Braun, Nyassi look likely as Montreal's First Kick pairing
MONTREAL — Less than 48 hours remain until the Montreal Impact make their MLS debut against Vancouver, and the situation up front for the expansion side is not perfect. But the list of players who are making the trip to British Columbia does contain interesting options.
Head coach Jesse Marsch will likely count on three different attacking possibilities on his bench against the Whitecaps, as Justin Braun, Mike Fucito, Miguel Montaño, Sanna Nyassi and Andrew Wenger all made the 18-man roster.
Braun (above) is widely expected to start as half of Marsch’s two-man attack against Vancouver, and if Wednesday’s training session was an indicator, chances are Gambian international Nyassi might get the nod alongside him.
"We think [Nyassi] brings something different to our team, certainly speed,” Marsch told reporters after practice on Wednesday. “He’s clever and he’s a goal scorer.”
A Braun-Nyassi pairing could prove interesting for the Impact — while Braun does not shy away from helping out in midfield, Nyassi thrives in a free role, improvising as the game goes along. There is a caveat here though, as options in the box could be found wanting should both players track back at the same time, but Nyassi feels every member of the squad is ready to serve the team.
“Any guy I’m paired with, I’m ready to go,” Nyassi told reporters. “Everybody here is a great player, ready to jump in whenever he’s called upon.”
Former Seattle Sounder Mike Fucito could also join Braun up top, but Vancouver and Montreal fans would probably enjoy a Darren Mattocks vs. Wenger showdown at some point during the game. Comparisons between both players were not uncommon leading into the 2012 MLS SuperDraft and will probably carry on now that Marsch has all but confirmed that Wenger, like Mattocks, will play up front.
“[Wenger] can play anywhere, but I’ve always looked at him primarily as an attacking player,” Marsch admitted. “When he’s played for us, he’s done well. Just because he can play in a lot of different positions does not mean we have to play him in a lot of different positions. We’re trying to carve a little niche for him.”