The Montreal Impact are currently in 2nd to the last place in the Eastern Conference and are going up against powerhouses Sporting Kansas City this weekend with a weakened lineup due to international duty. The Impact is without the likes of Ciman, Oyongo, Dzemaili, Bernier, Crépeau, Jackson, and Lefèvre.
To get an idea of just what the Montreal Impact will be facing from this weekend, we spoke with Cody Bradley from The Blue Testament to get a good look at SKC.
1. With SKC sitting at the top of the Western Conference right now do you see them maintaining this position till the end of the season or will they fall back a couple of spots?
It's so hard to say because of the way MLS always goes. I think they have the talent and discipline to end the season among the leaders of the Western Conference. The starting lineup is very good but the questions may start to arise when squad rotation is necessary. Peter Vermes says they will be active in the transfer window so I'm hopeful we will see some reinforcements.
I'm sure a stumble is coming at some point. Several team leaders will have plenty of international duty to attend to with Besler, Zusi and Dwyer all being named to the USMNT preliminary roster - and that's just the Americans. But I really like this team. They can compete with everyone in the league and I'm looking for a first-round bye in the playoffs this year.
2. The Montreal Impact have 7 players on international leave this weekend ( the most in the MLS) what will SKC do tactically to beat a weakened Montreal Impact.
Peter Vermes has, for the most part, stuck with the same gameplan all season. There are obvious tweaks and changes depending on the opponent, but you can be sure SKC will come out looking to control the match and dictate the pace of play. They like to have possession, they REALLY like it. Many fans will tell you they need to be a bit more direct as a lot of the passing is horizontal and backward. But they do create plenty of chances and take a lot of shots, but finding that last touch can sometimes be a worry. Sporting has not lost at home in the last 16 regular season matches. They pride themselves on putting on a show for the home fans and I think we will see more of the same this weekend.
3. What will it mean to the SKC fans if they somehow win the supporters shield this year?
We love trophies around these parts. The club promises them to the fans, and the fans expect to see that silverware. I myself recognize the Supporter's Shield as the bigger feat and winning in it the Western Conference I think makes it even more impressive. KC has only won it one time, back in 2000 when Peter Vermes won it as a player (they took home MLS Cup that year as well). I would love so much to win it, but I'm still an American and I love a good ol' playoff final! Winning the cup gives you that memorable moment and it is probably more fun than the SS. But I would value more the accomplishment of proving to be the best over the course of the full season.