There were a few question marks heading into the 2021 season, questions that have since been answered after a few weeks of play. How would the team fare under new head coach Wilfried Nancy? Did they have enough time to prepare? How will the chemistry be with 10 new players in the squad?
These questions, which often came across as concerns, followed CF Montréal into its first game of the season and became somewhat of a storyline. The slate had been wiped almost completely clean, and everyone wanted to see what this team was made of, outside of what the “pundits” thought.
Fast-forward to today: Wilfried Nancy’s men are now fourth in the Eastern Conference, looking to continue their unbeaten streak this Saturday at 3pm against the Vancouver Whitecaps (TVA Sports, TSN, CTV, 91.9 Sports, TSN 690).
“The coaching staff has done a good job in letting us play the way we know how to play,” explained midfielder Amar Sejdic. “They manage us well, but there’s a level of understanding concerning how each individual plays. We had a lot of new guys come in, and the relationships formed have been really good, healthy, and supportive. We’re only three games in, so I think the culture on this team can continue to grow, and when you have a good culture, that’s when you can be very dangerous.”
Wilfried Nancy’s men made a statement from day one, beating Toronto FC handedly in the season opener before managing draws against Nashville and Columbus. They led by two goals in Nashville before the Tennessee representatives clawed their way back, and dominated the defending champion last week, managing 20 shots and limiting the Crew to no shots on target.
“I think we could win every game,” added Sejdic. “We haven’t been on the back foot much in these past three games. We managed to hold onto the ball, keep possession and create chances. It’s a good feeling to see us in this position, but I still think we can do more. We need to keep being optimistic.”
It’s just the second time in the Club’s MLS history that it has gone unbeaten through three games to open the season, the last and only time coming in 2014, when Montréal went unbeaten through its first four games.
“We spoke about not looking at ourselves as the underdog, no matter who we play,” said centre-back Kamal Miller. “We spoke it into existence, but it doesn’t always work out. The fact that it’s going well up to now is definitely a confidence booster and we just have to keep going. We have to push for these wins because every point counts.”