MLS: CF Montreal could be deprived of important players on Saturday against Austin FC

MONTREAL – In normal times, the return of international breaks gives MLS teams the opportunity to reconnect with players who were on the floor due to injuries or health issues. For CF Montreal on Saturday night, it looks like it will be the opposite.

In a press scrum on Thursday afternoon at Center Nutrilait, head coach Wilfried Nancy announced that defender Kamal Miller as well as midfielders Djordje Mihailovic and Lassi Lappalainen will most likely be out of the game for the duel against Austin FC at the stadium. Saputo.

In fact, as far as Lappalainen is concerned, it is a certainty since his name has been entered into the COVID protocol. In the cases of Mihailovic and Miller, we could estimate at 99 percent the probability that these two pillars of the Montreal team will be absent, if we trust Nancy’s comments.

The three players started the May 28 game, CF Montreal’s last before the international break, against FC Cincinnati at Stade Saputo. They have also taken part in the club’s first 14 games this season.

“We will go there quietly with (Djordje). We take some precautions. For now, it’s on its way. We’ll see a bit how it goes by tomorrow (Friday),” Nancy explained before adding that there is very little chance he will play on Saturday.

Mihailovic injured his left ankle in the third minute of the duel against Cincinnati. After remaining on the ground for several minutes, Mihailovic was able to get up and remain on the ground. But less than 15 minutes later, he abdicated, to his great dismay.

No doubt he already knew, at that time, that this injury would prevent him from joining the United States national team in anticipation of the first games of the Concacaf Nations League tournament, held in the last two weeks.

It was an invitation that Mihailovic had hoped for with all his heart and that he had fully deserved thanks to an accumulation of solid performances since the start of the season which had already made him a candidate for the title of the most valuable player in his career. team in MLS.

As for Miller, it appears that he injured his right leg during the clash between Canada and Honduras, in a match of the Nations League tournament which was played on a pitiful pitch, Monday.

“In the case of Kamal, we are waiting to know officially if he will have to stop for a long time or not. For the weekend game, there’s a good chance he won’t be there,” Nancy said.

With the highly probable absence of Miller on the defensive line, and that confirmed of Lappalainen as a side piston, the left flank of CF Montreal would therefore be deprived of two players who have started 14 and 13 games, respectively, since the start of the season.

Be that as it may, and as is her habit, Nancy tries to roll with the blows when it comes to the injured.

“I’m comfortable with the group. You know me, I never feel sorry for wounds. It’s part of life, it’s part of our job. I knew there might be a few issues with that, but the players who are going to play, I have complete confidence. »

Regardless of the identity of its incumbents on Saturday, CF Montreal (7-5-2 – 23 points), third in the Eastern Association, will not have it easy against Austin FC (7-4-3 – 24 points ), fourth in the West.

In its second year of existence in MLS, this team is able to find the back of the opposing net with regularity, as shown by its tally of 28 goals, the same total as the Montreal squad since the start of the season.

To this, we could add that Austin FC conceded eight goals less than the Montreal troupe (18 against 26) in 2022.

CF Montreal players will have to keep an eye on two Argentinian forwards. One of them is Sebastian Driussi, who leads his club with eight goals. The other is rather well known in Montreal since it is Maximiliano Urruti, who ranks second among the Texas team with four goals in 14 games.

If he is not injured by then, Urruti will therefore play his first match against CF Montreal since being traded to Dynamo from Houston in return for central defender Kiki Struna in January 2021.

It will also be the first time that CF Montreal has crossed swords with Austin FC.

“It’s a good team, they play good football. A team that has invested in two, three, very good players. Collectively, it’s clean. They are a team that likes to play, that likes to have the ball, that likes to cause problems for the opponent. They have weaknesses like everyone else, but they’re a good team. The coach (Josh Wolff) is doing a good job,” analyzed Nancy.

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