Montreal Impact vs.
Wednesday, August 12, 7:30 pm ET
Stade Saputo, Montreal, Quebec
Watch: Sportsnet World (CAN) | MLS LIVE (USA)
‘Let’s Make History,’ the Montreal Impact’s tagline as they reached the CONCACAF Champions League Finals in April, will apply again this week. The Impact will host the Vancouver Whitecaps in the first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship final on Wednesday. The prize, should Montreal win? A record-tying fourth tournament title and another CCL berth.
“We played them before in the league, and we won, but now, it’s a final,” head coach Frank Klopas said on Monday. “Just like us, they’ll probably rotate certain players with the amount of games that they’ve played, but it’s a final.”
Montreal will make do without team captain Patrice Bernier, who is suspended due to yellow card accumulation. But Justin Mapp has finally been cleared to play after five months out due to a dislocated elbow. It looks like new Designated Player Didier Drogba will have to wait to make his debut, though Klopas didn’t explicitly rule the Ivorian striker out of Wednesday’s contest.
“We’ll see how it is in the next two days. Realistically, I would say [he’ll debut on] the 22nd, when we play against Philly,” Klopas said of Drogba. “The guy has been out for two months, as much as we want to put him in. But you never know. Let’s see how [Tuesday] goes and how he’s feeling Wednesday.”
The Vancouver Whitecaps’ busy August will continue apace on Wednesday, with the club heading east for the first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship final against the Montreal Impact
The ‘Caps have never won the competition, but with a CONCACAF Champions League berth awaiting the champion, that’s a situation they’re very keen to change.
Wednesday’s contest is Vancouver’s fourth game this month, in their third different competition, testing the Whitecaps’ depth to the max and presenting head coach Carl Robinson with another balancing act in terms of squad selection.
Robinson has his eight starting lineups for the month already planned out and admitted that there will be changes again on Wednesday, after changing his entire starting XI from last week’s CCL draw against Seattle to Saturday’s 4-0 home win against Real Salt Lake.
"It's based on results as well,” Robinson said of his planning. “I had a Plan A and a Plan B. Plan A was if we got the victory [against RSL] and that will kick into effect on Wednesday
That plan will see a mix of regular starters and fringe players, and a strong Canadian presence expected, with Robinson stating that there will be “freshness” but “there won’t be eleven changes” for the first leg.