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CF Montréal and the goal keeping dilemma

A look at what went wrong and how Pantemis can take advantage.

MLS: Canadian Championship-CF Montreal at Toronto FC Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

CF Montréal and the goal keeping dilemma was highlighted this week on Matt Doyle’s weekly (and very good) column covering all things MLS.

The result was a shocking piece of news:

“For the purposes of the playoff race, the change in Montréal’s goal were almost certainly the bigger story. Wilfried Nancy hinted last week, after a disastrous performance in a home loss to Sporting KC, that Sebastian Breza had finally done enough to lose the No. 1 job. This wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment thing – Breza has been, by most metrics, the worst ‘keeper in the league this year and Montréal are underperforming defensively by miles because of it (though not exclusively because of it).”

“And so James Pantemis got the nod on Saturday. Truth be told he didn’t have much to do, making just four routine saves. But if he can be just league average at keeping the ball out of the net, that’ll be a massive upgrade for CFM over the season’s final two-and-a-half months.”

Listen, we knew we had a goal keeping issue and it’s why I suggested a trade for David Ochoa last week, but who knew it was this bad?

If Pantemis can play at an average level the team will be so much better off. Some adjustments elsewhere, like pairing Wanyama with Piette and we could get a much more solid defense.

MTL have been shipping goals left and right and in the Eastern conference, out of the top ten, were the second most scored on team despite being in fourth place. A wild stat that paired with injuries and the poor GK play, make absolute sense.

It’s a credit to Wifried Nancy’s coaching that this team is even that high in the standings given all the goals shipped out. It is really why with some tweaks we could see a much improved defense. Some of that hinges on health, sure, but Pantemis needs to make his mark and keep the job this time by just performing at a median level.

We’ll see if he can.