(Montreal) Physical and mental fatigue has been building up at CF Montreal over the past few weeks, but what better energy than a final?
We felt coming this streak of 11 games in 36 days like a healthy skunk. Now that the final stretch has begun, it would be normal for players to think about the bye week that comes after Saturday night’s game. However, they have other plans in mind.
The Bleu-blanc-noir made a quick stop in Montreal for a training session at Center Nutrilait on Monday, before heading to Vancouver to play in the Canadian Championship final on Wednesday.
On the line for CF Montreal: the possibility of lifting the Voyageurs Cup for the 12th time in its history in addition to obtaining a place in the Concacaf Champions League as the best team in Canada. These are two rewards that quickly make you forget the fatigue of the last few weeks.
“This is a great opportunity for us. It means a lot to us to win this trophy, to know that we are the best team in the country for this year. The whole group is motivated and we are ready for this final,” said midfielder Mathieu Choinière.
“This is the most important game of my career,” added goaltender Jonathan Sirois. It’s a huge opportunity to play in the Concacaf Champions League. It allows us to play matches with an incredible atmosphere and create memorable moments, as we have done in the past. »
Choinière and Sirois did not really have the opportunity to catch their breath during this difficult sequence which began at the beginning of May. They both got the start in the first eight games, before receiving a well-deserved time off on Saturday. The two Quebecers should however find their place in the formation on Wednesday.
Their performance during this streak is a testament to how effectively the team’s coaches and medical staff have worked together to ensure that each player can deliver the maximum, while having the time needed to rest and recover.
“It’s the toughest high workload I’ve had in my career, but I felt good all game long,” Choinière said. The staff did the right thing to ensure that all the players came to the games in good shape. After games there is always a 48 hour period where we are more tired, but the staff gave us good recovery and massages to get back into shape. »
CF Montreal head coach Hernan Losada knew what he was doing Saturday night when he made the decision to rest the majority of his regular players. His actions followed his speech during the Canadian Championship: it is a very important tournament for him, and even more than an MLS game.
From the first game of the Canadian Championship, against the Vaughan Azzurri, Losada had used a competitive 11. He continued on this path in the quarter-finals, against Toronto FC, and in the semi-finals, against Forge FC.
The Argentine gave good minutes to several underused players in a 3-0 loss to Union in Philadelphia on Saturday. He hopes that’s enough for his trusted players to once again empty the tank in Vancouver.
“I expect 100% energy from the rested players in Philadelphia. It is certain that with the trip, the whole series of previous games and the fact that we are facing a team that has played both games at home, the program is not the best for us. There is, however, a lot of resilience, unity and will in this group. We will try everything to stay competitive,” Losada said.
In recent weeks, training has often been lighter to save energy. It was not uncommon to see players used in matches warming up away from the group and participating in less strenuous drills.
Losada expects the less busy weeks will once again allow him to provide more technical advice to the whole group.
“In the next training sessions, we will direct our attention to the final pass, the decisive pass and the work in the last third. This is the most difficult thing in football and these are things to improve. You have to elevate the efficiency and try to create more chances than the ones created so far,” he concluded.