If there was a silver lining to find in the Montreal Impact's 3-2 loss to FC Dallas, it would be the two goals scored by the " Bleu, Blanc et Noir " at Toyota Stadium. Even if FC Dallas took advantage of a generous back line, the Impact was able to show offensive awareness to create chances and score goals.
As the prospect of scoring goals was slim, in the absence of Marco Di Vaio, Sanna Nyassi and Andrew Wenger showed that they can be counted on, early in the season. Scoring two goals against FC Dallas is not something that should impress you but the ability of scoring them on the road is a huge boost for the players.
The Impact produced some quality football during its season opened at Toyota Park. Led by Felipe Martins and Justin Mapp, the club was neither afraid nor worried to take on their opponents and taking risks. As much as Mapp was doing his thing on the right side, Eric Miller's support to the Mississippi mud cat was key, early in the game.
Felipe showed more than flashes of the 2012 Felipe and was an offensive leader as a midfielder and a presence in the box. Most of the time, he was leading the troops to press on the FC Dallas defense and midfield, another positive aspect for the Impact.
With a few chances in the box, Felipe could have easily scored. Until the Impact gets that famous '' high-caliber offensive midfielder'', Felipe is the link between the midfield and the strikers. His role will be of a catalyst from wherever he plays as he has enough pace and skills to be a leader, as he was in 2012.
He enjoyed Hernan Bernardello's strong presence in the midfield as the Argentinean designated player was key to give space and time to Felipe. Next to him, Collen Warner had some spouts of good distribution but lost too many balls and battles, as the game went along.
As a unit, the offensive cohesion was good and can hurt 90% of the teams in MLS. With Wenger playing the pivot striker role to perfection, the young forward proves to the club and to himself that he can contribute on the stat sheet.
His powerful and precise header was a symbol of what he can and should bring to Montreal: Goals, physicality and strong presence in the box. If he needed confidence, he just filled his meter as he will take on the Houston Dynamo, next Saturday.
Defensively, the back line was at best sloppy but kudos to Fabian Castillo and Mauro Diaz for wreaking havoc. The line did not look good at all on Castillo's goal and Diaz's run , that eventually gave a penalty kick.
Frank Klopas deserves praise for having his team ready tactically from day one. But what is the point of preseason if you decide to align a back line that has not played in that configuration, once in Orlando? Expecting to see Wandrille Lefevre to start, Jeb Brovsky got the start as the left back as Hassoun Camara found his usual spot next to Matteo Ferrari.
I still have my doubts on the midfield's capacity to defend adequately. With an offensive bias, the central midfield has a bigger capacity in building from the midfield than destroying their opponents' offensive prowess.
The good news is that Patrice Bernier should be starting the game against the Dynamo.
Will we see a 3-man midfield or continue with a 4-1-4-1 ?
Have you noticed that I have not talked about referee decisions during this game? Well, no need to rehash the past.