Impact in good position for final sprint

Confidence at a high after team win against the Red Bulls

Six games to go in the regular season and the Impact sits in the sixth and last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, six points in front of D.C. United and the New England Revolution, and four points behind fifth place Philadelphia Union, all teams the Impact will face before the end of the campaign.

It’s going to be one crazy sprint to the finish line. And considering the team’s result against the top team in MLS last Saturday, confidence is at a high right now for the Bleu-blanc-noir.

“For us, we feel like we’re in a good position because we have the points that we need right now,” said goalkeeper Evan Bush. “We’re in the playoffs. There’s pressure, but last week especially we turned that pressure into opportunity.”

The Bleu-blanc-noir will also host New York City FC and the Columbus Crew SC before the end of the season, both in front of the Impact in the standings, and Toronto FC, who sits nine points behind the Impact, with one game in hand.

“The six remaining games will resemble the one against New York, meaning there will be a necessity to get a good result,” said head coach Rémi Garde. “We need to put in the same ingredients that allowed us to beat one of the best teams in MLS, that came to Montreal with a lot of confidence.”

Defending as a team

The Impact seems to have fallen back on its defensive roots against the Red Bulls, the same roots that allowed the team to earn four straight clean sheets earlier in the campaign. Considering the Bleu-blanc-noir is not known for scoring the most goals in MLS, defending well as a unit was crucial in its success against New York.

“The biggest positive was the fact that we defended well as a team and stayed compact, something we didn’t do so well against Toronto,” said defender Bacary Sagna, who scored his first Impact goal against the Red Bulls. “We picked ourselves up after the loss, and communicated more on the field, and I think we saw the difference on Saturday.”

More of the same will be needed as of next Saturday, September 15, when the Impact will travel to Pennsylvania to face the Philadelphia Union (TVA Sports, 98,5fm) and try to get closer to that fifth playoff spot.

“It needs to be a reference game,” added Sagna. “We saw that when we played as a team and actually communicated, we are a very serious contender.”