The Impact faced off against New York City FC and star striker David Villa for their last preseason game. It was, as most final preseason games are, expected that a very game like lineup and substitutions would be made. Although, the game ended in a 2-2 draw the Impact played one of their better games of the preseason and showed that they can be a solid team this season.
In the twelfth minute, surprisingly Diallo made an unfortunate and costly error giving away the ball cheaply to New York. An easy pass to Villa left Bush flat footed in his net who tried to apply pressure but the ball was easily chipped over him giving New York the lead.
The remainder of the half was led a lot by the Impact who created multiple nice opportunities, mainly a bicycle attempt by Edwards who was far off target but the effort was definitely there. Taider also had a nice free kick opportunity in the center of the pitch right outside the 18 yard box; in the end his shot dipped a little late and passed over the cross bar.
Before the end of the half the Impact got a little scare after some defensive shambles (mainly by Cabrera) led Villa to be just a few yards away from Bush. Bush came up with multiple saves on the play.
The second half did not start off well for the Impact. In the 50th minute, the Impact gave up a free kick slightly off centered at the top of the 18 yard box. Bush made a play for the ball but Villa’s shot was perfectly wrapped inside the post for his second of the night.
The Impact although answered quickly with a Taider rocket shot from distance. His shot hit the post and went in.
During the whole game the Impact brought an improtant aspect to their game that ended up being the difference maker. They applied pressure on NYCFC’s defensive line forcing them to distribute the ball quicker. This pressure led to the second goal in the 55th minute. After multiple players applied pressure on NYCFC players, Piatti followed the play perfectly allowing him to intercepted a pass intended for the keeper, Johnson. Alone in front of the keeper he skillfully made a nice shot to the far side to tie up the game.
The remainder of the game went back and forth until the final ten minutes, where the Impact seem to sit back a little and defend. Hopefully this does not happen during the regular season since this is what led them to lose multiple games last season. Last seaosn, they would sit back on the tie or their lead and the other team would either grab the win in the final minutes or tie it up late.
- Using all the Space: Under the reign of Garde, one major thing that has changed this season in that Montreal is using the whole pitch. This led them to have multiple good scoring opportunities during the preseason. The players were not afraid to pass the ball backwards and use the width of the pitch. By changing sides of the pitch when necessary, it allowed them to give Piatti and Edwards space to create nice chances. The playing style Garde has set was much more apparent during the game tonight given that the 11 was very close to what will be seen in next week’s head to head against Vancouver.
- Deadly Cannon of a Shot by Taider: With the first goal one thing was very clear, Taider has a very nice shot. From distance he was able to get a powerful shot off the post and in. Similar to shots we saw last season from Dzemaili it will be interesting to see how many Taider will be able to pull off.
- Great Acquisition: Many Toronto FC fans were sad to see Edwards be unprotected at the expansion draft and we are seeing why. He made many nice plays during the game tonight and displayed he can be a distribution, scoring and free kick threat. It will be nice to see him flourish this season.
Honorable Mention: Maybe not honorable but worth mentioning the Impact was not as defensively sound in tonight’s game with a few costly errors leading to the goals and it could have been worse if Bush had not come up with big saves on a few occasions.
Real Honorable Mention: Ken Krolicki was going into tonight as a final test to see if he would make the team. He showed a lot of poise for such a young and inexperienced player coming up with a few nice takeaways from players like Villa and nice vision to set up decent scoring opportunities.
If it was up to you, would Ken Krolicki make the team?
This poll is closed
MTL- Evan Bush; Jukka Raitala (Daniel Lovitz 46’), Zakaria Diallo, Víctor Cabrera, Michael Petrasso; Samuel Piette, Ken Krolicki, Saphir Taïder; Nacho Piatti, Matteo Mancosu (Jeisson Vargas 71’), Raheem Edwards (David Choinière 80’).
NYC- Sean Johnson; Ronald Matarrita, Alexander Callens, Maxime Chanot, Anton Tinnerholm; Jesus Medina, Yangel Herrera, Alexander Ring, Maximiliano Moralez; Rodney Wallace, David Villa (Asad Mackic 89’).
NYC – David Villa 12’
NYC – David Villa 50’
MTL – Saphir Taïder 51’
MTL – Nacho Piatti 55’
NYC – Jesus Medina 31’
NYC – Alexander Callens 35’
NYC – Anton Tinnerholm 66’
MTL – Matteo Mancosu 69’
MTL – Ken Krolicki 69’
NYC – David Villa 70’
MTL – Víctor Cabrera 87’