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Bassong Positive About Season Opener

“Playing TFC in first game gives me extra motivation and focus.” - Bassong.

Mexico v Canada - 2020 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Semifinals
On the ball. Canadian U23 MNT defender Zorhan Bassong is looking forward to his first MLS season.
Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images

Zorhan Bassong is very comfortable in front of the media. I’m not sure how many times he fielded questions from European media scrums, but he’s been very much at ease facing the press in Montreal so far.

He sounded a little concerned though at the relatively short time the whole squad have been together as the season opener looms, but feels upbeat and highly motivated that the first test comes against Toronto FC.

“Honestly I feel it’s a great opportunity for us, because it’s our rival team, it’s a derby and we want to be ready for this game. I can feel the players want to be focused for this one. For example, yesterday we played and in our game we were always comparing how this would look like against Toronto.

“So I feel like the players are really motivated to play against them.

“For me I couldn’t really hope better, because to play against Toronto in the first game it gives me a lot of motivation to train harder and be ready for that first game.”

A defensive or wing-back role on the left side is not guaranteed for the youngster just returned from Cercle Bruges, and he knows he has a fight on for a spot on the team

“Kizza and I are going to fight for the left-back position. We both deserve to play,” which all spells good news for Montreal with two highly motivated young players in contention for the same role.

Mexico v Canada - 2020 Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Semifinals
Zorhan Bassong (right) tackles Mexico’s Uriel Antuna in the recent Olympic qualifying tournament in Guadalajara...
Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images

On the team’s preparation for the big kick-off he realizes that pre-season this year has had to be greatly improvised with Covid and the unavailability of players on international duty, himself included.

You get the impression, understandably so, that the approach has been more practical than progressive or inventive, more about the basics and building relationships.

“For the moment, we’re not doing anything different except watching more videos and talk more tactics. More like team meetings because we need to adapt to today’s reality and we know we don’t have a lot of games to prepare for the season, or trainings together either.

“It’s up to us the players and staff to be even more focused and concentrated on our task here and I think we’ll be ready for the season.”

Check out the latest, The Ball Is Round Podcast (Episode 23). Recorded Wednesday evening (7 April), the TBIR team discusses CFM’s Florida rendezvous, the goalkeeping situation, the new MLS schedule, opening game v Toronto FC and the MLS pundits’ unflattering CF Montreal predictions... Plus all the usual favourite features... including, Eve’s Time Machine... Don’t miss it!

Also... great chat with CF Montreal’s new signing Kamal Miller recorded Fri 9 April (on a special episode 24) - well worth a listen...

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