Montreal Impact coach Remi Garde confirmed that Ignacio Piatti will miss the team’s match against Sporting Kansas City Saturday (3 pm ET | TVAS, TSN5, CTV, MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US) at Children’s Mercy Park.
“I’ve got solutions on this position,” Garde told reporters at the club’s training facility Thursday. “I’ve got many players who were playing in the preseason games on that position. They could fit in the team.”
Perhaps the most logical fit would be Harry Novillo, the versatile first-year French-born forward.
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“He’s one of the guys that can fill in the gap, yes, because Harry is comfortable playing on the left as well ” Garde confirmed.
But it is clear there is no like-for-like replacement for Piatti, a two-time MLS Best XI selection, including last season, and a three-time MLS All-Star. Piatti already has three goals, which is tied with four other players for the league lead.
“I think that my team will look differently, especially in the last third, because Nacho is a guy who can make differences in the last third,” Garde sad. “This will be the main difference, but you know in every team where big players are playing, like [Lionel] Messi or [Cristiano] Ronaldo, nobody has to forget that there is a team behind this guy, a team that they are playing collectively and we try to be the same as a team.
“Every one of us knows how much Nacho can be important for our team, but we have a backline, we have midfield players, other attacking players that know how we want to play and now we have to cope with this situation unfortunately. Every one of us would have preferred to play with Nacho, but now we have to do it differently.”