Now available, Impact's Didier Drogba could partner with Matteo Mancosu

Didier Drogba - Montreal Impact - May 28, 2016 - arms in air

MONTREAL – Didier Drogba served his one-game suspension Saturday and the superstar striker may soon team up with newcomer Matteo Mancosu to form a one-two punch up front for the Montreal Impact.

Drogba practiced Wednesday with Mancosu, who scored in his first start for Montreal to give the Impact a 1-0 win against the Houston Dynamo at Stade Saputo.

"I think they complement each other in terms of one being able to hold up the ball and being that target, and one guy now being able to get in behind with his movement," Montreal coach Mauro Biello said. "And when you do that, there's always that doubt with defenders, because one is going to come and one is going to go, and you want to create that. And if you're able to do that, you can find those openings that you're looking for."

Biello would not confirm how he intends to use Drogba and Mancosu when the Impact try to extend their three-game undefeated streak against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on Saturday (7 pm ET, TVA Sports in Canada, MLS LIVE in US).

"Well, I think you've got to always work on different things," Biello said. "You can't just put out a lineup and say, 'OK, he's going to play with him,' and then see what happens. We had one side doing the 4-2-3-1 and the other side with a 4-4-2, so in the end if it's not at the beginning of the game, it could be at the end of the game where you've got to play with two forwards. So it's important that you find that cohesion and you work on certain things, so that when they're in the game, they've seen it already and they've seen certain situations and they'll be prepared for them."

Another Impact player looking to make his breakthrough, Johan Venegas, has not been able to crack Biello's lineup despite a strong showing for Costa Rica at the Copa America Centenario this summer. Venegas scored a spectacular goal to open his country's 3-2 win against Colombia at NRG Stadium in Houston on June 11, but Costa Rica did not advance past the group stage.

"I think right now there are other players that I feel are ahead of him in what I'm looking for," Biello said. "Right now there are some others that are producing and giving me a little bit more. For the moment, and for him, it's about working hard every day and trying to get that chance, and when that chance comes he has to seize it. The rise of a guy like [Michael] Salazar, he has done really well and I need to be coherent in my selections... Salazar has brought a very good element to the team and I need to be coherent in my decisions and this is where he stands right now."

Venegas has yet to score for Montreal this season, appearing in 14 games with just five starts, and Biello acknowledged Venegas might have been on the move in the recently-closed transfer window.

"There was some interest for him [during the transfer period] and he decided to stay here and fight and try to win his spot back, and I respect that,'' Biello said. "And that's what you want from players. It says to me that he wants to be here and he wants to try to win his spot. And that's a good thing. And now, in the end, what he can control is that, his work and his mentality and his approach. And in the end I'll have to make a decision."

Biello was also asked about the integration of Lucas Ontivero into the team. The Argentine has two goals in 13 games with the Impact, who acquired him on loan from Turkish club Galatasaray.

"It's an adaptation for him but he's had some very good games for us, and some other games that maybe were a little bit more difficult. But that's part of the process of adapting," Biello said. "He's still 21 years old, but he brings a different dynamic and ability to unbalance [opposing defenses] with his speed. And he's got a very good shot. So he's someone that is in the mix in the team and sometimes can help us starting, or sometimes off the bench."