Minnesota United FC will make its first visit to Stade Saputo in five years on Saturday. Faced with this rare opponent from the Western Conference, CF Montreal will have to remain even more cautious.
It will only be the third duel between the two clubs in Major League Soccer (MLS), the first dating back to 2017. Historically, the rivalry goes back further. During the USL era, the Impact never won at home against the “Loons” in seven games.
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The first home victory came in NASL in August 2011. Even in MLS, Minnesota United’s most recent visit in May 2018, the Bleu-Blanc-Noir had been defeated 2-0.
“The Hernan team [Losada] is in very good shape. They are competitive and are especially so at home. It’s always been a tough place to play. We’ve had good results there in the past, so let’s hope it continues, » head coach Adrian Heath said Wednesday.
CF Montreal is 5-1-0 on home turf this season, keeping it afloat in the standings in the East. Minnesota United poses a threat, being the most effective team in the West on the opposing courts, with four victories.
“They have had a good recipe for several seasons, said defender Hassani Dotson of the Montreal eleven. We have to keep doing what we do on the road, which is to keep a tight block and play more disciplined soccer. We will try to surprise them on the counterattack.”
« We know what to expect, » Heath said. They have good young players, a lot of athleticism and speed. We have to defend well.”
The « Loons » have two draws and as many defeats in their last four outings in all competitions. The 1-1 result snatched from Toronto FC on Saturday left Heath hungry.
“You never spit on a point; at least you came back from the game with something. But looking back on the game and seeing how many chances we created – it’s another game where we shot 20 times – it’s unfortunate. We are doing good things, but we have to take advantage of these opportunities,” said the English coach.
Montreal also has a disappointment to overcome after dropping its Canadian Championship final on Wednesday against the Vancouver Whitecaps. In MLS, Hernan Losada’s team lost their last game 3-0 against the Union in Philadelphia.