Impact Visits Los Angeles FC Friday Night
LOS ANGELES, California - The Montreal Impact will visit Banc of California Stadium for the very first time, this Friday at 10:30pm EDT (TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5, TSN 690), to take on Los Angeles FC.
"We have a lot of respect for this opponent," said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. "We respect what they've accomplished since the beginning of the season. We know it's going to be a difficult game in terms of intensity and what they're able to do. It's the type of game where the opponent will control play, but it's also a chance for us to express ourselves, just like we've done in all away games since the start of the season. We know we won't dominate, but we need to be able to cause them problems at certain moments. We aren't going there as the victim. We know we're facing a good team, but we'll make our performance count."
Samuel Piette suspended, Bacary Sagna available again
Due a fifth yellow card received this season, midfielder Samuel Piette will serve an automatic one-game suspension, putting an end to his sequence of 51 consecutive starts, a club record. Defender Bacary Sagna, however, suspended last game for the same reason, is available once again.
"You always want to win a game," said goalkeeper Evan Bush. "We obviously know that it's going to be a massive challenge, probably the biggest one we've faced up to this point in the season. It's a very good team. We'll dissect them more as the game gets closer and we'll be ready for what they throw at us. When you start thinking about anything other than winning games, it opens the door to poor results and poor performances. We want to focus on the performance first."
Nacho Piatti may earn his 125th start with Montreal
The Argentine Designated Player Nacho Piatti, who came on as a substitute last Saturday in the Impact's scoreless draw against the New England Revolution, could establish a club record for most starts in MLS. If he's named in the starting 11, it'll mark his 125th start with the Montreal club. He's also 20 minutes away from equaling Hassoun Camara's record of most minutes played in MLS with the Impact, and 41 minutes away from reaching the mark of 11,000 minutes played with the club. Finally, Piatti is two goals away from Mauro Biello for goals scored in all competitions in club history: the Argentine has found the back of the net 75 times since his arrival in Quebec in 2014.
"It's going to be a difficult game, against one of the better teams in the league," said Piatti. "If we stay compact and counter quickly with Maxi [Urruti] or [Anthony] Jackson-Hamel, we can hurt them. They're a team that likes to press and that leaves spaces open behind them. We need to take advantage of that, but they do have a lot of good players, including Carlos Vela of course. We need to be ready and stay focused, because we can shoot ourselves in the foot if we're distracted."
LAFC leads the league by five points
Friday's hosts have started the season extremely well, having accumulated 31 points after 14 games while going unbeaten at home, boasting a record of 6-0-1 at Banc of California Stadium. They have however dropped points in two of their last four games, two draws, although they conceded just one goal in that sequence. Midfielders Eduard Atuesta and Alejandro Guido remain uncertain for the Californian side, while Steven Beitashour was forced off in the 31st minute of his team's last game due to injury.
The Impact will play four consecutive games at Stade Saputo, including three in eight days, starting with the visit of Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, May 29, at 7:30pm (TICKETS - TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5, TSN 690). Montreal will then host Orlando City SC on Saturday, June 1, at 5pm (TICKETS - TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5, TSN), a game before which the UEFA Champions League final, featuring Liverpool against Tottenham, will be broadcast on the stadium's screens at 3pm. The Impact will then face the Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday, June 5, at 7:30pm (TICKETS - TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5, TSN)
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