CF Montreal faces its biggest challenge of the year

» Go on ! Go on ! Come on ! CF Montreal fans thundered their allegiance on Sunday morning around Saputo Stadium, which was filled to capacity. Some New York supporters who made the trip paraded with their « defending champion » scarves around their necks, blue and orange drums in support. Everything is in place for the Eastern semi-final in the MLS playoffs.

If Montreal wins, it gets its bye to the Eastern final. The Philadelphia Union will be waiting for him in the next round with a team that excels on defense. The last time Montreal reached the MLS semi-finals was in 2016.

But first, the team in blue and black will have a lot to do if they want to reach this semi-final of the MLS Cup. The Impact has posted the third-best regular season record in MLS in 2022, but New York can boast of having a complete, balanced and championship-winning team. New York City FC remains undefeated in 12 of its last 13 games against Montreal in all competitions.

The last meeting between the two teams dates back to last July. The 0-0 result does not tell the whole story, as Montreal had clearly dominated the game. But it was another New York. The latter experienced a trough this summer, with several players injured.

“The last time we played against them, they played more defensively. But it’s a different game this Sunday,” commented CF Montreal coach Wilfried Nancy last Friday after training open to the media. “We focus on ourselves and we want to continue with what we are doing. »

New York has also since lost the services of their star Taty Castellanos, on loan to Girona FC, a Spanish first division team.

The two rival teams therefore share the same absence of a key player. No international franchise star to establish a strategy. Montreal relies on locally catalyzed chemistry and a Quebec captain and unifier in the person of Samuel Piette. But, everyone can play the heroes this Sunday.

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