After failing to even draw at home versus the Vancouver Whitecaps, Mauro Biello’s men will be eager to prove that they are better than their dismal record reflects. The perfect chance to improve that record is this Saturday when the Montreal Impact face off versus DC United in the cavernous JFK Stadium.
We all know how the Impact have struggled of late, but let’s take the time to look at our upcoming opponent. DC currently sits in 8th place in the Eastern conference with 11 points, 4 more than the Impact. DC is fresh of the heels of an impressive 3-1 victory over Atlanta United in which they counter attacked brilliantly. In that match, Atlanta controlled most of the possession, but DC used their pace to hit Atlanta on the counter. DC will not have the same sit-back game plan against the Impact though. Montreal is far from a possession team and I see DC trying to keep their foot on the ball and take the play to us.
Key Players for DC United:
Luciano Acosta: Acosta is DC’s Argentinian maestro. The 5’3” midfielder is the driving force in a dangerous DC attack. The 22 year old has already matched his goal total from last year with 3 goals. If the Impact are to have any chance of keeping a lid on DC’s attack, they will have to keep a very close watch on Acosta.
Bill Hamid: Montreal Impact fans are already very familiar with DC United’s 26 year old keeper. Hamid has single-handedly kept DC in many a game. It is quite a feat to beat the American international so the Impact’s accuracy will need to be pinpoint if they hope to come away from Washington with any points at all.
Changes to the Starting 11:
After a series of disappointing performances on the Impact’s part, it has been asked what Biello can do to shake up the formation to rally his men to victory. Here are the changes I would make to our starting 11.
Adrian Arregui in for Hernan Bernardello: Bernardello has been one of the most underwhelming Impact players so far this season, and that’s saying something when the team is near last and no one has really performed exceptionally. Why not give the young Arregui a chance? It would take something spectacular for him to do worse than Bernardello. Arregui Arrived during the winter transfer window from Argentina shortly before the season started. The Impact’s brass signed very few players but they made an exception for Arregui. They clearly saw hidden potential in the defensive midfielder. Let’s see what the Argentine can do with a few more minutes.
Start Anthony Jackson-Hamel at striker: There has been talk this week about whom the Impact should start in place of the injured Matteo Mancosu. Our two options are Anthony Jackson-Hamel and Dominc Oduro. While I admit Oduro can be a useful weapon against some MLS teams, I don’t believe his skill set will be very useful against DC United. He doesn’t have the finishing to beat most MLS keepers, let alone a standout like Hamid. Most importantly, his pace is less useful versus a team like DC since they aren’t a possession based team. That means Oduro will have far fewer chances to use his pace on the counter-attack and he will be forced to keep his foot on the ball, which is definitely not his forte. Let’s give Jackson the chance to start and see what the promising Quebec native can do.
Be sure to tune in Saturday at 6pm when our Montreal Impact face off versus DC United. You can watch the game on TVA Sports or listen on TSN 690.