The first game of the back to back Impact-Red Bulls series saw the U18 sides face off at 12:45 EST at Complexe Sportif Claude-Robillard. One of the newest addition to the USSDA League faces off against a strong,cohesive veteran MLS Academy.
First impression: it was a high-level game. It was the first time that we faced a MLS Academy team
Wilfred Nancy, Montreal Impact U18 Head Coach after the game at Claude-Robillard.
A 4-1 loss to the hand of the New York Red Bulls U18 team was not the start that the Wilfred Nancy wished for his young players. But some quality was shown during the game as the Impact faced a more cohesive and physical NYRB side. Montreal's only goal came from midfielder Jeremy Gagnon-Laparé who saw his low skipping shot beat the Red Bull goalkeeper.
In odd circumstances, Charles Joly was shown a red card after challenging for a ball against the visiting goalkeeper and the Impact was down 1 man for the last 10 minutes of the game.
The caliber is much higher that we saw before. Compared to AAA Quebec leagues and others, there is a big difference in caliber. This higher caliber will help us to play faster.
Charles Joly, Montreal Impact U18 Forward
For almost the whole game, the U18 Red Bulls applied a very high 3-man pressing on the Impact defense. This pressing killed most of the momentum that the home team was trying to build and connect defense and midfield to create plays. The Impact U18 tried to compensate with some individual skills and prowess but the Red Bulls were able to match them physically.
On this game today, and I say on this game today, we had difficult moments. We started the game well we weren't efficient at moments with the transition. If we are able to make our earlier [scoring] opportunity, the game would have been different, Our second half was better with some adjustments we made, but they [NY Red Bulls} were stronger than us.
There were some better moments in the second half with a curling left shot that hit post, courtesy of Emad Houache . The players were finding each other more and more combinations were being attempted.
Wilfred Nancy about player development at the U18 level:
My goal with the U18s is to take the players to the U21s and that is the first thing to do. The results is secondary, in the sense that if we respect our playing principles, our game identity, results will come. Today, as you saw, the result did not come as we did not respect those principles. We need to work on that [individual and team qualities] but before anything else is that the players develop so they can go to the U21s.
How he felt about his own role and how he can adjust and learn from the USSDA experience.
No changes for me knowing that whether I coach an Quebec Ligue Elite team or other, I will put the same intensity. I need to be better and clearer on the message that I pass on to players. My role is to work with the players to get them ready physically, mentally and a game is still a game.
The Montreal Impact U18 is now 0-1-3 in the USSDA League.