Montreal Impact take on New England Revolution in MLS tournament opener

Montreal Impact take on New England Revolution in MLS tournament opener

MONTREAL — The Montreal Impact have a chance for a repeat performance when their Major League Soccer season resumes on Thursday.

It’s a detail that isn’t lost on head coach Thierry Henry, who is well aware the task won’t be simple as his club takes on the New England Revolution in its opening match at the MLS is Back tournament.

The game comes four months after Montreal defeated New England 2-1 in its 2020 MLS season opener Feb. 29 at Olympic Stadium.

“It’s never easy to beat a team twice, practically in a row, in the same season, but we’ll try to do it,” Henry said in a video conference Tuesday afternoon.

Henry said the two teams should offer up a different contest from their first duel. The Impact were missing midfielder Victor Wanyama for the showdown in Montreal, while the Revolution were without midfielder Carles Gil. Both players are at the MLS is Back tournament.

“Bruce Arena is an experienced coach. You have a player like (Gustavo) Bou, like Gil, these are players who can make a difference at any time, there are experienced players on this team,” Henry said.

MLS shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic on March 12, after the league’s teams had each played two regular-season games.

“We were able to surprise them with what we were doing, we’ll see and adapt to the situation,” Henry said.

Henry said that the tournament will require clubs to play competitive games without an opportunity for any pre-tournament matches.

“It is not an attack or anything,” Henry said. “The situation means that we could not play friendly matches and in general, when you prepare a season, or you prepare a tournament, you always have at least four or five friendly matches to see a little where your players are physically, mentally.”

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, that simply wasn’t possible.

“I know very well that we could not have done otherwise,” Henry said. ”But it is true that it is different. You find yourself in a situation where you are going to learn on the job in competition, right away. This is something that I had never known before and the situation of the coronavirus puts us in this situation.”

That uncertainty isn’t limited to his own club.

FC Dallas withdrew from the tournament on Monday after 10 players and a coach tested positive for the virus.

Additionally, the other two teams in Montreal’s group, Toronto FC’s opening game against D.C. United, has their first match moved from Friday evening to Sunday morning.

There has been no change to the July 15 match between Toronto and the Impact.

Either way, Henry’s concern is to get his players ready, physically and mentally.

“As I’ve said since the beginning of this pandemic, we have to adapt to all situations and I think it’s not just us. MLS also adapts to all situations. No matter what going on, no matter the changes, no matter who will play, who will not play, no matter when, if it will change, or not change,” Henry said.

“You have to adapt. There, you have to be ready. “

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 8, 2020.

Michel Lamarche, The Canadian Press

soccer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP investigate possible drowning at Pigeon Lake: Man and woman found dead on shore

Bodies recovered from Pigeon Lake’s northeastern shores.

134 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

First day over 100 cases since July 31

330 km walk for charity stopping in Sylvan Lake

Chris Sadleir, 45, is walking from Calgary to Edmonton to raise money for the Lung Association

School curriculum to focus on basics, says LaGrange

Minister Adriana LaGrange, MLA for Red Deer South, said it will ‘unleash student potential’

Protestors for Indigenous Lives Matter gather in Wetaskiwin

Protestors gathered along 56 St Wetaskiwin, Alta. August 4, 2020 for Indigenous Lives Matter.

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

13-year-old charged in death of boy, 10 in Maskwacis

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 13-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

‘Caught up in the frenzy:’ Oilers 50/50 draw breaking ticket sale records

Previous record was held by Toronto Raptors fans when a 50/50 raffle reached $2 million

Alberta jury trials to resume next month at offsite locations due to COVID-19

About 12 locations across Alberta may host the trials in halls, hotels and community centres

Alberta school curriculum to focus on basics, keep out political bias: minister

NDP education critic says the kindergarten to Grade 4 changes should have been implemented a year ago

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada plans $3.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. in aluminium dispute

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Walmart to make face masks mandatory for customers across Canada

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

Most Read