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Montreal Announce Florida Warm-Ups

Two games scheduled before the serious business begins against Toronto FC

Al Lang Stadium in downtown St Petersburg, a venue frequented by Montreal Impact on several occasions. CF Montreal will play against hosts Tampa Bay Rowdies there on Sunday 11 April, six days before facing Toronto FC in the opening MLS fixture of 2021.

Montréal will warm-up against two USL sides after they leave for Florida on April 6th.

USL League One side Tormenta FC (or to give their full name, South Georgia Tormenta FC) will be Montreal’s first-ever opponent under the new CF Montreal moniker, when the sides meet in Orlando on Thursday April 8 at 11am.

The second game (Sunday 11 April - 6pm), is against USL Championship club Tampa Bay Rowdies, one of the iconic names of Seventies NASL soccer. The Rowdies are a familiar pre-season foe, and defeated the Impact in 2-1 in February 2020 with two goals from captain and top-scorer, Sebastien Guenzatti.

Romell Quioto replied for Montreal in the 90th minute. Too little, too late.

Rowdies captain and top-scorer, Uruguayan-born, Sebastien Guenzatti....

The starting line-ups on that evening were as follows -

Montreal Impact: Evan Bush; Jukka Raitala, Karifa Yao, Luis Binks, Zachary Brault-Guillard; Amar Sejdic, Steeven Saba, Mathieu Choiniere; Ballou Tabla, Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Orji Okwonkwo

Tampa Bay Rowdies: Evan Louro; Louis Lomas, Forrest Lasso, Aaron Guillen; Mustapha Dumbuya, Jordan Doherty, Yann Ekra, Lewis Hilton, Leo Fernandes; Sebastian Guenzatti, Juan Tejada

The warm-up game should prove quite a stiff test for Montreal. Tampa Bay, after finishing 4th in the Eastern Conference last season, made it all the way to the November USL Final which was cancelled after several of the club’s players and staff tested positive for COVID-19. In the event, no league champion was chosen. They were due to play Didier Drogba’s Phoenix Rising in the decider.

The Rowdies have already played one pre-season friendly, a 2-1 victory over Tormenta, and will face, Inter-Miami, Nashville SC and the Red Bulls before receiving CF Montreal.

As for Tormenta FC, they play in the third tier of North American football, one below Tampa Bay. They finished 8th in their eleven-team league last season, above the reserve teams of New England Revolution and Orlando City.

Kicking up a storm.... VAMOS TORMENTA!!!
Tormenta FC will be the first opponent for the freshly-named CF Montreal...

Formed only in 2015, they became Statesboro’s first pro team in any sport for 60 years, since the Statesboro Pilots of baseball’s Georgia State League folded in 1955.

Tormenta (meaning ‘Storm’ in Spanish), was announced as the first founding member of USL League One for 2019, after they had an undefeated 2018 regular season, clinching the Deep South Division Championship.

They set their record attendance when hosting the inaugural match of USL League One in March 2019, when 3,519 turned up to watch Tormenta defeat Greenville Triumph 1-0.

Their pre-season games began on March 13 with a 0-3 defeat at Atlanta United, and another defeat (1-2) a week later to Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium.

Tormenta’s head coach is Ian Cameron, a Scot and former professional at Partick Thistle FC, the renowned Glasgow club that sits in the shadow of both Rangers and Celtic.

Check out the latest, The Ball Is Round Podcast (Episode 20). Recorded last Wednesday evening (17 March), the TBIR team discuss the Montreal captaincy, Henry’s recent UK TV appearance, Gilmore’s CCL comments and describe what the dawning of a new season means to each of them. Plus all the usual favourite features...and a new one... Eve’s Time Machine... Don’t miss it!

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