MLS tournament: Impact in round of 16

The Montreal Impact needed a helping hand to qualify and it got it on Wednesday night when FC Cincinnati surprised the New York Red Bulls with a 2-0 score.

• Read also: The Impact is hanging on!

To get one of the four “best third” places without having to wait for the results of Thursday’s games, the Bleu-Blanc-Noir needed the “Bulls” and Cincinnati to avoid the draw.

The Impact will therefore take on the Orlando City SC. This meeting would be played on Monday.

Some bad tongues will say that it is a qualification by the back door, but if we look at the other formations which will qualify as “best third”, the Bleu-Blanc-Noir does not have to be embarrassed.

And it is even more true when we note that powers of the league such as New York City FC or Atlanta have had their pants down from the group stage.

What is encouraging about the Impact is that it is slowly starting to show its best.

It’s still far from perfect, we agree, but the Montreal club has nevertheless progressed from one game to another, which bodes well for the future.

Admittedly, if the team had stayed on its performance in the first game against New England, it would have been really worrying.

But we should not be fooled by the three goals scored in the game against Toronto, including two on penalties. The Bleu-Blanc-Noir still lacks punch in attack and we are still trying to find out who will be the spark plug.

And we are especially looking for a player who will spark the game because at the moment, it’s not very fun to watch.

On Tuesday night, Bojan played his best game of the tournament and served up some great quality assists, but it would be wrong to believe that he will be the solution to this attack.

These beautiful flashes are interesting, but if we want to have the full picture rather than a few pieces of the puzzle, we have to give it an attacking midfielder that will create things, which will resolve situations and that is what is sorely lacking. to the Impact.

Romell Quioto and Orji Okwonkwo have great brute strength and like to go for it, but it lacks a bit of finesse.

As for Maxi Urruti, we love his energy and the way he expends himself without counting, but it is often a lot of energy expended for little results.

In short, it still lacks binding in attack.

What is striking when you look at the three games in the round robin is that this team is still looking for its playing identity.

Notice, it’s kinda normal under the circumstances. Thierry Henry barely had time to start putting things in place when everyone was sent home for three months.

It is therefore necessary to advocate patience so that Henry can install his ideas by modeling them according to the forces he has at hand.

And we feel that is what he is doing. Already, moving from a three-center defense to a more classic four-back scheme, as he did against DC United, is testament to the coach’s understanding of his men’s abilities.

In this spirit, we found Tuesday Samuel Piette and Victor Wanyama in their more natural position, in front of the central defense.

The former was playing a little higher early in the game, but he’s clearly more comfortable in a recovery midfielder role while Wanyama stands out as a runner-up.

Piette, when he plays higher, does not shine since he is less comfortable and he tends to play too much backwards while the mandate is the opposite.

Wanyama, who is not cold in the eyes, likes to get his hands dirty to collect balloons and send them forward. The two teammates just need to find their balance and we could see a great pair for the next few years.

A word also on Clément Diop, who did not have the confidence of last season in the first two games.

Against DC, however, he remained spectacular and managed to make two big saves in quick succession at the start of the second half which certainly influenced the tempo of the match.

You have to deal with his slightly disheveled side which is reminiscent of Dominik Hasek’s heyday in the National Hockey League.


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