MLS: Towards the top-3 for CF Montreal?

CF Montreal will play its 5e 7 games in 22 days this Saturday in Columbus.

In the first 4 games of this grueling streak, Wilfried Nancy’s men pocketed three points out of a possible nine and secured their place in the four-quarter of the Canadian Championship.

No worse, as the other would say.

As they approach the Columbus Crew, the goal is to keep up the pace of the last few games.

Objectives achieved

I’m stunned to see some criticism of the Montreal XI’s performance in Halifax on Wednesday. A match where Djordje Mihailovic, Romell Quioto, Victor Wanyama and Mathieu Choinière were not even in uniform. Kamal Miller was on the bench.

Was it the game of the year? No. Were the chances created numerous enough? No more.

But what exactly would we have wanted? Mortgaging the resources of management players for the satisfaction of planting 5 to an inferior team?

I do not see the interest.

Nancy had three goals. Win the game, blow those who will help him take points in Columbus and assess the true depth of his group. All of these objectives have been achieved.

Luxury jokers

So far, CF Montreal is competitive in MLS. To become dominant, the offensive contribution will have to be more important and regular.

Romell Quioto is on a good start with 3 goals in 4 games, but he remains on a still meager total of 5 goals in 2021. Wilfried Nancy will welcome with open arms any additional option capable of making his attack more dangerous.

In this sense, the trip to Halifax will have been fruitful. The two scorers of the meeting set foot on the field for the first time this season. A halftime in the Canadian Championship doesn’t instantly make them heroes in the making, but Matko Miljevic and Ballou Tabla could prove to be luxury wild cards at the end of the campaign.

Their presence alone will put pressure on Mihailovics, Torres, Hamdi and company. As substitutes, Miljevic and Tabla also have the potential to provoke the opponent and create scoring chances.

It remains to be seen if they will stay healthy and make the necessary sacrifices to carve out a regular place for themselves in the squad. Questions particularly important in the case of Tabla whose work ethic has too often questioned since his stint with the pros in 2018.

Without fail

CF Montreal have still not scored from a direct free kick this season. In contrast, the Columbus Crew scored five.

Moral of the story? The Montrealers absolutely must avoid faults in the defensive third on Saturday in Ohio.

Joel Waterman is one of those who tend to compromise around the surface. The restraint of the Canadian will be crucial to prevent Lucas Zelarayan from wreaking havoc if he is recovered from injury for the meeting.

Release the Crew

The Montreal XI starts the weekend in 5e square. With a victory at Field, he would widen a gap of 9pts with the Crew who occupy the 10e rank. A gap that would prevent Columbus from catching up with CF Montreal with 7 games to play for the American club.

With a 2-0 victory last Sunday, Nancy’s men dumped the Chicago Fire from the playoff race. They will want to do the same with the Crew on Saturday. A win could put them in 3e place with 8 games to play.

If need be, we will start talking about series with a lot more confidence in the Metropolis. Maybe even a home playoff game, but let’s wait before we ignite.

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