Another Saturday on the MLS calendar, another interesting challenge for CF Montreal.
After their big rival Toronto FC, then Nashville SC, a menacing formation in attack, Wilfried Nancy's men prepare for another test as they face the Columbus Crew, MLS Cup monarch.
“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 ”, answered Nancy, questioned on the extent of the challenge which will present itself to its group Saturday afternoon for this“ local ”match of CF Montreal in Fort Lauderdale.
For now, on the other hand, 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 Zelarayán, Pedro Santos and Luis Díaz.
Zelarayán played the whole game and scored the goal that gave the Crew a 2-1 lead in the 87 th minute. The Crew, however, let slip this lead, and the victory, in stoppage time.
The game plan is the same with Zelarayán or not. It's a team that, collectively, is interesting, whether 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.
Wilfried Nancy, CF Montreal head coach
“Of course, if Zelarayán 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, Díaz, [Gyasi] Zardes, [ Bradley] Wright-Phillips - I don't know if he's going to 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 Conference 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, of which the third is the fact of 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 that 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, ”Nancy said.
“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. "