Three-nil up after 56 minutes last August, the Impact looked to be cruising to only their second-ever victory over FC Dallas.
What happened next was to shape the rest of the season and pave the way for Thierry Henry’s eventual arrival as head coach at Stade Saputo... although we wouldn’t have dreamt it then.
The men from Texas stormed back to level the game. The Impact was still two goals to the good with 6 minutes left, but couldn’t hold on. It was the latest setback in a run of indifferent form, one that Remi Garde would not be given the opportunity to rebound from. He was gone within a few days, replaced by Colombian Wilmer Cabrera.
The rest they say is history, and the same troublesome Dallas provide Impact’s opposition this coming weekend.
Montreal has an abysmal record at the Frisco venue, played four, lost four, they’ve never won any match in thirteen visits to the state of Texas and avoided defeat only once, a 1-1 draw at Houston Dynamo eight years ago.
A tall order looms for the men of Montreal if an unbeaten start to the season is to be maintained.
Like the Impact, FC Dallas claimed all three points on Opening Weekend, thanks to two goals in the last half-hour against Jim Curtin’s Philadephia Union.
Debutant defensive midfielder Thiago Santos (30) was included (on the bench) in MLS’s first Team of the Week of 2020.
The recent acquisition from Palmeiras went the full 90 displaying physical prowess throughout the contest, keeping the Philly midfield quiet for most of the night.
Montreal will also have to keep a close eye on Zdenek ‘Kobra’ Ondrasek. It was Ondrasek’s introduction as a sub and goal which shook things up at Stade Saputo last season, kick-starting FCD’s three-goal revival. The Pole was on the mark again last Saturday, opening the scoring against Union just after the hour-mark.
The Dallas men will be confident. Why wouldn’t they be with such a positive record over Montreal Impact behind them? But Thierry Henry has changed things in Montreal and is sure to have a trick or two up his sleeve to deal with the conditions and hopefully inspire his team to break new ground.
A first-ever win in California arrived at just about this time last year. Why not Texas, this?
Montreal Impact kicks off against FC Dallas on Saturday evening in Frisco Stadium at 2000 hrs EST. The evening’s officials are -
Referee: Victor Rivas
Assistant Refs: Ian McKay, TJ Zablocki
4th Official: Ramy Touchan
VAR: Sorin Stoica