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Piatti May Warm the Bench, Saturday

Return looks imminent for Impact’s star man ...

MLS: Montreal Impact at Orlando City SC
Ignacio Piatti could be part of the 18-man squad for the visit of New England, Saturday ..
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been the first week in what seems like an eternity, that Impact fans have not heard the words, “Ignacio Piatti will be missing with a (insert ‘knee’ or ‘calf’) injury.”

Piatti injured his calf two weeks ago during a training session while recovering from the well-documented knee problem picked up in Orlando, but trained yesterday and seemed to be unrestricted in his movements according to TVA Sports. More news emerged today from TVA’s Nicolas A Martineau that the Argentine looks set to be included on Saturday, although probably not from the start.

That he won’t start the game would be music to the ears of Revs fans, who will recall how Piatti ripped them apart at Stade Saputo last season, helping himself to three assists and a goal in a masterly performance.

MLS: New England Revolution at Montreal Impact
Piatti celebrates scoring against New England a year ago at Stade Saputo. His genius has been missed. Fans will be hoping for more of the same upon his return ...
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Any team would miss a player of Piatti’s quality and the rest of the squad have rightly earned kudos for picking up so many points, mainly on the road, without their talisman. It’s not been pretty, but for the most part it’s been effective.

Piatti’s value to the Impact cannot be overstated, having scored 75 goals for the club (66 in MLS) since joining MLS towards the end of the 2015 season. It’s not only his goals though, it’s the dynamic he brings to the team. Montreal Impact are a very different set of circumstances with Piatti, than the one-dimensional model they provide, without.

MLS: Columbus Crew at Montreal Impact
Piatti brings so much flair, and makes the Impact a totally different proposition.
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

And he’s the man for all seasons, with a good ratio of goals coming away from home, as at Stade Saputo. Against Eastern Conference opponents in regular season play it’s almost equal, 24 at home, 21 away. A little bit different against teams from the West, however he’s still managed to register 5 times away and 16 in Montreal. Of course it goes without saying, there are less clashes with Western Conference sides.

When he’s on the mark the Impact have a very good record. Piatti has scored in 51 MLS regular season games (he’s started 124), and of those, 31 ended in victory, with only 10 defeats. In other words when Piatti scores the Impact generally do not lose, or at least there’s an 80% chance they won’t!

Each time he’s scored against this Saturday’s opponents, New England Revolution, the Impact has gone on to win the game, that’s twice at Stade Saputo, once at Gillette Stadium.

While the Impact will be hoping not to have to rely so much on Piatti at this point in his recovery, it will do harm to know there’s a potent option on the bench, should things not be going as planned.

It will provide a huge lift to all at Stade Saputo to see this icon of the MLS back in action!