(Montreal) CF Montreal are coming off a win against one of the best teams in MLS, but it’s one game in particular that may encapsulate how they want to play in the second half of their season .
You don’t need an expert eye to note the dozens of defensive withdrawals that take place during a soccer game. However, when one of these occurs after a very long run and prevents a golden opportunity to score, it says a lot about the state of mind of some players.
Hanging on to a 1-0 second-half lead against Nashville SC, the Bleu-blanc-noir got a two-on-one close to their net in the 51st minute. Alone in the penalty area, Taylor Washington accepted a pass from Hany Mukhtar and he thought he had the equalizer at the end of his foot, but Mathieu Choinière started from midfield and came to save the furniture with a spectacular tackle .
Whether Washington would have gotten the ball into the net will never be known, but this streak represents what head coach Hernan Losada wants to see from his men.
Choinière has been true to form against Nashville SC, but several different players have stood out over the past few weeks, which has made it easier for Losada during a tough 11 games in 36 days streak.
The CF Montreal head coach has never made a secret that all of his players would be important to the team’s success and the recent performances of some of them bode well for the rest of the season.
This is particularly the case of forwards Sunusi Ibrahim and Mason Toye, two players who are getting more and more starts and who seem to have developed a good chemistry. Toye and Ibrahim also set the table for Bryce Duke’s goal on Wednesday night, the only goal of the game.
“Sunusi is coming out of his shell this year. He is still very young so I have to remember that. There will be variations in his game, but right now he is playing very well and working hard. It’s fun to play with him, but that’s the case with all our attackers. There’s a lot of depth,” Toye observed.
This depth will once again have to be demonstrated in the coming weeks, especially on the right wing. Aaron Herrera (Guatemala) and Zachary Brault-Guillard (Canada), who play in this position, have been selected by their countries to participate in the Gold Cup. Lassi Lappalainen, who could have been used on this side by Losada, is injured.
A real Swiss army knife since the start of the campaign, Choinière could therefore be moved from the middle of the field to come once again to save the furniture, but this time as a right piston.
“Mathieu has played in this position before. I find it a shame because I like his work in midfield, but at the moment we are in a special situation. We’ll see after practice tomorrow,” Losada said.
The Argentinian could have been faced with an even more complex puzzle if Choinière, goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois and defender Joel Waterman had been recalled by Canada.
Losada said he is happy to be able to keep his three players in his squad, but he believes that they would have deserved to be selected by the leaders of Soccer Canada.
Waterman doesn’t disagree. He did not hesitate to show his disappointment at having been ignored following the victory of his family.
“I believe in my abilities so I was disappointed not to be part of the Canadian Gold Cup roster. To be honest, I thought I was going to be there. I don’t want to look too deep into this. There’s a reason I made the World Cup soccer team and that was because I let my game do the talking. I will continue to do so. I wish them all the best though and hope they win,” Waterman said.
Besides Lappalainen and Brault-Guillard, who won’t be making the trip for Charlotte, Losada said he hopes Samuel Piette will partially train with his teammates on Monday. Piette has had a groin injury since April 1.