On a rainy cloudy day at Complexe Sportif Claude-Robillard, the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC's reserve teams tied in physical, hard-fought game. The score of 2-2 reflects the even play in the game but the Impact reserves lost the lead in the last second in the game, a game in which all 3 points were their to lose. Mount Royal Soccer was present to see the game and share what was seen.
Montreal: GK - Evan Bush; D - Zarek Valentin (Bryan Arguez 45'), Shavar Thomas, Karl Ouimette*, Josh Gardner (Tyson Wahl 45'); M - Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Miguel Montano, Lamar Neagle, Calum Mallace; F - Andrew Wenger (Eduardo Sebrango 45'), Justin Braun (Carl Haworth 45'**)
Unused Substitutes: GK - Greg Sutton;
* U21 player
** Invited player
Toronto: GK - Quillan Roberts; D-Jeremy Hall (Roberto Galle 85'), Dicoy Williams, Ty Harden (Nicola Paunic 74'), Miguel Aceval (Tyler Pasher 62'); M-Junior Burgos, Matt Stinson, Mario Orestano, Nick Soolsma, F - Keith Makubuya, Jordan Hamilton
TFC - Makubuya 11' -- MTL - Ubiparipovic 49' -- MTL - Sebrango 64' -- MTL - Own Goal 92'
- A good 30-40 fans and observers were present in the stands including a few Ultras Montreal fans with banners and trumpets and chants.
- The first half was in Toronto's advantage as they took advantage of a few openings on Montreal's left side. In the second half, the Impact were much more better and more in control of the ball and of the game.
- Karl W. Ouimette started the game alongside Shavar Thomas and played the whole 90 minutes: The young 22-year old central defender did not look out of place as he delivered a few good clean first passes and able to handle many aerial balls against a physical TFC front line. Shavar Thomas ( captain on that day) was a good mentor for him during the game as both as very much in sync.
- Josh Gardner got to play the first 45 minutes of the game in his classical left back position as he recovers from an injury. He showed good offensive initiative but TFC took advantage of his runs to counter attack on his side. Tyson Wahl replaced him in the second half and played a strong game, concluded by a beautiful cross for Eduardo Sebrango's goal, who headed the ball into the net.
- The midfield was compact in both halves as in the image of the first team was trying to be agressive and creative:
- Callum Mallace played the first half along side Sinisa Ubiparipovic and the young man did not look out of place. His trade is obviously in the midfield and showed good things. He switched as a right back in the 2nd half and Arguez took his place in the midfield. Arguez showed some good things with the ball and was smart on the field.
- Ubiparipovic and Montano were very active as they were always looking to combine with their teammates quickly. Neagle was making some interesting runs on the left side and was very effective in the game. Montano showed (at least with the reserves) that he is much more efficient as a wide midfield/winger as he enjoys to have more space to run in with the ball at his feet.
- Both Braun and Wenger were very active in the game but were shutdown by the TFC defence, Braun was very active in pressuring TFC and getting some agressive runs with the ball. Andrew Wenger showed speed and physicality as the team's 1st round pick got his legs going and is really looking more and more confortable. Both were replaced by Eduardo Sebrango and Carl Haworth and both continued to pressure the TFC defence with Montano giving them great passes and creating plays. Sebrango was making smart runs behind the TFC defence and controlled the ball well to pass it back and make the play go faster.
- Haworth, who is from Barrie, Ontario, was picked in the fourth round (58th overall) of the MLS Supplemental Draft and has featured with the Impact during its preseason camp. The young player physically looked like a kid among men but did not look ridiculous. Au contraire, he combine a few times with Eduardo Sebrango with good support from Montano and Ubiparipovic.
- Evan Bush, a leader in becoming: It's been a while I have seen Bush play and it's re-assuring to see that the Montreal Impact have a young goalkeeper in their ranks. He is arguably the most complete goalkeeper between himself, Sutton and Ricketts. Having the experiences and maturity of his older counterparts is an excellent situation for the 2011 NASL Goalkeeper of the year. One must hope that he is in the plans of the team in the next year or 2. At the age of 26, Evan Bush is young but not that young to stay as the 3rd string goalkeeper for ever.
It was a very interesting game to watch as we expect in many Reserve games: aggressiveness, physicality, an envy to win at all cost to get a spot with the 1st team. With players getting back from injuries and others looking for playing time, this game shows a deeper Montreal Impact squad as time goes on. Jesse Marsch will have a lot of players to choose from and can depend from a hungry team that can come in anytime to help out the club.