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Intelligence Report: Orlando City at Montreal Impact

Both clubs enter Wednesday desperate for a win.

MLS: Orlando City SC at Montreal Impact Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City needs to win a league match, plain and simple. After a drubbing in Vancouver, the Lions travel across Canada for a quick turnaround against the Montreal Impact. Luckily for Orlando, the Impact have been just as bad in recent weeks and could provide, at the very least, a way to stop the bleeding.

But Ignacio Piatti is still suiting up for le bleu-blanc-noir and its new look under former Olympique Lyonnais boss Remi Garde. To provide some insight into what’s changed north of the border, Emily Santella — Managing Editor for SB Nation’s Mount Royal Soccerspent some time answering questions on the Quebec side. (I also answered their questions.)

Remi Garde was a major hire for the league over the off-season. How has he put his stamp on Montreal so far?

Emily Santella: Garde came in this season and fans were very hopeful of what he could possibly bring to the club. Unfortunately, the optimism was crushed quite rapidly with consecutive losses. His soccer IQ is outstanding and he has high expectations for the club but doesn’t have the tools to fulfill his vision right now. It was also made clear by management that they underestimated the quality of the league and now are stuck in the one position they didn’t want to be in, playing catch up.

The Impact have struggled so far in 2018, especially defensively. What have been the biggest issues for Montreal this year?

ES: Injuries have been a huge burden for the Impact this season. They traded away their defensive leader, Laurent Ciman, but acquired Zakaria Diallo, who they hope could not only fill his shoes, but go above and beyond what a Ciman has done for the club. Unfortunately, he was hurt during training prior to the beginning of the season. Adding Kyle Fisher and Victor Cabrera to the list of injured players, the Impact struggled to find stability in their defensive line. Other than injuries, there are key players missing to the Impact right now. Their new acquisitions have either not been able to get accustomed to the league just yet or their talent was overestimated by management. Additionally, in some games too many players on the team lacked personality and heart leading to very underwhelming performances.

What do you see as the biggest match-up to watch in a game where both sides will be desperately looking for points?

ES: It is not clear if Piatti will return but he has been in a slight slump lately and he is bound to bounce back soon enough. If Piatti is playing as Piatti does on Wednesday anyone paired against him will have their work cut out for them. Another key player to look out for is Samuel Piette who has been stellar this season and is always a headache for those who try to get past him.

What injuries/suspensions will keep players out this weekend and what is your projected lineup?

ES: Injuries: Zakaria Diallo (out), Kyle Fisher (out), Victor Cabrera (out), Michael Petrasso (out), Louis Béland-Goyette (out), David Choinière (out).

Predicted lineup (4-3-3): Evan Bush; Chris Duvall, Rod Fanni, Rudy Camacho, Jukka Raitala; Ken Krolicki, Samuel Piette, Saphir Taider; Alejandro Silva, Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Ignacio Piatti.


Thanks again to Emily for taking the time to answer our questions.