After their devastating 5-0 loss to D.C. United, the Montreal Impact are left wondering what went wrong?
Heading to Audi Field against their direct competition for the Eastern Conference's final playoff place, the Impact had the opportunity to solidify their position above the playoff line. Instead, they're left scrambling over the last three games of the season, looking to desperately cling to their two-point lead over United, who have two games in hand.
"There was a very severe lack of leadership," Daniel Lovitztold reporters on Tuesday. "I think that’s hard to explain. That’s the most alarming thing. I think the result is definitely discouraging."
Lovitz isn't looking for excuses nor to deflect blame, putting the loss solely on himself and his teammates.
"We dropped the ball. We didn’t show up," Lovitz said. "There wasn’t one thing we did better than them. They did everything better than us. We were pretty naïve in how we were able to go into that game and execute things thinking it was going to be easy. And we got punished. Plain and simple."
Lovitz, who has enjoyed his best season as a professional, notching career highs in games (29), starts (27) and assists (5), had no explanation for the lopsided defeat.
"If I could explain it, I would not be a player," Lovitz said. "I’m just a player. I just focus on myself. Remi [Garde] is extremely tuned in to what’s going on, and he did an excellent job of leading us into this game, and he’s wondering the exact same thing. It comes down to the players. We’ve had a back and forth all year about culpability when things go wrong and this was a very easy example: It was on us the players. When things went south we didn’t stand up and fight."
With just three games left in the season, the Impact don't have much time to recover from the loss. But, with games remaining against Columbus (H), Toronto (H) and New England (A), they can still control their own fate.
“If we come away with all nine points, we put ourselves in a good position to qualify for the playoffs," Samuel Piettesaid. "With the loss, D.C. catches up to us a little. They do have two games in hand, but they need to win them. We can only control what we do on the field. There are three games left. We aren’t throwing in the towel. We need to keep our heads high and keep pushing.”
Watch Lovitz's full post-match comments here.