With one win in their last 15 MLS regular season games – two in their last 18 including the playoffs and CCL – Montreal have lost their fair share of games lately.
But that one hurt. Hard.
Still winless this season after Saturday’s 4-0 rout by Sporting Kansas City, the Impact have picked up three points in seven games. It’s their worst start in three seasons in MLS, and captain Patrice Bernier didn’t object when a reporter asked him postgame if this felt like rock bottom.
“[After] the second goal, although we kept pushing, we were dismayed and we’re not at a stage where our play develops and we can start over, change the momentum, score a goal, make it 2-1 and push,” Bernier told reporters in French. “I really don't know what to say about that second half. We really have to take our responsibilities, get going and put double the effort we’re putting in.”
As for the first half, the Impact felt they worked hard and managed to create opportunities that Sporting KC didn’t. They have a point. After 14 days off, Sporting Kansas City didn’t really seem to click until a Matt Besler throw-in bounced off Calum Mallace’s head and behind Troy Perkins in the 31st minute.
Montreal’s quick transitions even had Marco Di Vaio – who remained vague about the apparent hamstring injury he sustained in the 55th minute – forcing KC center back Aurélien Collin into a goal line clearance 14 minutes in. Collin would further torment Montreal, scoring the second in the 71st and having a say in the first of Dom Dwyer’s two late tallies.
“At 1-0 down, we probably [could have scored], and we played really well in the first half,” Bernier said. “We were solid defensively, played on the counter and created chances. We limited, more or less, their chances – they were mostly throw-ins or corners. I don’t know what to say, but we really need to look at ourselves in the mirror, for if we want to get out of this, we must give nothing, nothing away.”
And, added Di Vaio, work better and harder, because while the season’s still young, “it’s been seven games already.”
“Work, every day, and understand that what happens during a match is the result of your week’s preparation,” Di Vaio told reporters when asked about possible solutions. “We must prepare well during the week. We must understand that, now, what we’re doing isn’t enough. We have to pay attention, and we have to think, every day of the week, about what we can improve, because it’s not enough.”