In the middle of a battle to secure a MLS playoff spot, the Montreal Impact travel to the Bay Area to face the San Jose Earthquakes. This time, both teams will play in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage. This is the third time that both clubs face off, twice in the CCL.
Losing 2-1 at home to the Columbus Crew, the Impact play against a San Jose team that has found its stride under Mark Watson. In the last 5 games,the Quakes have a record of 2-1-2 and will be looking to take that momentum into the Champions League. Both clubs did lose to C.D. Heredia in Guatemala as the Guatemalan club leads the group with 6 points.
The San Jose Earthquakes can get back into it with back-to-back home games in the CCL. Its target would be the Montreal Impact and calling this game crucial is an understatement. Anything but a win will eliminate the Quakes from the competition.
On the other hand, the Montreal Impact is aiming for a win , or at least a tie. Taking all the big guns with him, Marco Schallibaum wants to get maximum points. Let's not forget that C.D. Heredia still needs to play in San Jose and Montreal. Next Wednesday, the Guatemalan club and group leader is coming to Stade Saputo next Tuesday (Sept. 24th).
What do we know
Collen Warner is suspended and the Big Guns made the trip. Marco Schallibaum might field his strongest starting XI to go all in against San Jose. The players understand the importance of the competition, especially after winning the Voyageurs Cup. Managing the players physically and mentally will be key, especially with a 6-hour flight to get to California.
The key is to rest. We need to be rested and fresh. We all have the responsibility of making sure the legs are ready to go for the upcoming stretch and the key will be rest and regeneration.
What can we expect
A hydrid squad of starters and bench players but up to a point. I don't expect Schallibaum to take a risk to either start Nesta or Di Vaio at the same time. My logic behind this is around opportunity cost. Which is riskier to lose to an injury as the season comes to a close?
Aiming for a top 3 spot in the Eastern Conference, even if Nesta is important to the club, keeping Marco Di Vaio healthy is essential to the Impact's survival.
Now, injuries can happen anytime but the 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew was hard to take for the club. Shaken but not demoralized, Montreal can mix and match a solid squad.
What is more concerning was how dominant was San Jose when it lost 1-0 to Montreal at Stade Saputo. Even in a loss, the Quakes played very well with a B team as it played the best starting XI that Montreal could field.
If Mark Watson decides to field a stronger squad than last time, Les Bleus would find it hard to get a result at Buck Shaw Stadium and Patrice Bernier evokes that from the team's hotel in San Jose
San Jose may come full force Tuesday night, putting their focus on the Champions League as the season has been tougher for them.
It's all about the result at the end and the Impact need to forget about Columbus and focus on San Jose. The game will be broadcast live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports. at 10:00 PM EST from Buck Shaw Stadium.
More from Mount Royal Soccer:
- Montreal Impact lose 2-1 at home to the Columbus Crew
- Les Barrages de la Coupe du Monde 2014 Zone Afrique : Ma contribution AfrokanLife et La Presse
- Bulletin de Notes du Professeur Brouillard : Impact de Montreal vs Columbus Crew
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: The Crew leave with three points, as the Impact breakdown
- Montreal Impact vs the Columbus Crew: Highlights, Stats and Quotes