It hasn’t been pretty, but the results are just fine for Montreal Impactmanager Remi Garde.
"We don’t have the most flamboyant game in Major League Soccer," Garde said. "(But) if we continue like this, I don’t see why the results won’t continue."
The Montreal Impact (5-3-2) bring the best record in the Eastern Conference into their game against New York City FC (2-1-6) at Saputo Stadium on Saturday.
The Impact have gone 3-1-3 over their last six games, despite only scoring five goals over that span, thanks in large part to the defence and goaltending posting five clean sheets.
Montreal has yet to allow a goal at home in two matches, 1-0 victories over Columbus and Chicago.
"Obviously, you don’t want to get scored on. You want to keep the ball out the back of the net." Impact defender Daniel Lovitz said. "It’s something that we think can add to that feeling of, not dominance, but to make it more of a daunting task to come here to score goals. And you need to score goals to win."
"We want to make Saputo Stadium a very tough place to come and get points," added midfielder Samuel Piette. "We know if we don’t concede goals, we have a chance to win the game. We have the quality up front to score at least one."
The Impact were well represented in the most recent edition of MLS’s Team of the Week, with goalkeeper Evan Bush, defender Zakaria Diallo, and Garde listed.
Despite the early season success, Lovitz warned against complacency.
"You can’t really allow yourself to feel comfortable at any moment," Lovitz said. "Sure we can be proud of what we’ve done, but I think it wouldn’t be the greatest idea to get really big-headed about it or feel we are invincible."
Montreal will meet NYCFC for the second time this year. The two teams drew 0-0 at Yankee Stadium in New York last month.
Garde feels NYCFC’s current record doesn’t give them the right to take them lightly. Also, the team will have a new look as Brazilian forward Heber is available to make his MLS debut.
"At this time of the year, nothing is done and the table is not exactly reflecting the level of each team," Garde said. "This team has very good players. They have principles of playing that are very interesting."
The injury bug is among the many hurdles standing in Montreal’s way. They will once again be without star midfielder Ignacio Piatti, who was originally sidelined with a knee injury in March.
He left practice earlier in the week with muscle soreness and Garde doesn’t expect him to play this weekend. But he hopes to see him return with the team next week as the Impact have games against the New York Red Bulls and FC Cincinnati.
Defender Bacary Sagna is also nursing a sore hamstring after last week’s game and he won’t be available. However, midfielder Saphir Taider, who missed Wednesday’s practice, should be in the lineup for Montreal this weekend.
Other news - The Opponent
- 21:00 NYCFC, Sims: "The return of the fans this year has been an incredible boost for our team and for the entire Club"
- 20:19 NYCFC, unveiled the first three games of MLS 2022
- 20:03 Sean Johnson best player in the Hudson River Derby: a reason for pride but also for concern
- 19:23 NYCFC, Ronny Deila under accusation: an immediate change of direction is needed
- 15:55 Ronny Deila: "We have lost three points, we can do better than that"
- 11:18 NYCFC 0-1 Red Bulls: the Blues defeated in the Hudson River Derby
- 00:17 NYCFC, Deila: "We are one, we are a family"
- 14:54 NYCFC, Ronny Deila prepares tactical changes in the Hudson River Derby
- 13:09 NYCFC, two heavy absences for Deila in view of the Hudson River Derby
- 14:32 FC Cincinnati 1-2 NYCFC: Match Highlights
- 13:33 FC Cincinnati 1-2 NYCFC: Taty Castellanos is immediately decisive
- 15:00 NYCFC, Ronny Deila: "We need to simplify the way we play"
- 14:00 New York City FC is ready to embrace Taty Castellanos again
- 10:44 NYCFC, two players out against FC Cincinnati
- 23:22 Deila: "“There's a big chance that Heber is back in the squad for the game"
- 22:29 NYCFC, Castellanos unavailable against FC Dallas. Ronny Deila evaluates the alternatives
- 19:00 NYCFC's Injury Report - Heber and Telles Magno out against Toronto FC
- 18:30 Ibeagha: "I will truly miss NYCFC"
- 18:08 OFFICIAL - New York City FC trades Sebastien Ibeagha to Los Angeles FC
- 22:44 Three NYCFC's players in the Team Of The Week
- 21:00 NYCFC, Ronny Deila finds a shining Taty Castellanos
- 20:00 Unforgettable day for Malte Amundsen: assist and first goal with NYCFC
- 19:12 NYCFC, interrupted the negative series against Orlando City
- 09:12 NYCFC 5-0 Orlando City SC: winning return of the Blues to the Bronx
- 23:05 NYCFC vs Orlando City: starting XI
- 21:01 NYCFC vs Orlando City: possibile starting XI
- 15:00 NYCFC vs Orlando City: no drops in concentration against Nani
- 14:19 NYCFC, four players out against Orlando City
- 22:30 NYCFC, Deila: "Cincinnati is a good soccer team"
- 21:53 NYCFC, Deila: "I don't want to see the team I saw last Saturday "
- 21:49 NYCFC Injury Report: Four absent for the home opener
- 19:51 NYCFC, Deila: "We are much stronger now than last year"
- 17:33 NYCFC injury report: six are the unavailable of Ronny Deila