three points. If we succeed, our work will be easier in the second half of the season. “


Biello has suggested that it should revert to a scheme 4-2-3-1 after watching the team know of the difficulties defensive in June in a 3-5-2. He hopes to see this adjustment to help fill in the gaps of a team that has provided ten goals in his last four games in MLS.


“It should help the defensive for the stability in central, said Biello. We want to apply pressure higher up the field and recover the ball further from our goal. “


“We have held several meetings and have done a lot of video. One of our messages is to be hungry, ” added Biello. Everyone talks about our home games, but we need to play it and approach it with the right mindset. It starts in training. We want the three points. It takes a collective mind to be successful. “


After being granted nearly a quarter of their 29 goals in the last 15 minutes of the game, including the game stops, the team is determined to strengthen his defense. The Impact was the acquisition of defender on left side jamaican Shaun Francis of the Earthquakes in San Jose last week and technical director Adam Braz has confirmed, Tuesday, that the club is on the verge of finalizing a transfer to obtain the services of central defender Deian Boldor, under a loan from Bologna FC.


Despite his precarious position in the standings and a vocabulary like a team condemned to play with the energy of despair, the members of the Impact remain convinced to see the wind turn.


“We have all the right pieces, said Duvall. Look on the ground. There are players of international stature, players who have played at the highest level. There is a good mix of players smart and athletic players. The more we’re going to play together, the more we will be able to demonstrate that we have the necessary for us make it to the end. “