After Long Break, CF Montreal To Face Rivals TFC In Canadian Classique
We can all argue that the idea and the system of how the Leagues Cup was run were good and bad – it was very straightforward, win and continue to play, lose and you got some extended time off.
After beating Pumas UNAM and losing to DC United, CF Montreal failed to advance and were left with three weeks of training sessions and a worst-case scenario for the club.
On Friday morning we got to hear from head coach Hernan Losada, Victor Wanyama, and Samuel Piette.
“I found it to be positive,” Losada said. “It was a good break where we worked on a lot of things and improved on the physical aspect of the game.”
He also feels the team lost a lot of playing time which could prove positive or negative come kickoff time Sunday night at BMO Field in Toronto.
“Evidently we missed a lot of games against real competition, but we scheduled inter-squad games and even played the U-23 team to see our younger players, but it’s not the same so we missed that and we hope it won’t affect us on Sunday.”
He touched on Toronto, who are similarly struggling this season and finds themselves 14th in the Eastern Conference.
“Toronto is in the exact same situation so in that regard we are on the same level and the time off was long but we took full advantage of it.”
Romell Quioto was also a topic at the pregame presser and it does look like he won’t be available for another 2-3 weeks. Losada confirmed he hasn’t reached his peak stamina-wise.
“I won’t give an exact date because it’s a difficult situation. Last week he could barely run, but little by little he will get better – but he needs time.”
In regards to the injury list for Sunday’s game against Toronto, it was confirmed by Losada and the team the following players are out for the game: Robert Thorkelson, Mason Toye, Logan Ketterer, Fernando Alvarez, and Ariel Lassiter, putting Losada in a tight spot.
Losada confirmed despite the long break he won’t be making any drastic changes to the formation or the style of play.
“We will play with the same principles and the same style,” he added.
Victor Wanyama was asked to give his thoughts on the Canadian Classique and thinks it will be a great match.
“This game is important”, Wanyama responded. “It will be a tough game, but we will be ready for the challenge.”
Wanyama confirmed that in the last game he played, where was seen hobbling after the match, that he was indeed injured.
“I was injured during the training session with an ankle injury so I was struggling. I had to take some time off to let it heal completely.”
I asked Wanyama how he is feeling after not playing for three weeks, and if he feels his team will be well-rested or start the game with a bit of rust.
“It’s difficult to analyze this situation but we are coming from a long layover with no games, but we have been working hard. Personally, I just want to be back on the pitch and help the team.”
Samuel Piette was asked to give his honest opinion on having three weeks off and feels it is both good and bad.
“We would all like to stay in this tournament and when you see teams like Miami and Nashville having success in this tournament it makes you want to be a part of it instead of just playing two games and having three weeks off.”
Piette was also asked about facing Toronto FC and he just wants to get back on the pitch on Sunday night.
“There’s always a danger when you play any team, especially against Toronto, and for me, they are always special games and I feel physically we are good but against Toronto, they are our biggest rival.”