MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact know they don’t control their playoff lives, but that didn’t make this past Saturday any kinder.
The Impact could only change the channel in frustration as both Houston and Columbus managed to get wins. Yes, they already knew that going down to BBVA Compass Stadium next weekend Saturday and settling for anything else than three points was no option. But those results still get annoying.
“We’re almost in a state, I think, of expecting the results to not go our way just because they haven’t,” head coach Jesse Marsch told reporters on Monday morning.
Marsch’s group therefore kicked off the week by evacuating tension with a highly intense and competitive training. In fact, passers-by would have been excused for thinking there was something else than the usual pride at stake, and team captain Davy Arnaud (above) sees this as a good sign with Montreal getting ready for a classic case of the six-pointer in his home state of Texas against the Dynamo.
“The sessions have been good,” Arnaud said. “I think you can see there's still a good mentality in the group, and it's important, because obviously, it's our very last chance when we go down to Houston.”
Arnaud could hardly be more right, as the weekend results leave Montreal with a nine-point deficit on fifth place. This effectively means that Dominic Kinnear’s side could put them mathematically out of the playoff picture with a draw.
The importance of this most vital of games, Marsch insisted, is threefold: It’s about remaining alive, putting pressure on direct opponents and proving that the team can be successful in one of the toughest away trips MLS has to offer.
“At the end of the day, we’re still not out of it,” Arnaud added. “If we can go to Houston on Saturday and win, and make them think about it a little bit, make Columbus think about it a little bit on Sunday, there’s still going to be a little chance for us.”