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Montréal Impact versus Columbus Crew -- Post Game Review

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The Montréal Impact cruised to an impressive 3-0 win over the Columbus Crew on Saturday, highlighted by a Marco Donadel golazo.

Oduro pokes home the third goal of the game in IMFC's 3-0 win over the Crew.
Oduro pokes home the third goal of the game in IMFC's 3-0 win over the Crew.
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Call it karma; call it what you will, but personally, I think Marco Donadel scored that absolute stunner of a goal for me.Let’s be honest here; no one in this city has gone to bat for this guy like I have. I’m not one to gloat, but every once and a while you have to pat yourself on the back. I’ve been saying it all year, and I’ll say it again: this guy can play!

Red cards are sometimes... good?

This idea that he was too slow for the league was, in my opinion, a flawed assessment. The main stumbling block for Donadel has been learning how to adapt his style of defending to that of the MLS. He’s clearly used to attempting a lot of tackles back in Italy, and he’s had to dial that back a notch or two. It’s unfortunate that it took a red card booking for that to sink in, but sometimes you need a little shock treatment to get on the right track.

Since the incident, he has attempted very few sliding tackles, and now tries to just stay in front of the man he’s defending, focusing more on just being in the right place at the right time. He’s far from a lockdown CDM, but his mixture of passing and savvy decision-making skills makes him almost irreplaceable in the lineup at the moment.

Bush makes amends

It’s always great when a player calls himself out, and then decides to really bring it in his next game. That’s exactly what Evan Bush did against the Crew on Saturday. His save in the 24th minute was especially impressive. He came out just in time to break up what could have been an easy tap in for the Crew.

A goal at that moment could have really stung the Impact’s confidence, so as much as the two early goals were important, that save was maybe even bigger in the grand scheme of things. He would go on to make 5 saves in the game (including a big one a Tony Tchani screamer) but none were bigger than that early save, as it set the tone for the match.

Piatti CAM-ing along

Clearly when you win 3-0, a lot of things go right, and as such, there were very few passengers on the night. Something that really stuck out for me though was Ignacio Piatti, as he continued his slow but steady progression into the No. 10 role for IMFC.

Not having a true CAM has been one of my main concerns for Montréal this year, but I’ve seen a real change in Piatti’s performances over the past 3-4 games. Kind of like Donadel, Piatti has begun to adapt to the MLS, and maybe more specifically, to his new team.

Whereas most of Piatti’s highlights from earlier in the season were marauding runs in which he tried to beat three defenders before taking a shot, Piatti of late has been a player who seems way more pass-first, and it’s really changing the overall dynamic of the squad. When you know a player likes to hold on to the ball, it’s difficult to know when to make a run. In the first half against Columbus I saw a player that was looking to create for his teammates instead of for himself, something that I think fans, coaches, and players have wanted to see more of.

Defensive questions

Elsewhere, it was nice to see Victor Cabrera settle in at CB. After playing most of the year out of position at RB, followed by an injury that sidelined him for a month or so, the Argentinian put in his best performance in a while. His anticipation on headers was excellent, and he made smart, well timed tackles all night long.

Unfortunately though, his early season cramping issues reared their ugly head again, and that’s a little bit disconcerting. The loanee has a real difficulty making it through a full 90’, something that is normally expected from a CB. As a coach, I don’t think you want to go into any game assuming that you’ll have to sub out your CB at some point, which begs the question: should Klopas keep starting Cabrera? And if the answer is no, who do you start?

Sadly, it looks like Klopas favors Soumare over Lefèvre, which is baffling to me. After making one decisive error in Week 15 versus NYCFC, it seems that the Frenchman (now Canadian) has completely lost the trust of his coach, which I find pretty ridiculous. Soumare has had more than his fair share of woeful performances this season, which leads me to think that there is some kind of favoritism going on. I hope I’m wrong, but it sure feels that way…

Oh and by the way, Oduro scored twice. Love that guy!