clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

On the losing side of the MLS War , Which Battles are being lost by the Montreal Impact?

After a 1-0 loss to the New England Revolution, Montreal Impact head coach, Marco Schallibaum faced the media with a somber tone, a man that has seen his troops lose too many battles in this MLS war.

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Marco Schallibaum's body language and tone was of a man that seems to have lost an important battle. The 1-0 loss to the New England Revolution was a huge blow for the club's MLS aspirations

What can I say, we were not strong enough. We were not good today. The will was there but quality wise.

I asked Marco Schallibaum , during the press conference, about which battle his team was losing the most on the pitch between a physical battle and a tactical battle.

We are not taking enough steps forward. We ask a lot out of our players and its not easy to go forward. We were not good but I think that they [players] wanted to do more.

It was not enough against a team [New England] that , as I said before the game, is a good team. This is a defeat that hurts and we need to free ourselves.

That is the important point to remember and that is to free ourselves. If we were able to score one goal, it would free up something. But now, we are in a delicate situation.

At the end, we were not good enough.

Without directly answering the question, Schallibaum does say that his team is not playing good enough. Not that he could say otherwise, it was obvious that Les Bleus were beaten in all aspects of the game.

Physical Battle

Between injuries, suspensions and " old-age", the Impact were never going to be a physical juggernaut but it has been better than last season. But those factors can easily apply to most teams on the circuit. What is more worrisome is the big dip in athleticism since game 17 or so.

Even more, one should be more worried about the level of intensity that is being shown on the pitch, than athleticism. Individually, young or old, there just isn't enough intensity in the team's pressing and it shows even more against a talented and fast team like the Revolution.

We see the difference when a player like Andrew Wenger comes in and make things happen, in his own way. Not the most technically gifted player when you compare him to a Justin Mapp , Wenger showed enough soccer sense to fuel his athletic qualities.

Tactical Battle

Having a Marco Di Vaio dependency is healthy, expected and normal. I have not heard of any successful soccer club that does not have at least one focal point in its game. Successful clubs actually have more than one.

Does this make the Impact more predictable? Yes

Is Marco Di Vaio scoreless in MLS? No, he has scored 19 goals without attempting one penalty kick.

But when we talk about the tactical battle, it just seems that the other teams know exactly what Montreal will do , throughout a game. It is normal and expected with all the scouting that is being done, the videos being reviewed and learning from past  games.

What is worrisome is how the Impact does not seem to be able to adapt to their opponents. It almost seems that there is only one plan and when it does not work out, the game is pretty much done. Adjustments are seldom apparent, making the Impact dangerously predictable and unable to slow down the other team.

Does it come down to a head coach that has found its limit? Dare we bundle in the coaching staff?

Does it come down to a number of players that are not good enough to consistently play at this level , with the required tactical awareness and intensity level?

Marco Schallibaum has shown limits to his tactical klout when you look at some questionable moves (Andres Romero being a core player of the club).

But when you look at the body of work of too many players, it's just not good enough to reliy on those same players.The staff has proven that point as it's basing itself on 12-13 players at the most, to rotate the squad.

Did the Architect , Nick De Santis, misinterpret the squad's capacities?

Tell us what you think on the comments below.

Follow @MtRoyalSoccer on TwitterLike Mount Royal Soccer on Facebook

More from Mount Royal Soccer: