MONTREAL – Impact manager Marco Schällibaum insists there is no player on his squad he doesn’t trust.
The Swiss coach was typically coy about his lineup on the eve of Montreal’s Amway Canadian Championship semifinal second leg against Toronto FC on Wednesday night at Stade Saputo (7:30 pm ET, Sportsnet/TVA Sports in Canada). But no matter who makes it, Schällibaum is fully confident that his club can score the three goals they need to overturn Toronto’s 2-0 win from last Wednesday.
“I want some sort of mix on the field, but they’re all good players,” Schällibaum told the media on Tuesday afternoon. “I don’t play a cook or the person who does the laundry after the game. Top footballers played in Toronto, and top footballers will play tomorrow night.”
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And those top footballers admit that the performance last week was simply not up to the task. They feel, however, that the lineup was. And while they concede that the fans have a right to be upset, they insist the issue is about execution and not squad rotation.
“For me, when people are upset about a result, it’s understandable,” team captain Davy Arnaud said. “But for me, being upset about the lineup is kind of saying that those guys that were on the field aren’t as capable. That’s not the case. The guys are just as capable, they care just as much, they want to win as we all do.”
In the quest for a derby win on Wednesday, adjustments will surely need to be made. Unable to fire a single shot on goal in the first leg, Montreal will need to put TFC’s net under siege from the opening whistle.
“We just need to be smart,” defender Jeb Brovsky said. “Obviously, we’re going to throw a lot forward and we’ll keep trying for goals, but that also means that we’re going to be open. As a back four, we need to make sure that we’re seeing everything in front of us and that all the holes are closed.”
Olivier Tremblay covers the Montreal Impact for MLSsoccer.com.