MONTREAL – Another Saturday on the MLS calendar, another interesting challenge for CF Montreal.
After their big rivals Toronto FC, then the menacing attacking team Nashville SC, Wilfried Nancy’s men prepare for another test as they face the Columbus Crew, the MLS Cup monarchs.
“More importantly, I don’t know, but in any case, he’s the defending champion. We have to respect that. We know that the MLS season is very long and if they won, it is because they deserved it. It was a very good team, ”replied Nancy when asked about the extent of the challenge that will be presented to her group on Saturday afternoon for this“ local ”CF Montreal game in Fort Lauderdale.
For now, however, Nancy is not sure what kind of team he will see against his own, as Columbus is competing in the CONCACAF Champions League.
On Wednesday night, in the first leg of the quarter-finals, the Crew had to settle for a 2-2 draw against CF Monterrey, despite the presence of several pillars such as Lucas Zelarayan, Pedro Santos and Luis Diaz.
Zelarayan played the entire game and scored the goal that gave the Crew a 2-1 lead in the 87th minute. The Crew, however, let slip this lead, and the victory, in stoppage time.
“The game plan is the same with Zelarayan or not,” said Nancy. It is a team which, collectively, is interesting whether it is offensively or defensively. We worked on a plan this week. There may be rotations, maybe yes, maybe no, but that won’t change our plan, ”said Nancy.
« For sure if Zelarayan is there, he’s going to have to be a little more aggressive on him, but again, there are other players who are very good like Santos, Diaz, (Gyasi) Zardes, ( Bradley) Wright-Phillips – I don’t know if he’s gonna play. We have to focus on ourselves, defend well when we have to defend and attack well when we have to. This is what interests me above all. «
In MLS, the Crew played only one game and were limited to another draw, 0-0 against the Philadelphia Union, on April 18.
CF Montreal (1-0-1) will appear on the field, Saturday afternoon, in a group of three teams at the top of the Eastern Association standings. His six goals also put him for first in MLS, tied with New York City FC and the Los Angeles Galaxy.
This offensive production, a third of which comes from Mason Toye, does not surprise Nancy.
“The guys are working well and I want to tell you that for the moment, it’s a consequence of the work we do with the players and above all, that the players adhere to the work in the sense that the team is much better with the ball right now, ”said Nancy.
“It allows the players to express themselves, to be liberated and to be prolific at the moment. Guys work well, that’s why I say I’m not surprised. They work well, they have the right attitude. For now, it works, so all the better, we must take advantage of this moment. «