Impact Visits Chicago Fire Saturday Night
BRIDGEVIEW, Illinois - The Montreal Impact continues its sequence of five games in 15 days this Saturday at 9pm, when it takes on the Chicago Fire at Seatgeek Stadium (TVA Sports 2, 98.5, TSN 690).
"I always say, to attack well, you need to defend well," said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. "We have more offensive power now, but a game is about balance. You need to attack well but also be solid defensively. We have important games coming that are coming quickly. Despite the arrival of new players, some aren't completely fit. I think many times this season we lacked offensive power, especially because Nacho wasn't here, but now that we have offensive firepower, there will be competition to play, to have minutes."
Putting an end to five straight road losses
After a good start to the season on the road that allowed the club to win four games on the road, equaling an Impact record in MLS, Montreal has now lost five consecutive away games. The challenge will be twofold for Montreal, considering it won just one out of eight games in Chicago, although they have managed to bring back points from Bridgeview four times.
Designated Player Nacho Piatti has a strong influence on Montreal's offense since his return to action, having scored three goals while adding an assist in four games across all competitions. He also became, during Wednesday's game against the Cavalry FC, the Impact's all-time leading scorer, passing Mauro Biello. Against the Fire, Piatti has four goals and an assist in nine games.
Midfielder Samuel Piette was back on the field Wednesday during his team's 2-1 victory over the Cavalry FC, after having suffered an injury against Toronto FC in mid-July. The Impact's recruits, Bojan and Ballou Tabla, however, shouldn't be available for the trip to Chicago, and the same applies for defenders Víctor Cabrera and Daniel Kinumbe, both injured.
"We're not going to start calculating exactly how many games we need to win," said defender Jukka Raitala. "Our mentality is that we have to win every game. If we do that, we'll qualify. Every game matters. We need to take points in every single one until the of the season. If we can stay focused for 90 minutes and play with confidence, we'll be fine."
An inconsistent Fire
The Fire hasn't won in its last four games at Seatgeek Stadium, but its last win at home was very convincing: Atlanta United returned to Georgia with its tail between its legs, losing 5-1, with all the hosts' goals coming in the first half. Veljko Paunovic's men have won just two of their last 15 games across all competitions.
Montreal's defensive unit will need to keep an eye on MLS veteran CJ Sapong, author of nine goals this season, forward Nemanja Nikolic, with seven goals up to now, and Nicolás Gaitán, with four goals and nine assists in 2019.
"Chicago's a good team with some great players," said midfielder Shamit Shome. "They're a little like us in a sense, because they get good results, but they also get bad ones. They're an inconsistent team. We don't know what type of Chicago team we're going to face, but they can hurt us and they're dangerous. We know we need to go there and get a result."
The Impact will head straight to Calgary after this game to prepare for the second leg of the Canadian Championship semifinals on Wednesday, August 14, at 9:30pm EDT at Spruce Meadows. Montreal will then return to Stade Saputo on Saturday, August 17, at 7:30pm to host FC Dallas, which may also be Bojan's first game in an Impact uniform (TICKETS - TVA Sports).
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