August 17 has suddenly become much more interesting in Québec.
Moving on from a loss is a natural part of a team’s season, but the Montreal Impact will look to use this Saturday’s 3-1 defeat against D.C. United to make a statement then. They won’t be sitting on their hands in the meantime, starting their CONCACAF Champions League campaign this Wednesday against San Jose before an MLS date with the Fire in Chicago next Saturday.
But in two weeks’ time, United will be the visitors at Stade Saputo.
“Any team in this league is capable of going on a long run, and we didn’t want to let them in the door today, but we did,” defender Jeb Brovsky told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “And now, we have to close it. It’s a gift that we have to play them in two weeks again. We’re all looking forward to getting back to Saputo.”
Head coach Marco Schällibaum lamented, in his postgame presser, the timing of the goals his side conceded. Conor Doyle’s winning goal came after a spell when Montreal looked like they could turn the tide. Brovsky’s first MLS goal featured some slick passing and a sweet run from the full back, who cut inside instead of overlapping.
His side might have wasted too many balls for his taste, but Schällibaum praised D.C. United and their determined approach in spite of their grim season.
“MLS is very balanced; they’re a good team also,” Schällibaum told reporters. “They wanted to turn [things] over today, and they did it. … We must be ready every time in MLS. I think we were ready, but not enough to get a break.”
Asked if the absence of Alessandro Nesta, who missed the game with a lower body injury, was a factor in the loss, Schällibaum disagreed, pointing out that Montreal had won games without the Italian center back. Brovsky agreed and remarked that the game has probably been lost “in our heads, in our minds, in our hearts.”
“It’s kind of hard to explain, but in my head, it’s looks like we are just a little bit away from reaching our potential,” Brovsky continued. “It’s a little bit of working individually and as a club. Maybe the extra two or three yards make a huge difference in a game like that, today.”