MLS: CF Montreal wants to respect its process before aiming for the top of the East
MONTREAL – CF Montreal maintained the pace set by the Philadelphia Union for first place in the Eastern Conference, but don’t talk to head coach Wilfried Nancy about it.
Buoyed by a convincing 4-0 victory at home against the New England Revolution on Saturday night, the Montrealers took another step towards their first appearance in the MLS playoffs since 2016.
For Nancy, however, it is the process and the way to get there that is everything.
When he took the reins of the Bleu-blanc-noir, before the start of the 2021 season, Nancy laid the foundations of a philosophy based on trust and humility. His men answered present and against all odds, they were only one victory away from participating in the playoffs.
Less than a year later, the team is only five points behind the Union and they not only have the top of the East within their reach, but also the possibility of playing a playoff game at Saputo Stadium. .
“First in the East is not a goal right now. For the moment, we are doing things quietly, we want to secure this place in the playoffs and then we will see, Nancy said after the victory of her troops. There are eight games left and there will be some difficult ones, we know that. For now, we are in the right direction, but I always say it is a question of ambition, confidence and humility. »
Perhaps still a little « green » in this kind of moment last season, the players of CF Montreal (14-8-4) have gained experience and they have become one of the teams to beat in the Is, even even the MLS.
Saturday’s performance against the Revolution, which had not lost in its last five outings, testifies to this. Apart from a few rather hot moments at the end of the game, when they already held a practically insurmountable lead, the Montrealers manhandled the defending champions of the « Supporters’ Shield », handed over to the MLS team which ends the season with the most points.
“The big picture is not to participate in the playoffs, but to play well and go as far as possible. It’s being able to recognize the moments. At this time last year, everyone said we were going to lose to the Revolution. Today is different and the key word is process, insisted Nancy. The players managed to get to this moment and that’s why the process is very important to me. This victory is good for the experience because we have to live all these situations to be able to do them in the right way. »
Within this process also comes remembering certain defeats of the past and learning from them. Like the 4-1 that the Revolution inflicted on CF Montreal at Saputo Stadium on September 29, 2021, as they fought for a playoff spot.
Midfielder Samuel Piette was quick to say the players had talked about the loss ahead of Saturday’s game.
“We remembered it very well. There was this feeling of revenge at home, where you’re not supposed to take a loss like that. We wanted to serve them their own medicine, confessed Piette. We are in two different places. The ‘Revs’ are a good team, but I think we have improved a lot on our side. It happened tonight (Saturday) and throughout the year. »
Fans of the Montreal team have especially seen it in recent weeks, when the Bleu-blanc-noir has not lost in its last seven games (5-0-2). He could also equal his team record, established earlier this season, by avoiding defeat against the Fire in Chicago on Saturday night.