A young Montreal Impact squad had a difficult task against Philadelphia’s starting line-up
CLEARWATER, Florida – The Impact suffered its first loss in its 2018 training camp, falling 5-0 to the Philadelphia Union, at Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex on Wednesday night.
“It was a modified line-up, because there are quite a large number of preseason games during our training camp,” said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. “The amount of work we did to be ready for our first game is the reason I fielded this young team tonight. Nonetheless, it was a very educative game I could learn from. What I have determined is that we were destabilized due to individual errors.”
Two costly mistakes in the first half
On two occasions in the first half, individual mistakes were costly for the Bleu-blanc-noir. In the 12th minute, CJ Sapong pressed a Montreal defender in the box who was unable to retain possession of the ball. After recovering it, the Union striker was fouled, earning a penalty and dispatching it himself.
In the 42nd minute, on the right flank, Philadelphian defender Matt Real stole the ball down the Montreal wing. He then ran all the way to the goal line, and crossed it to David Accam, who found the back of the net.
“It was a learning experience for the team and I,” said goalkeeper James Pantemis, making his first start tonight. “There were a lot of young players in the starting line-up playing their first game. It is a disappointment that we were not able to get the result we wanted, but it also is a lesson for everyone. We need to stay alert and concentrated for every moment.”
A difficult second half
Four minutes after the start of the second half, the Impact conceded again, when Sapong was found alone in the box by his teammate.
In the 53rd minute, after a Union corner, Auston Trusty was able to evade Montreal’s marking around the penalty spot and score a header.
In the 76th minute, Marcus Epps, sent in behind the Montreal defense, crossed a low ball to Jay Simpson, who shot from the six-yard box and beat Impact goalkeeper Clément Diop, who played the second half.
“It was a difficult game for us,” said Impact defender Jukka Raitala. “We are not satisfied and we are not happy with this result, but there are good things to take out of this game. I think they won the majority of duels, they were sharper, and we made some individual mistakes. The effort was there, but today it was not enough.”
The Impact will conclude its training camp against New York City FC on Saturday, February 24 at 5pm at Al Lang Stadium, also as part of the Rowdies Suncoast Invitational.
The team will kick off its season with two games on the road, in Vancouver on March 4 and Columbus on March 10, before playing its home opener at Olympic Stadium on Saturday, March 17, at 3pm, against its biggest rival, Toronto FC.
PHI- John McCarthy; Fabinho (Matt Real 35’), Auston Trusty, Jack Elliott (Mark McKenzie 83’), Keegan Rosenberry (Raymon Gaddis 61’); Alejandro Bedoya, Anthony Fontana (Warren Creavalle 76’), Haris Medunjanin (Derrick Jones 61’); David Accam (Fabian Herbers 76’), CJ Sapong (Jay Simpson 76’), Fafa Picault (Marcus Epps 46’).
MTL- James Pantemis (Clément Diop 46’); Daniel Lovitz, Jukka Raitala, Thomas Meilleur-Giguère (Víctor Cabrera 58’), Chris Duvall; Clément Bahiya* (Samuel Piette 58’), David Choinière (Raheem Edwards 58’), Marco Donadel (Shamit Shome 45’), Ken Krolicki^ (Mathieu Choinière 71’), Michael Salazar (Nacho Piatti 58’); Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Matteo Mancosu 52’).
* Impact Academy players on trial
^ Player on trial
PHI – CJ Sapong (PEN) 12’
PHI – David Accam (Matt Real) 42’
PHI – CJ Sapong 49’
PHI – Auston Trusty 53’
PHI – Jay Simpson 76’
MTL – Marco Donadel 45’
PHI – David Accam 45’