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Opening Day - Nancy Aims to Become Fourth CFM Head Coach to Win First Game In Charge

New boss seeks to emulate Schallibaum, Biello and Henry...

SOCCER: SEP 09 MLS - Montreal Impact at NE Revolution
Wilfried Nancy hoping to get off to a winning start...
Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On Saturday afternoon in Fort Lauderdale Wilfried Nancy will hope to become the fourth Montreal head coach in MLS history to win his first game in charge.

Thierry Henry did it just over a year ago at the Big O with a 2-1 victory over New England Revolution.

Mauro Biello, greatly helped by a Didier Drogba hat-trick, in a 4-3 win over Chicago Fire in September 2015 and Marco Schallibaum make up the so far successful trio.

Schallibaum is the only head coach so far to win away from home in his first game in charge. His side won 1-0 at Century Link Field over Seattle Sounders in front of an almost 40,000 crowd, part of an opening run of four straight victories in the 2013 season.

Everyone with Montreal at heart will be hoping Nancy doesn’t have to wait as long as Jesse Marsch for his first victory, even if when it finally did come it was worth waiting for. Toronto FC were the opponents at Stade Olympique that afternoon in April 2012, Andrew Wenger’s 81st minute winner enough to claim the points.

It was an even longer wait under Frank Klopas. The former US-international followed three successive defeats with as many consecutive draws, then lost again before, in his eighth game in charge, Philadelphia Union were narrowly defeated, Felipe Martins scoring the game’s only goal.

Toronto has history when it comes to new Montreal coaches acquiring their first MLS win. As well s Jesse Marsch, Remi Garde, after two previous defeats, enjoyed his first success over Toronto FC at Stade Olympique on St Patrick’s Day 2018, Jeisson Vargas scoring the only goal.

What a great start to 2021 it would be to see Wilfried Nancy make it a hat-trick of new head-coach first wins over the old enemy on Saturday.

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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