The Impact started off their 2018 season in Vancouver last night. The Impact showed resiliency but a drop in defensive stability for a few minutes showed to be costly as they walk away with a 2-1 loss.
The first half, as expected, started off with many chances for Vancouver. The first opportunity for Vancouver came in the fifth minute when Bush slipped in his goal kick and the ball landed right at Kamara's feet. Kamara's first touch was a little heavy and he could not seize the golden opportunity.
Half an hour into the game, was the first moment a real play was set up by the Impact. Taider ran up the pitch passed the ball to his right to Edwards who switched sides by crossing the ball into the 18 yard box to Piatti. Piatti's header which was intended for Mancosu, who was almost alone in front of the net, was cleared by Watson.
Starting off the second half, the Impact played a solid first ten minutes getting a few more link ups but nothing coming to fruition. In the 63rd minute, Davies crossed the ball into the box and Kamara redirected the cross with his head into the net.
The cross, the header, the dance moves!— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) March 5, 2018
Kei Kamara opens his account for #VWFC.#VANvMTL https://t.co/z9IemFerad
In the 70th minute, Techera managed to stay just onside an with a nice little easy pass to the middle he set Davies up perfectly who tapped the ball towards the net. Bush managed to get a decent touch on it but the ball trickled into the net giving Vancouver a 2-0 with twenty minutes to go.
17 years, 4 months, 2 days.— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) March 5, 2018
Alphonso Davies becomes the 10th youngest goalscorer in @MLS history. #VWFC #VANvMTL https://t.co/fDthUROUIq
The final ten minutes of the game was all Montreal Impact. In the 81st minute, Lovitz got a nice cross in at the far post and Mancosu seized the opportunity perfectly by heading the ball into the back of the net. Just a few minutes later Lovitz and Mancosu linked up again but the ball went just wide; Mancosu had the tie at his feet but he was a few strides behind and could not get a solid touch on the ball. Mancosu almost got another opportunity when a through ball was perfectly intended for him but he went a little early on the run and got caught offside.
Dans l'oeil d'Impact Média >> Mancosu sait se servir de sa tête!— Impact de Montréal (@impactmontreal) March 5, 2018
Impact Media >> Mancosu knows how to use his head!#IMFC | #VANvMTL | #MLSisBack pic.twitter.com/oMw8jaAxwo
Ultimately the Impact fell short but proved a lot of resiliency at the end of the game. They need to draw from the positives and learn from their negative moments. Next weeks opponents, Columbus, will not be easy as they have already proved they are a force to be reckon with this season winning 2-0 in Toronto.
- Draft Pick Making it Happen: Ken Krolicki was there to impress. Garde trusted that 3rd round 2018 draft pick was good enough to be on the starting 11. While many fans doubted the decision before the game they saw quickly enough why he got the start. Krolicki did not make any major mistakes, had decent distribution (36 on 41 passes succesfully reaching the target) and one important clearance in the box. He did his job and it would not be surprising to see him get more minutes in the MLS this season.
- Canadian Duo Face-Off: Great friends off the pitch, Petrasso and Edwards, who had shown great chemistry on the pitch in preseason struggled against their Canadian duo opposition, de Jong and Davies. Petrasso got caught many times by the 17-year-old Davies and his passes were often off target (75% reached the intended target). The distribution errors from Petrasso did not seem to help Edwards who also seemed off his game. Both these players have seen better days; expect them to bounce back from their below par performance and quickly.
- Structured on the Pitch: For the first time in a while the Impact played as a solid block up and down the pitch. While they did defend for almost the whole 45 minutes in the first half the score line stayed at zero. In the second half, they dropped their structure for about ten minutes which allowed Vancouver to score two goals. The Garde system has been put into play and it was working when the players were executing it.
MTL – G-Evan Bush; D-Michael Petrasso, Víctor Cabrera, Jukka Raitala (David Choinière 78’), Daniel Lovitz; M-Samuel Piette, Saphir Taïder, Ken Krolicki, Raheem Edwards (Jeisson Vargas 70’), Ignacio Piatti; A-Matteo Mancosu
Unused subs – James Pantemis, Chris Duvall, Shamit Shome, Dominic Oduro, Marco Donadel
VAN – GK-Stefan Marinovic; D- Jakob Nerwinski, Aaron Maud, Kendall Waston, Marcel de Jong; M-Alphonso Davies (Brek Shea 81’), Cristian Techera, Efraín Juárez, Russell Teibert, Yordy Reyna (Felipe 75’); F-Kei Kamara (Anthony Blondell 89’)
Unused subs – Brian Rowe, José Aja, Nicolás Mezquida, Bernie Ibini-Isei
VAN – Kamara (Davies, Teibert) 63’
VAN – Davies (Techera, Juárez) 70’
MTL – Mancosu (Lovitz, Piatti) 81’
VAN – Juárez 11’
MTL – Cabrera 32’
VAN – Waston 37’
MTL – Mancosu 90’+2’