MLS: CF Montreal could hold full first training on Wednesday

MONTREAL – CF Montreal hopes to hold a first training session with its entire group on Wednesday. As long as nothing comes to thwart his plans by then.

First-team assistant coach Jason Di Tullio said Tuesday afternoon.

« We’re going to keep our fingers crossed, » he said over a video conference. We had a little session (Tuesday) with some players. The (other) players arrive in the evening. Hopefully, we should have some practice with everyone. We can’t wait to work with the band. x

The players who are not yet in Orlando, Florida, where the team is stationed for the end of its training camp, were due to fly out of Montreal on Tuesday. Everyone will then need to successfully undergo testing for COVID-19. If everyone gets the green light, the first practice with a full squad can be held on Wednesday.

Wilfried Nancy’s side will play two pre-season games, April 8 against Tormenta FC in Orlando and April 11 against the Tampa Bay Rowdies in St. Petersburg. CF Montreal will then play their first game against Toronto FC on April 17 at their provisional home in Miami.

Di Tullio, hired on March 20, admits it: the team is now in the middle of a race against time to refine its preparation for the season, its 10th in Major League Soccer.

“First, in terms of time. But the message was clear from Wilfried: we will leave the apologies at the door. The important thing, we had already discussed it with the players, is that everyone arrives tomorrow at the same point at the physical level ”, explained Di Tullio.

It will also be necessary to find a starting 11. Having not worked with its full squad, the coaching staff has yet to fully identify its core elements.

“We already know what kind of team we want to be,” explained Di Tullio. We know what intensity, what energy we want to show on the pitch. Now, from tomorrow, what we want to achieve is to specify the tactical plan. We know that we will have to be a team that will work in the field. This is the message that has been conveyed since my first day with the group. « 

Di Tullio, in passing, praised the health protocol of the MLS.

“We get tested every day and we wait for the results to arrive in order to be able to go into the field. So far, all is well. The mask must be worn at all times, even during meetings. It’s very severe, but we want to keep everyone healthy and avoid contact. Everyone has to get a negative result in order to participate in training, ”he said.

Very few experts place CF Montreal in the Garber circuit playoffs. Di Tullio says he has placed these items in full view, and he is determined to ensure that the club can foil those predictions.

« I keep this information close to me to motivate myself, » he said. It’s a long schedule: you can’t lose or win this league at the start of the season. It will be necessary to stay close to the last place giving access to the series. There are a lot of experts, but we haven’t even played a game – not even a practice! – together. You can be a surprise and be the best team in the league. But we will remain humble, we will work and we will try to grow from match to match. « 

“We want it to be difficult to face us, even if we don’t know the names of all our players. This is the message we want to pass on to the league, ”he added.

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