MONTREAL -- Another game, another puzzle in defense for Jesse Marsch.
The double dismissal of San Jose forward Steven Lenhart and Montreal defender Hassoun Camara for violent conduct, in the 21st minute of the Impact’s 3-1 win over the Earthquakes, means that Marsch will have to make switches at the back again next weekend against D.C. United.
Full Match Highlights
Marsch was told about “an elbow and a headbutt” during the game, but he nonetheless admitted that he was not exactly sure what had happened. What he is sure about, though, is that his team’s response on the night bodes well.
“[After the double red card and penalty,] we could have hung our heads, I think, and felt sorry for ourselves or whatever,” Marsch told reporters. “There have been different moments in the season where we didn’t respond the right way, And tonight… man, they didn’t back down. Their response was immediate, and there’s a real belief, right now, in the group.”
With Alessandro Nesta making good progress with his knee sprain, Marsch has a number of center back options at his disposal next weekend. Matteo Ferrari has already regained his mid-season form, and both Shavar Thomas and Karl W. Ouimette are ready to step up.
But after Saturday’s performance by Jeb Brovsky, who slid in the center of the backline after Camara’s dismissal, the usual outside back has to be considered.
“I thought Jeb Brovsky’s performance was fantastic,” Marsch said. “And we hardly used him at center back at all. He won all his battles, read the game, competed. He was good on the ball. I thought Jeb was fantastic. Great, great job on his end.”
The suspension of Camara next weekend, “an important player” in the Montreal boss’ book, comes at a tricky time for the Impact. D.C. are direct competitors in the playoff race. But, Marsch insisted, the Impact will stand together and fight, no matter what the obstacles are.
“This year, it’s never been about who’s missing,” Marsch told reporters. “It’s always been about who’s on the field. That’s who we are, we’re about each other and whenever someone gets called on, they’re ready to go.”