MONTREAL – With eight shots in three games for the Montreal Impact – four of them on target – Justin Braun is second on the team in both statistical categories behind Sanna Nyassi. But Braun is still lacking in one very important part of the numbers game: goals.
The striker has yet to score this season, and after a meek 2-0 defeat at the Columbus Crew on Saturday, Montreal media and fans are starting to get restless.
“As a forward, there are going to be times when you don’t score,” Braun told reporters on Monday. “You just have to stay confident and keep pushing, keep doing the things that you know how to do when you start feeling that pressure. … You just have to keep working, believing in your capabilities and the goals will come.”
The Impact’s No. 17, it must be said, is regularly being asked to be the focal point of Montreal’s attack, whereas his strengths lie in his ability to drop between the lines and get involved in the midfield battle. It is a learning process, though, that suits him just fine.
“I’m feeling very comfortable,” Braun said. “I’ve tried to work on staying higher, to give myself better opportunities to score goals, so when those balls are coming up there, I’m in good spots. I think we've been doing all right with it. The balls are coming in the box and we’re getting on the end of things, but unfortunately it’s just not hitting the back of the net right now.”
In their first three MLS games as a club, Montreal have mustered just one goal – a 56th-minute strike by captain Davy Arnaud in a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire at the Stade Olympique. According to head coach Jesse Marsch, however, there’s no reason to push the panic button just yet.
“For the most part, the common understanding of each other, and how to play on the field, is there,” Marsch said. “What I think will help us get through that [situation up top] as quickly as possible is the fact that the mentality and the commitment of the guys to each other is so strong that we won’t allow ourselves to worry about if little things don’t come off or how long it’s gonna take for every thing to be perfect.”
Brovsky appeal not likely
It appears unlikely that the Impact will file an appeal regarding the red card right back Jeb Brovsky received on Saturday in Columbus. Marsch did mention the club would ask for a few explanations, but explained that “you've also got to pick your battles wisely.”
Unavailable for comment on Saturday, Brovsky told reporters there was no malice in the 19th-minute play, as “the arms come up every once in a while.” The right back also took time to praise his captain Davy Arnaud, who took Brovsky’s position for the remainder of the game.