With the first preseason game in the books and first win under their belt the Impact started off well. The preseason is the moment for the youngsters to fight their way into the lineup and the chemistry to install itself. It is without a doubt their is still room for improvement but it is also important for fans to understand that the preseason (especially the first one) is not the best way to judge what they will see out of the club for the season. There is although, some information, that can be drawn out from the game against new USL team Las Vegas Lights.
- Lucky or opportunistic: It is obvious for anyone brave enough to stay up and watch the game on Saturday night to see that the Impact seized the opportunities being handed to them from Vegas (especially keeper Ricardo Ferriño). Ferriño was an unorthodox keeper for sure and his aggressive play came back to haunt him in the second half.
- Promising youth: Preseason games are a major moment for younger players to seize their position in the lineup. A lot of promise was seen in players like Shamit Shome, David Choiniere, Gabriel Balbinotti. Shome really made his place on the pitch and held his own in the center of everything. Choiniere who was injury ridden and stuck behind the best player of the Impact showed a lot of positive play. He seems to be hungry to make his spot on the roster and with the issues on the right side he could make a play for that spot. Balbinotti, an academy player, is imposing and while we saw very little of him he managed to show some good stuff; plays aggressively and creates his space.
- Playing down to the opponent: Vegas is a new USL team and seemed disorganized on the pitch. While goalkeeper Ricardo Ferriño did keep them in the game on a few occasions in the first half the Impact did not seem to be dominating as much as they should have. The Impact was solid defensively but offensively plays were a little messy. This messiness will likely (hopefully) clean up in the preseason with time and chemistry developing.
- Honorable mention: new signings show their worth: Taider, Diallo and Vargas really showed some nice stints while on the pitch. Taider and Vargas linked up well with star player Piatti and Diallo solidified the defensive.
MTL – GK-Evan Bush (Clément Diop 46’); D-Michael Petrasso (Chris Duvall 63’), Zakaria Diallo (Clément Bahiya 79’), Víctor Cabrera (Thomas Meilleur-Giguère 79’), Daniel Lovitz (Jukka Raitala 63’); M-Saphir Taïder (Marco Donadel 63’), Ken Krolicki (Shamit Shome 63’), Raheem Edwards (David Choinière 46’), Jeisson Vargas (Mathieu Choinière 63’), Ignacio Piatti (Michael Salazar 63’); F-Matteo Mancosu (Gabriel Balbinotti 63’)
Subs not used – James Pantemis, Daniel Kinumbe, Dominic Oduro
LV – GK-Ricardo Ferriño; D-Joel Huiqui, Miguel Garduño, Marcelo Alatorre, Juan Herrera; M-Alexander Mendoza, Julian Portugal, Carlos Alvarez; F-Juan Calderon, Isaac Diaz, Gerardo Lugo
Subs – Freddy Adu, Angel Alvarez, Zak Drake, Juan Carlos Garcia, Cristian Gonzalez, Jorge Guillen, Adolfo Guzman, Oscar Hernandez, Sebastien Hernandez, Christian Herrera, Marco Cesar Jaime, Anuar Kanan, Andres Muñiz, Samuel Ochoa, Matt Thomas, Christian Torres
MTL – Salazar 64’
LV – Own goal (Huiqui) 66’
LV – Huiqui 19’
MTL – Mancosu 39’
MTL – Lovitz 41’
LV – Mendoza 43’
MTL – D. Choinière 77’
LV – Ferriño 68’
Stay tuned for player grades.