CF Montreal will try to replicate the frenzy of the end of last Friday's game when they host the Chicago Fire at Saputo Stadium on Tuesday night.
“It's pretty cool to play a mid-week game in this context and we can hopefully build on that energy,” admitted defender Alistair Johnston, mentioning that there was fatigue, but that the team had played a day earlier than Chicago.
For the Bleu-blanc-noir, the opportunity is above all to consolidate its hold on second place in the Eastern Conference.
The Montrealers have 53 points and the New York Red Bulls follow at 50 points.
CF Montreal has a game in hand, that of Tuesday night.
A victory would allow him to have a six-point lead over the Bulls with three games to play for each of the two formations.
This is the second time the two teams have met in less than three weeks. On August 27, the Montrealers won 2-0 at Soldier Field while playing the second half down a man.
< p>“They probably want revenge for the victory we won at Soldier Field, it's pretty fresh in their memory,” Johnston said.
What's more, Chicago is 12th in the East with 35 points, six behind the Columbus Crew, who hold the seventh and final playoff spot. Columbus plays Miami on Tuesday night and has a game in hand. The Fire basically play their season on Tuesday night.
“They're playing for a playoff spot so they're going to give it their all and try to do everything to win this game. As you can see, the intensity has increased over the past few games. For us, it’s playoff preparation,” noted head coach Wilfried Nancy.
“Every point counts, so these are teams that are dangerous because they're fighting for survival,” Johnston said of the teams battling for a place in the playoffs.
At Olympic Stadium?
Now that qualification is assured for the fall tournament, the next step is to ensure that there are as many playoff games as possible at Saputo Stadium.
“We want to line up the good performances and the playoff games at home will come with it,” Johnston said.
There has recently been talk of playing the playoffs at Olympic Stadium, but Johnston has been on the will of the players.
“On the player side, everyone would prefer to play at Stade Saputo, the surface is better suited to our style of play. In addition, it is a very intimate stadium, we feels the fans over us as it did on Friday night. »
In addition, CF Montreal midfielder Victor Wanyama is part of the eleven par excellence of the last week in MLS.
Be consistent at home
CF Montreal is very difficult to beat on the road, but at home it is sometimes more complicated and the team wants to establish a trend at Stade Saputo by the end of the season.
“At home, we want to turn draws into wins and above all keep the fans involved even if Friday, it took us a little time to do so,” said Alistair Johnston.
We can understand that since the team is 4-3-3 in its last ten games at home, which is the only real downside.
With another game by the end of the week, the team will certainly start to get heavy-legged and with playoff qualification in the pocket, Wilfried Nancy might want to do more rotation .
“The players I choose have nothing to do with qualifying for the playoffs and everything to do with the number of games we play,” Nancy said. We already had an idea in mind for the meeting against the Fire and I will stick to it.
“The objective is to find a good balance with my players. Some of them played a lot of minutes, but I have to use everyone. It will be like that for the last four games and, by the same token, we want to try to stay in second position because it is a goal for us. »