Montreal Impact likely to stick with starters for Toronto FC grudge match: "They'll want to hurt us"
MONTREAL – Previous disappointments will influence the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC in slightly different ways ahead of Wednesday's rivalry clash (7 pm ET, TSN2/RDS in Canada, MLS LIVE in US).
For Impact coach Marco Schällibaum, what went wrong on Saturday when the Impact gave up four goals in their loss to the Colorado Rapids will be something for his players to learn from, not dwell on.
In all likelihood, this reasoning resembles that of TFC boss Ryan Nelsen in the days following the 6-0 thrashing Montreal gave the Reds in the Amway Canadian Championship back in May.
“It’ll be tough in Toronto,” Schällibaum told reporters on Monday. “They’ll want to hurt us. They haven’t forgotten.”
The first-year MLS coach thus knows that against a determined Toronto side, Montreal will need to show “a rage to defend our net” that was absent this past weekend and show consistency on the other side of the field.
Saturday night was admittedly disappointing for his players, but they did score three goals of their own. TFC, by contrast, haven’t reached similar numbers since a 3-0 win against Orlando City in preseason.
“We neither won nor picked up a point, but offensively, I saw some good plays,” Schällibaum said. “We do have to ask a few questions, realize that certain things weren't good on the defensive side, but we must not panic.”
The Swiss coach deems the three days' rest between fixtures enough for his team to recuperate and will therefore call upon the bulk of this weekend’s roster.
During Saturday's postgame press conference, Schällibaum did call out Andrés Romero and Andrea Pisanu for being too static in the first half – which drove him to ask all of his substitutes to warm up.
According to the Montreal boss, “two or three positions” are up for grabs, with team captain Davy Arnaud looking fit enough to secure one from the start.
“We’ll see if we use Romero again, or Blake [Smith], or Sanna [Nyassi], who did very well against Houston,” Schällibaum said. “I tested the options I have. I think that playing someone like Davy in such a game can also be very important from a mental perspective.”