On this famous June 24, Jonathan Sirois changed his match dynamics a bit.
To say that goalies are “babes” and have a well-honed routine is an assertion that remains to be refuted. However, to celebrate Saint-Jean, Sirois added a few Quebec songs to his playlist on this game day: Les Cowboys Fringants, Les Trois Accords and Karim Ouellet, among others.
He was advised to start over, as CF Montreal and Charlotte FC had a bitterly contested and open game. And opportunities, there were.
Admittedly, the Montrealers at times lacked realism and the locals lacked opportunism, but it was essentially Sirois’ brilliance that made possible a result that only purists will be able to appreciate.
His saves allowed the Bleu-blanc-noir to grab a fifth point on the road this season. A good shot considering that the Montrealers have bowed out in 8 of 11 games on the road. This point is therefore valuable. What’s more, he was taken against a direct competitor in the standings.
But before moving on to celebrations for this performance and this result on the road, Sirois wants to temper.
“You can’t be satisfied with a void verdict,” he said.
Considering the history, yes, but concerning the physiognomy of the match too. The full-backs were exploited in the first half and the central hinge was damaged at times, but ultimately the result remained a shutout. It is also the eighth for Sirois and his partners this season. The native of the South Shore has therefore risen to third place in the MLS in this regard.
The Bleu-blanc-noir counted on a very different starting lineup from Wednesday’s game against Nashville SC. Four starters gave up, including Zachary Brault-Guillard, now with Team Canada for the Gold Cup, and Mathieu Choinière, injured.
If Brault-Guillard was selected for the continental competition, Sirois was left behind, as were his compatriots Joel Waterman and Mathieu Choinière.
The fact that Sirois was not selected, considering the other goaltenders who were preferred to him (Milan Borjan, Dayne St. Clair and Tom McGill), surprised some. Still, the 21-year-old confirmed with a laugh that there was “no revenge aspect” to the performance.
For his part, the current passed less for Waterman. “I thought I was going to be selected for the Gold Cup. I’m upset, but I hope the team will win,” said the centre-back, who was in the squad for the 2022 World Cup.
Choinière, meanwhile, is struggling with an injury. CFM head coach Hernán Losada simply replied that he wanted the Quebec midfielder to return to his position for the next game.
So maybe Saint-Jean was not the right window to carve out a position with the Maple Leaf. The trio will therefore have the chance to get together at home next Saturday, on Canada Day.
We are starting to run out of words to describe Sirois’ game this season. Apart from an erratic delivery – followed by an approximate control of George Campbell – in front of his surface, the Quebecer was imperial. This point certainly goes to his file.
It had been a while since Sunusi Ibrahim had experienced so much difficulty. It should be mentioned that Chinonso Offor missed a few relays towards his Nigerian compatriot. Nevertheless, Ibrahim had the best chance of the Montrealers, but his crushing shot did not create the slightest danger and his performance was less dynamic than usual.
Number of shutouts of Jonathan Sirois in his last seven meetings. He allowed just four goals during that streak.