MONTREAL – If FC Dallas’ last game is a sign of things to come, the right-sided players of the Montreal Impact’s formation had better take notes: Brek Shea is just getting started.
The 22-year-old’s confidence seemed to improve with each passing minute in the club’s 1-0 win over New England, and he probably should have scored his own goal late before Ugo Ihemelu ultimately gave Dallas the win in dramatic fashion.
Montreal head coach Jesse Marsch recognizes Shea is a force to be reckoned with, but insists he is not the only dangerous player Dallas will be trotting out on Saturday (8:30 pm ET; watch LIVE online). He’s warned his players about FCD’s wide play as a whole.
“Last game, they played with true wingers,” Marsch told reporters earlier this week. “Brek Shea's a real threat. We've got to do a better job of dealing with one-on-one situations, also having our midfielders come and help deal with Brek and Zack [Loyd], or [Fabian] Castillo, when they get wide.
“Then [we have to] do a good job in the box of dealing with [Blas] Pérez, and [Ricardo] Villar when he comes in late. We just got to deal better with plays from wide positions, because that’s where they’re really dangerous.”
There is a possibility that team captain Davy Arnaud - who was surprisingly left out of the starting lineup last Saturday against Toronto FC - could reclaim his place at right midfield for the showdown in his home state of Texas.
One thing is for sure in his mind, though: whoever plays in front of Zarek Valentin – the lone right back in Montreal’s list of 18 available players – will need to draw Dallas’ wide players out of their comfort zone.
“If you can turn them into defenders a little bit [or] as much as you can,” Arnaud said. “It can hopefully put them off their game. But, as always, it’s more about us.”