Another game and another win for the Montreal Impact. For the second game in a row, the Bleu-Blanc-Noir score 3 goals in a game including goals from Ignacio Piatti, Dominic Oduro and Anthony Jackson-Hamel. Evan Bush had a clean sheet in what was a great performance by the keeper and the whole squad as a whole. Beating the New York Red Bulls is no small feat though the season is still very young.
Man of the Match: Ignacio Piatti
Wow. Is all one can say when watching Nacho play at this level every week. It is simply a pleasure to watch.
With the drama surrounding Didier all offseason, and the eventual decision to miss the majority of the beginning of the season, due to the turf playing conditions, many wondered if the Impact would be able to put the ball into the back of the net enough to come away with the full three points every night. Well, as documented last week, this team is deploying a special offensive creativity, that allows all attacking options the opportunity to flourish, and there is no one taking more advantage of this new opportunity then Piatti.
After last week's heroic performance, putting up two goals and one assist, Piatti continued his dominant run, adding a goal and an assist to his resume, one which reads as an MVP-caliber season if he is able to continue this torrent pace.
While that task may be a little unrealistic, and almost impossible to achieve, there is very little you can argue about who has been the best player in MLS thus far. It's Nacho. The conversation ends there.
All game he displayed the same brilliance he has been entertaining Impact fans with for the past two seasons, luring defenders towards him to make space for his teammates, impressing with his world class technical ability, and finally his ability to bury the ball when in close.
The first half featured many opportunities for the Impact, two of which came off of the foot of Piatti himself, almost putting the team up a brace within the first 20 minutes of the game.
As stellar a first half that the Impact played, sprinkled with many opportunities all over the pitch, it was the second half where Piatti, and the rest of the Impact, were able to shine offensively, capitalizing on almost every opportunity produced.
The first goal featured Johan Venegas with a great defensive stop, before making a beautiful pass to Oduro for the goal. But prior to the assist, I found the decision-making Piatti showed to be the most important part of the buildup towards the goal. All game, the Impact had been trying to find the through pass to Oduro on the stretch run down the seam of the Red Bulls backline.
As soon as Piatti was given the ball by Venagas, I half expected the ball to go straight to Oduro, something that was working maybe at a 10% clip that far into the game. Instead, he made the simple read and gave the ball to an attacking Venegas, giving him the space and opportunity to put the ball though to Oduro for the goal. Although it may seem like such a simple pass, it is decision making like this that allows Piatti to be one of the best on the pitch every week.
Piatti's goal, one assisted by the face of Evan Bush (another Save of the Week Candidate), had his finishing ability out on full display. While not as flashy as his first goal from the week prior against Vancouver, he made Red Bulls defender Gideon Baah look like a small child out there, absolutely burning him on the way to the goal, almost reminding everybody that he is still capable of carrying this team on his back offensively.
Is what some Impact fans might be asking themselves after watching these past two games, especially with the way Nacho has been dominating offensively. Ok so maybe I'm getting a bit carried away, but knowing that this team has the ability to be this dangerous, even without the player that is supposed to be the most dangerous on the pitch, is an exciting prospect for any soccer fan, let alone for an Impact fan.
What's the saying again? Two times is a trend, three times is a pattern? Let's hope Piatti is able to claim this space next week again, for a third straight week.
Man of the Match Awards - Thus Far
Ignacio Piatti - 2
But that's just one man's opinion. Let me know your opinion on this game by tweeting me @javiergonz1994 or leaving a comment down below! #IMFC
Make sure to come back the next few days, as the rest of my assessment is posted!
The atmosphere was incredible at the Big O today, let's try and get those upper bowl seats filled for the next home game!
Watching Shipp-Piatti-Ontivero play in person is a treat. An absolute treat.