Lineup decisions still loom as Impact battle Toronto FC

MONTREAL – Jesse Marsch had a bit of fun with the media on Thursday, as the Montreal Impact staff, uncharacteristically, is still figuring out exactly how the Bleu-Blanc-Noir players will line up on the BMO Field grass when Montreal face archrivals Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon (1:30 pm ET, TSN/RDS in Canada, MLS Live in US).

“It’s usually been easy for you guys to come to our sessions and know what we’re going to play this week,” Marsch chirped at reporters. “So you’re going to have to do a little more guessing.”

Whereas Marsch and consorts sometimes have a distinctly clear idea of the weekend’s XI as early as Tuesday, a number of spots still appear up for grabs. An almost clean bill of health – season-ending injuries to Nelson Rivas, Felipe and Bernardo Corradi notwithstanding – for the Impact’s versatile group of players is giving temporary head coach Mike Sorber a variety of options.

“We have some flexibility,” Sorber told reporters. “Guys have played in different positions, which I think is a good thing. I don’t think we’re set on what it is yet, but we’ll come to a conclusion before the start of the game.”

Tough decisions certainly await the staff on the flanks. Sanna Nyassi looks set to make his 17th start of the season on the left with Jeb Brovsky behind him, but different options have been tried out on the right.

Montreal’s right flank could still remain unchanged, with team captain Davy Arnaud in his usual right midfield position, but there is a possibility that Arnaud would drop to right back and make way for the returning Collen Warner (above), back from his one-game suspension for yellow-card accumulation.

Should Calum Mallace prove fit despite a knock picked up in Houston on Oct. 6, he would fill in for Warner next to Patrice Bernier.

“They always fight in the midfield, but more than anything, they play to the flanks and kind of bypass the midfield going forward,” Warner told MLSsoccer.com. “That’s where the job is to be done.”