Tonight the Impact kick off 2015, in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Club Pachuca of Mexico. Montreal qualified for the quarterfinal by finishing first in their group against New York Red Bulls and C.D. FAS of El Salvador.
The match can be seen on TVA Sports, Sportsnet One, and Fox Sports 2 (In the United States) starting at 10:00pm.
Below a number of writers from Mount Royal Soccer have weighed in with their predictions for the game tonight.
Noah Markowicz ( Doesn't like Mistakes)
For Tuesday's first leg of the Concacaf quarterfinal in Mexico, I predict a mistake-filled, potentially chaotic affair, ending in a 2-2 draw. A fast start will see the Impact take the lead, but an inevitable penalty will bring Los Tuzos back into the match at some point. Montréal will feel hard done by, but will head home with a pretty favorable result, having scored two away goals. My prediction 2-2.
John Richan ( Don't Hurt Piatti Please)
The Impact will play their first competitive match of 2015 on Tuesday in the first leg of the Concacaf Champions Leauge quarterfinal. I predict that the Club Pachuca will win the first leg 1-0. The Impact struggled on the road last season, and although they have significantly bolstered their lineup, playing in Mexico is never easy. Even though Pachuca is doing poorly in Liga MX at the moment, they are in mid-season form and should be in better game shape and will take the victory. If Pachuca can shut down Piatti, the Impact do not really pose any other serious offensive threat. My prediction 1-0 Pachuca.
Bryan Thomas ( Work Hard, Play Hard)
Although the Montreal Impact have been training for about month already, it is hard to judge just how game ready they will be coming into Tuesday night's highly anticipated Quarter Final opening leg against Mexican side Pachuca. Surely, Frank Klopas and the rest of the coaching staff have been working hard trying to get all the players as best prepared as possible and ironing out his ideal starting XI.
Pachuca is not having a great start to their season but as we saw with the Impact last year it is possible to have a bad year and still be successful in CCL action. this is Champions League play, an away goal, if at all possible would be massive.
Definitely the club will not throw caution to the wind to get it, but look to see them try to find one on set pieces or on the counter-attack. Despite the fact that the team has yet to play an official match, I firmly believe that this is a game that they can get points from. My prediction 1-1.
Frédérick Loporcaro (Nostradamus)
Pachuca will score on a penalty kick for the hosts after and a misunderstanding between Laurent Ciman and Bakary Soumare. Ignacio Piatti will score for Mtl
My prediction. 2-1 Pachuca.
Christopher Ralph (likes to use CAPS and goes All In )
2-1 win for the Impact. I don't want to comment on the players, but instead on their (and our) mentality. Pachuca are facing a host of games coming up, and will want to move up the table in LigaMX over CCL. There is a lot of pressure on this coach, and he knows it. Conversely, there is pressure on our boy Frank Klopas to generate buzz for this team, and to show the soccer world what Montréal means.
We're a new team, the guys are getting along and are in as good of shape as they can be for the pre-season. We`re going to give it our all. I think both JackMac and Oduro have something to prove, and when pushed will succeed. I feel that this is the start of an exciting new chapter for the Impact - and I think it'll end in victory. I've been wrong before, but it's going to be one awesome show.
Mauricio Vincello ( PK Drama)
Je vais y aller comme Fred, avec une victoire 2-1 de Pachuca. Le scénario ? Des difficultés à commencer le match, une pression toute particulière avec des gens bizarres qui crient dans les tribunes. Résultat : une ouverture du score précoce de Pacucha. Réveil des Montréalais, mais première demie relativement subie, qui s'achève avec un deuxième but des Mexicains sur penalty (une escroquerie, on sera tous d'accord). Deuxième demie : les gars reviennent avec le couteau entre les dents.
Piatti réduit l'écart avant la 60e minute, d'une grosse patate de Pencran (je vous laisse googler. Pour les non-francophones, search for "Pencran's potatoe") à l'entrée de la surface. Poteau, penalty non sifflé... La suite sera frustrante. 2-1 Pachuca. L'évidence de la qualification au retour se fait d'elle-même, et je pourrai tranquillement survoler les gradins du Big O en hélicobite et vous faire des coucous.
Sofiane Benzaza ( Back to Basics )
Montreal has nothing to lose and should focus on getting the basics right while staving off a strong Pachuca squad. It's more important to kick-start the MLS season than just focusing on a historical semi-final berth. But being hungry to try to win the game and get the best result is still important to put the pressure on Pachuca for the second leg.
With 13 new players coming in, chemistry on the pitch is the most worrisome especially when the Impact has not played one competitive game before going to Mexico and while being there at Cruz Azul's training centre.