Montreal Impact are back in action this Wednesday, looking to turn things around against Real Salt Lake, in what will be their first meeting of the season. Historically, this is a matchup that the Impact have dominated at home, winning all three previous fixtures. A win on Wednesday would be refreshing for a team that is in a little slump right now.
Impact has not won a game in three weeks. They have struggled at home and in some games they have looked hopeless, away. The most glaring issue has been an impotent offence. The Impact has failed to score a first half goal in their last twelve matches and scored only twice at their home stadium in four games this season. To add injury to insult it looks as though Montreal might be without their most reliable attacking option for Wednesday’s match, per 98.5FM Nacho Piatti re-aggravated his knee in LA, and his status is questionable.
Montreal’s inability to score goals this season perhaps has an explanation that is both positive and negative. Positively, it can easily be explained by the long absence of star forward Nacho Piatti. He suffered an Injury that has kept him out for most of the early season thus negatively affecting his team’s performance in scoring goals. Reasonable enough? What makes a little less sense you may ask? Perhaps the Impact’s reliance on a 34-year-old attacker? Too many times they’ve ground to a collective halt when Piatti is on the sidelines.
On the other hand, it is not as though the Impact do not have the attacking talent. They have plenty of young attacking players, each with their own style, which in theory should give the Impact a diverse portfolio of attackers to choose from if they wished to change tactics. It is on the coach however, to get the best out of his players and unfortunately, right now he isn’t doing so. I hope that we will see some attacking tactical changes from Garde as they could make all the difference in the world.
Positively, for the Impact, Real Salt Lake will give Montreal the opportunity to get out of its offensive slump. Despite winning their last three games on the bounce, Wednesday`s opponent has the worst “Goals Against” of any of the Western Conference play-off teams. They have also conceded at least one goal in four out of their last five matches, the lone clean sheet coming against a 10-man Toronto squad.
Real Salt Lake also seem to struggle away from home as four of their six losses have come away from Utah. This is a tantalizing opportunity for an Impact team that has struggled of late. It is not only an opportunity to further strengthen their position in the Eastern Conference standings, it can help build some confidence.
Going prolonged stretches without a win is never good for any team in any sport; a win on Wednesday would do wonders for the mentality of the team. I hope that Remi and the boys not only win, but win emphatically.
Start Time: 7:30 PM EST
Predicted Lineups -
IMFC (4-3-3): Bush - Sagna, Diallo, Raitala, Lovitz - Shome, Azira, Taïder - Okonkwo, Urruti, Choinière
RSL (4-2-3-1): Rimando - Herrera, Glad, Onuoha, Toia - Besler, Kreilach - Savarino, Rusnak, Saucedo - Baird
Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: CJ Morgante, Claudiu Badea
4th Official: Pierre-Luc Lauziere
VAR: Jose Carlos Rivero
The Impact’s match against Real Salt Lake tomorrow will be shown on ESPN+ for the US audience & any IMFC fans who find themselves down south .... (7.30pm EST). Here’s the link ...