The Montreal Impact does not hide its head in the sand: Saturday's game against D.C. United is the biggest of its season.
"No doubt: this is the most important game of 2019 for the Impact," said head coach Wilmer Cabrera. We are trying to be 100% ready. Let's hope our performance is up to the mark and that we win the match. "
"We are very close to them in the standings, hope that we can beat them and not worry about them later," added defender Daniel Lovitz. This is how we should approach this meeting.
"You have to take advantage of it, they lack some elements and their dynamics may not be the same as when they beat us 5-0 last year. We must be the aggressors. This is our last 90 minutes before the international break: there is no reason not to leave everything on the field and to try to score as many goals as possible. (…) I would like to inflict a setback of 5-0 too. We owe it to them, "Cabrera said of the bitter setback at almost the same time last year in Washington, which sealed the fate of the Impact.
Currently occupying the seventh and last place giving access to the playoffs in the East with 37 points, the Impact is only two points behind the formation of the US federal capital, which ranks fifth. The Cabrera club can not afford to miss these three points, which will be played on his lawn Saputo stadium moreover.
Between the two is the New England Revolution with 38 points, which will face Toronto FC, lurking behind the Impact with 37 points, but with two important games in hand, just like the Foxborough club.
The Revolution and the TFC are competing with the Impact and D.C. United on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium. Let's bet the Montreal team will pay close attention to the outcome of this duel.
"I think it's very important to take one game at a time and try to win at all costs," said Lovitz. We do not have to worry about how many points we can raise in the last five games, but to focus on the next game. We have to beat D.C. United, then we'll have the break. "
D.C. United will be deprived for the opportunity of its playmaker, Wayne Rooney. The veteran, who scored 11 goals in 25 games this season, will serve the second game of a suspension tied to a move on Aug. 21 against the New York Red Bulls.
"It would be nice to beat them with Rooney on the field, but they will have 11 players who will want to win too," said Lovitz. It does not change anything for us. In the past, some were more concerned about getting his jersey back after the game than fighting him, so I think it will be nice to be able to focus on the team, not on him. "
For his part, Cabrera does not see the absence of Rooney as an advantage for his troupe.
"They do not have Rooney; we do not have (Ignacio) Piatti, "he said.
The coach has also indicated that the Argentine is working hard to return to the game before the end of the calendar. He also denied the rumors that a season ended for defender Victor Cabrera. Injured in the elbow, Cabrera has not been inserted in training since July 28th.
Finally, defenseman Rod Fanni, hired earlier this week, took part in his first training with the club. He should not, however, take part in the Saturday duel.