Against a direct playoff berth opponent in the Eastern Conference, the Montreal Impact take on the Columbus Crew in the final of the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic .
The Montreal Impact face the only other team to stay undefeated in group play , The Columbus Crew. Blue vs Yellow in what could be (and should be) an intense game between 2 MLS-caliber starting XI. A game between 2 clubs that have met 3 times during the 2012 MLS season with the Crew winning the series 2-1.
Both clubs have had their share of changes and holes to plug with opposite strengths, at least on paper
Different Teams, Different History, Crossing Paths
Trophies are important for any club even though a preseason trophy would be more symbolic than anything else. In the buildup for a strong start to the 2013 season, this game will definitively be a test for both clubs.
Our objective was to reach the finals and we've accomplished that. We want to win this game and finish the camp with confidence and be ready physically and mentally for the start of our season on March 2
We have taken the steps necessary to finish top of our group. We did well to get there, so we want to make sure that our camp in Florida ends on a good note with a victory. It won't be easy as we are playing a good team, but we will be ready.
Outside actually winning the game, which is also important, being competitive while still being coherent to the team's identity is as or more important.
The Impact's opponent is also focusing on winning and getting a trophy and to continue to build for a strong start to the season.
Columbus Crew Goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum
Anytime there is a trophy on the line, it's competitive and we definitely want to win.The more important thing I think everyone needs to realize that this will be a good test for us ahead of our opening game. Montreal is a very, very good team. Just to get that competitive game in leading up to the season opener is going to be good for us.
Familiar faces will face each other, not only from playing 3 times in 2012, but Tyson Wahl will have a chance to face his old team. His arrival to the club is part of the Crew's rebuilding process of its back-line. Unlike the Impact (on paper), the defensive line of the Crew has not been its strong point in 2012. And unlike the Impact (in practice), the front line is the Crew's strong point with Federico Higuain and Javier Arrieta up front.
Head Coach Robert Warzycha
I expect the Final to be even more competitive and even more realistic. It's a great tune-up opportunity for the season opener.
Saturday's game will definitively provide one final chance to find the right combination on the field for the Columbus coaching staff. We will see the Impact's starting XI for the next few MLS games or at least the core 8-10 players with some question marks around the outside backs positions.