VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Vancouver Whitecaps have only faced the Montreal Impact once in preseason, so the scouting report on their visitors on Saturday is still up for scrutiny.
But to Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit, there will be something a little familiar about how Jesse March’s side approach their all-Canadian derby on First Kick Saturday (6 pm ET, TSN/RDS in Canada, MLS Live in US): There’ll be a little bit of Bob Bradley sprinkled in.
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“In a way, yeah,” DeMerit said Friday of finding similarities in the team coached by longtime Bradley disciple Marsch. “But Bob Bradley’s teams had success. There’s no reason to think that Montreal isn’t going to come in here and give us a hard day. They’ve got good players.”
Marsch’s team comes into BC Place running a similar 4-4-2 formation as the Bradley Era US national team, with a flat midfield and relying on the flanks for the bulk of their offense. And the similarities don’t stop there.
“They’re a team that will stress a tough defense and try to pin us in and then counter,” DeMerit continued. “Hopefully we can stay on them and get a couple chances early on to get them stretched and then we can open them up.”
In addition to playing for Bradley with both Chicago and Chivas USA, Marsch was also part of Bradley’s staff during the US’ run at the 2010 World Cup, in which DeMerit was a central figure. And the ‘Caps center back knows his former coach will have the expansion Impact uber-prepared for their MLS debut.
“They’ve got good players,” DeMerit said. “I know in talking to Jesse, they’ve prepared well. But ultimately, I think one of the mentality things we have is, if we do the things we do well, it shouldn’t matter what’s in front of us.”
GET TICKETS to Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Montreal Impact, Saturday, March 10, 2012, 6 pm ET at BC Place. Watch on TSN/RDS in Canada or MLS LIVE in the United States.