MONTREAL – Shortly before kickoff on Sunday, the Portland Timbers' traveling supporters unfurled a banner. It read, in French, “Thank You Futty 98.” Little did they know how ironically fitting it would be come the final whistle.
Futty Danso, who arrived in Montreal from Portland in June, made his Impact first-team debut on Sunday against his former team. It was a good showing from the center back, but the Impact lost 3-2, falling to an 82nd-minute winner by Diego Valeri (above). The Timbers Designated Player scored after picking up a cross only partially cleared by Danso. "Merci Futty," indeed.
“I’ve got to go back and watch the game again, analyze and see what we need to do,” Danso told reporters after the game. “The cross came in. I stepped in to block it. … I cannot say, off the top of my head, what happened, but definitely, we’ve got to go back and look at it and try to rectify.”
Danso was a quiet presence after the game, answering questions while sitting deep into his locker, but he cannot be too disappointed with his individual effort. Despite the lack of first-team action since his move to the Eastern Conference, Danso was solid alongside Heath Pearce. The sight was encouraging for Montreal, with fixtures piling up in August.
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“We had to rest some players,” assistant coach Mauro Biello said. “We had a difficult week, and he came in. For him, he needs to find his rhythm. Tonight was a difficult game. He had the right intentions playing against his old team.”
Danso said his five years spent in Portland made the fans' appreciation stand out.
“I definitely did get tweets and texts from a lot of the fans, saying they were going to come up to this game because of me and they want to show respect and appreciation for the time I spent in Portland," Danso said. "I really appreciate that. It means a lot. But now, I’m here, I’ve got to move forward and try to do what’s best for this team.”