Even if Ignacio Piatti has just joined the Montreal Impact, the designated player has already practiced with his new teammates. Head coach, Frank Klopas, has hinted that the offensive midfielder will get some minutes against the Chicago Fire, over the weekend.
On a marketing standpoint, having Piatti start at Stade Saputo would attract a big crowd in a stadium that needs something to cheer for. Sporting wise, Piatti's addition could trigger a magical perfect winning streak until the end of the season and take the bleu-blanc-noir to the playoffs but it's unlikely.
Though, it is a chance for the staff to assess Nacho in a MLS context , to prepare him for the CONCACAF Champions League and 2015.
As seen at practice, this is the starting formation that might be expected that sees both Felipe Martins and Andres Romero out of the lineup. The core of the team does not change much and it is no surprise to see Dilly Duka start, as he was brought in by Klopas himself via a trade with the Chicago Fire ; Sanna Nyassi went the other way.
Duka is an offensive midfielder that seems able to play across the offensive midfield line. With Justin Mapp and Piatti playing along the wings, it only leaves one spot behind Marco Di Vaio that Klopas seems to give to Duka.
Romero , being more of a winger, loses his spot to his fellow countryman who has shown a preference to play on the left side and cut to the middle with San Lorenzo.
Lately, Felipe Martins has been playing more as a central midfielder in the past few games and his offensive mojo has taken quite a dip for the past 2 seasons.
As much as Piatti should give (hopefully) an offensive boost, the Impact has a defensive problem but scoring a lot more goals than your opponent is one of way of winning games. The Impact have scored 22 goals this season, one more goal than Chivas USA; think about it for a minute.
As the club is getting more and more pieces together throughout the season, Klopas has had more tools at his disposal. Hopefully, he prefers to play chess than checkers. But Piatti is no ordinary pawn and the club will be looking to build around him on the pitch.
A choice needs to be made between several mutually exclusive alternatives given limited resources
That is the definition of opportunity cost and who would have thought one year ago that it would have been a difficult choice to put Romero on the bench. In a way, it is good news for the club as it has more choice, more depth and more options overall.
Unfortunately, it just seems that we are saying the same things every year since 2012 and nothing seems to change. Maybe Piatti will transform this team and trigger a spark the same way Di Vaio had a definitive impact in 2013.
We should know more by Saturday when Klopas tries to rally the troop and start a winning streak against his old club, the Chicago Fire.