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No VAR, No Star And An Angry Remi Garde

The Impact coach was unable to resist getting a few things off his chest, Saturday afternoon ...

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Montreal Impact
Remi Garde vented away some frustrations after yesterday’s reverse in Cincinnati ...
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

He’ll probably be fined.

But in the heat of the moment, Remi Garde extracted short-term satisfaction with his after-match comments. Hope he felt better afterwards. He probably was entitled to.

His words were clearly borne from frustration, not to mention a sense of injustice. But also because his team lost too.

”They did not see any offside,” he lamented. “The other explanation I had, I keep it for myself because I’m very upset, so I prefer not to talk about that. “

It’s probably as well he did, but then he did let the cat out the bag a few moments later ...

”When we come to play in Ohio, we always have small problems. If you remember in Columbus last year, we took two penalties, including one in the 94th minute. I do not think it’s a coincidence. “

It’s not hard to see why the Impact coach was worked up about the Urruti non-goal. Not only was it Montreal’s best play of the match, opening up Cincinnati like a cheap can, but it was legal, ticked all the boxes for ON-SIDE, and would’ve hauled his side level at a crucial time in the game.

He probably felt, ‘That goes in and we go on to win the contest.’ A valid point.

Clearly the man in the VAR box, Sorin Stoica, felt differently, although with officials encouraged to give attacking players the benefit of any doubt, it’s hard to understand why this experienced official was unable to determine the play was good. Mr Stoica obviously felt his pictures were neither clear-cut nor obvious. He must have been adamant and very sure, because the man in the middle taking the ultimate decision, wasn’t even tempted to take a look himself.

MLS: Montreal Impact at Columbus Crew SC
Garde also brought up two penalty decisions that went against his team at Columbus early last season, this one being converted by Gyasi Zardes.
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Garde’s consternation then turned to the League. And again he has a point, but one you wonder at whom to point the blame. His dig at the playing surface, again understandable, did not go unnoticed either.

”My players are heroes,” he said. What we have been doing for two months with ten away games in such a short time, chaining them, being the last team that plays at 8 pm midweek and the first playing at 1 pm [on Saturday] “

”Sixty hours ago, we played a big game against the Red Bulls while the opponent was training quietly. “I know it’s going to happen at other times of the season, but the start of the season that has been imposed on us is not entirely normal. Why did we not play Sunday? For fairness of the championship, what does it change? “

”We play again at 1 pm in the heat, abroad, on land that is not worthy of the name, it is not respecting us. We must respect the players. You can not pull the rope without stopping. “

Opting not to use ‘The Big O” and playing so many early season games on the road must surely have had input from Montreal Impact itself. Arguably the brutal travel schedule is the very reason why so many away points have been gleaned so far, the team enjoying ample opportunity to practise their away-day game plan. This point should not attract scorn, but the Impact coach does have a case in the scheduling of some of the games, including the last two.

His view regards playing on a Wednesday night, then playing in the first game of the weekend program has merit. No reason why the Cincinnati game couldn’t have been scheduled on Sunday, but why bring it up following defeat?

The question should be asked, did Montreal Impact, or Remi Garde highlight the issue in advance? The fixtures have been out for quite some time after all. Garde is meticulous about preparation, so I’d be surprised if he didn’t.

And if that’s the case, you must wonder how Montreal Impact are represented in these matters at league level.