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CF Montreal Mathieu Choiniere

CF Montreal Looks To Best Familiar Foe TFC in Canadian Championship

By on May 8, 2023 0 1102 Views

CF Montreal officially begins a stretch where they will play five games in the next two weeks, starting with a trip down the 401 to face their biggest rival Toronto FC in the Canadian Championship.

After that, TFC will make the trip to Montreal to face them once again this Saturday in MLS action -a same-week back-to-back matchup that hasn’t happened since 2009.

Flashback: CF Montreal Defeat Vaughan Azzurri To Reach Quarter-Finals

This Monday morning before the team departed we got to hear from head coach Hernan Losada, Joel Waterman, and Ariel Lassiter, who all met the media on a hybrid Zoom call.

Waterman is suspended for one game due to a yellow card accumulation and will most likely miss the game on Saturday. I asked him about going up against Insigne.

“Obviously, he is a tremendous player”, said Waterman. “He is a guy with amazing experience and a guy at the top level and we need to make sure to play him physically and we don’t give him time on the ball and if he gets a lot of touches he can make stuff happen and we need to defend him as a team and we will be ready for him.”

CF Montreal Joel Waterman
Waterman in the 2021 Canadian Championship. (Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League)

Ariel Lassiter, who normally likes to play in the striker position and made it known to the media that he prefers to play there (though Losada has put him as a left wing-back), was asked about his experience playing against TFC.

“They’re always difficult matches”, Lassiter responded. “They have individual talent but if we go out and do what we planned in our game plan anything is possible. The most important thing is to move on to the next round, and if we can stop Insigne and Bernadeschi – who are their most important players – we can play as a team and move on.”

Finally, we got to hear from Losada who confirmed that Matko Miljevic, who has been out long term, will travel with the team to Toronto. James Pantemis could get the start, but Losada didn’t confirm if he would return as a pick over Jonathan Sirois.

“I obviously played against them with DC United”, said Losada when I asked him about his experience against TFC and his expectations going into his first 401 Derby as a coach.

“We had good results and bad results, we won and we lost, but I know this team very well and this being my first experience as a coach is beautiful. I played many games as a player and coach and I know it’s special, different, and gives you a boost. We will take it very seriously. It’s never easy to play on the road, and we hope we can have a good game.”

Kickoff is scheduled for Tuesday at 7:00PM EST at BMO Field and the game can be seen on OneSoccer, fuboTV, and Telus Optik.

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