MONTREAL – Two months on from his last start, Andrew Wenger is set to get another.
The No. 1 pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft will likely partner Marco Di Vaio up front for Montreal against Houston on Saturday (8:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online) in what would be his first start since he scored the winner in the Impact's 2-0 win over Philadelphia Union at Stade Saputo back on Aug. 4.
As a matter of fact, the rookie striker regularly thanks head coach Jesse Marsch with a goal when he is given the nod from the start: Three of Wenger’s strikes so far came when he was among the starting 11, a situation he has been presented with only four times.
“I’m happy with the chances I got,” Wenger told reporters earlier this week. “I just try to make the most of every chance. Saturday is going to be another one, so hopefully, I can keep showing my work.”
Wenger is not alone in hoping he does indeed win a fifth start this weekend; the fans are on his side, too, as demonstrated last week, when season-ticket holders were invited to an open practice and Q&A session at Stade Saputo.
When a fan asked Marsch whether the 21-year-old Wenger would feature in the last few games of the season, the Montreal boss elicited the loudest round of applause of the night when he all but confirmed that Wenger would get the chance to join Di Vaio in attack against the Dynamo.
“It’s going to be a fun experience,” Wenger said. “It’s enjoyable, playing with a player of his caliber, so we’re just trying to get sharp this week, understand each other’s movement, and there’s a lot of it.”
And not only does Marsch feel that Wenger has earned that chance – notably through a good showing in the second half of his team’s recent 0-0 draw against Sporting Kansas City – he is also of the opinion that, on the field, the decision will end up making perfect tactical sense.
“On a smaller field and everything else, with his strength, speed and athleticism, he can do well,” Marsch said of Wenger. “The partnership between him and Marco has moved itself along where we’re ready to see what it looks like.”