KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Traveling to Los Angeles on April 6 to face a Galaxy team probably featuring a rejuvenated Landon Donovan was always going to be a formidable test for the Montreal Impact.
Except that it’s not going to be. With LA busy getting acquainted with two-time defending champions Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions League this week, the Impact and Galaxy agreed to postpone the MLS regular-season meeting, postponing it until October 16.
The Impact will now enjoy a bye week, the timing of which appears to fit Montreal after their grueling 2-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.
“We’ll have two weeks to get ready and repair our energy levels, which weren’t as high as the other team’s tonight,” midfielder Patrice Bernier told reporters in the Sporting Park visitors’ locker room.
Montreal had spent significant periods of their first four games in their own end, looking for opponents to open up and show vulnerability on the counter. But against SKC, the few openings that did appear weren’t exploited. What had been a successful recipe ultimately failed.
Head coach Marco Schällibaum and his players are determined to not let that become a blow to their mental strength over the next two weeks. The first step was a general admission, after the game, that it was “one to forget.”
“I know my team,” Schällibaum said. “We now have two weeks to recuperate mentally, and we’ll be ready. When you fall down, you have to get back up.”
And for that to happen, not only will Montreal look to freshen up their minds, but they will also look for fresh ideas.
“We have to find solutions to increase our movement,” Bernier said. “We have to find other options than going through the middle. Everybody now knows that our goals are built through the middle, so we need to find a Plan B or other openings to score differently.”