CF Montreal | The defense will once again have to get involved in attack this season

(Montreal) As CF Montreal’s third week of training draws to a close, the team’s turbulent off-season continues to distract from the implementation of new head coach Hernan Losada’s philosophy of play. .

The Montreal team confirmed Thursday morning that it had traded midfielder Joaquin Torres to the Philadelphia Union. In return, the Bleu-blanc-noir received US$250,000 in general allocation amounts for each of 2023 and 2024 as well as a conditional amount of up to $300,000, depending on Torres’ performance.

Between Torres’ departure, forward Kei Kamara’s trade request and the injury history of Romell Quioto and Mason Toye, CF Montreal will need to get goals from just about everyone on the team. The club are used to this situation, as their defense scored 18 goals last season, which is an MLS high.

« It doesn’t matter who scores. We have a lot of quality players all over the squad. Every time a quality player leaves, it hurts, but that’s football, underlined midfielder Lassi Lappalainen, who scored three goals in 2022. I think I played well (during last season), but I lacked goals and assists. I want to improve that. »

While CF Montreal’s offense appears to be in need of reinforcements, its defense has received an influx of young talent to complement an already solid backline.

George Campbell and Aaron Herrera have added depth and physicality to a defensive lineup that includes three Canadians, including Kamal Miller, who played in all three of Canada’s games at the last World Cup of soccer.

It was a dream come true. It was special to just be on this stage with the guys I started with in 2019, when I made my debut. I see some of our guys playing in Europe and what they face every day. It’s an inspiration for the players here in MLS to keep pushing.

Kamal Miller

Despite Canada’s disappointing exit in the World Cup group stage, Miller’s play raised eyebrows, leading to a number of reports linking him with a move to Europe. Miller has never made a secret of his ambitions to play in Europe — like the majority of young, talented players in North America — and to continue to develop among the biggest clubs in the world.

“I’m happy to be here right now if it’s for the whole season. If I’m here for all 34 games, I’m going to give it my all, Miller said. You see players doing well in MLS and getting that move so my goal is to play the best I can and maybe it will be my turn. »

Despite the rumors circulating off the pitch, Losada and his staff seemed determined to gradually incorporate tactical work into training sessions this week. The group moved from the running and fitness part of camp to game situations and set pieces.

Going by the work done, Losada apparently won’t stray too far from the club’s identity over the past few years, which is to seek to develop attack from the back and maintain dominance on the ball and pace of play.

The most drastic change in tactics so far is the way Losada wants players to apply pressure on the ball. His strict view on nutrition and fitness is key to this high pressure, which constantly seeks to corner teams in their own third and cause turnovers.

Losada hasn’t strayed from his admiration for Argentina’s traditional pressure, which relies on midfielders following an extremely aggressive forward line in an effort to take advantage of mistakes.

« The focus is starting to shift a bit from racing and hard work to tactics, » Miller said. He is a head coach who likes to apply pressure. We did that last year, but I think we’re taking it to another level this year because we’re in such good shape. »

A mock game is scheduled for Saturday against the team’s 23-and-under players before the start of the fourth and final week of practice in Montreal.

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