MONTREAL – For his second-ever game in charge in MLS, Montreal Impact assistant coach Mauro Biello will count on more options than suspended head coach Marco Schällibaum did in the past month.
Both Andrea Pisanu and Daniele Paponi (pictured above) are expected to be back in Montreal's 18-man gameday roster when the team faces the Columbus Crew on Saturday at Crew Stadium. (7:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
Pisanu has been out since he picked up a right quad strain in the 71st minute of Montreal’s 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire on April 27. He picked up his only assist this season during that game, on Andrés Romero’s first career MLS goal. Paponi, for his part, tweaked his hamstring during the Impact’s 6-0 hammering of Toronto FC in the Amway Canadian Championship on May 1. He left the game in the 37th minute, but still scored the Impact’s second.
“They will be among our options,” Biello told reporters on Thursday. “They’re back training with us, and when they’re training 100 percent, that means they’ll be options.”
While the two-week stretch without a game did wonders for both players on loan from Bologna, the same cannot be said for the one on loan from Tombense. Andres Romero sustained a knock during this week’s training and is doubtful for the Columbus game.
With Collen Warner staking a claim for a starting spot after his goal-scoring performance in Kansas City on June 1, Biello could be tempted to go for an uncommon solution: moving Felipe to left midfield.
“We’re trying things out,” Biello said. “We got this news on Romero, who’s struggling with a bit of an injury. We think Felipe’s going through some good moments right now. We’re just looking at how we’re going to face Columbus.”
Team captain Davy Arnaud, meanwhile, is a definite scratch for this weekend. Arnaud is still battling concussion symptoms after suffering the injury on May 1. He is adamant that his recovery process will be as cautious as can be, but the signs are encouraging: Arnaud was able to take part in light physical work this week.
“If everything goes the right way, hopefully I can be back involved in some form with the guys by Monday,” Arnaud said.