CF Montreal is set to face its biggest home challenge so far this season, but head coach Hernan Losada is confident in his team’s chances at Saputo Stadium.
With the passage of FC Cincinnati (17-4-7) on Wednesday evening, CF Montreal (11-14-3) will battle one of the best teams in MLS away from home.
FC Cincinnati has suffered only three defeats away from home in 2023 and has 21 points away from its fans, the second best performance in the league in this regard.
However, the Montreal team has always been able to meet the challenges posed by the best visiting clubs in the Eastern Association. With nine shutouts and as many victories in 14 games, she is part of the elite of the Garber circuit in her fortified castle.
“Even though Cincinnati is the best team in the league right now, I’m sure we’re going to have a great game,” Losada said.
“When we play at home, the team feels good. The crowd is behind us and the atmosphere is incredible, which gives the players a boost. »
Admitted to the league in 2019, FC Cincinnati had a difficult start. However, the team has been on an upward trajectory, culminating in its best season to date.
The fact remains that their recent outings have been a little more difficult. After being eliminated by Nashville on penalties in the League Cup, FC Cincinnati lost three of their next six matches in all competitions, including one on penalties against Lionel Messi and Inter Miami CF in the semi-finals. US Open Cup final.
But these results do not take away the danger that the Ohio formation can represent. With ammunition like striker Brandon Vasquez and midfielders Alvaro Barreal and Luciano Acosta — number one candidate for team MVP — she can turn a goal into an avalanche.
“It will be a huge challenge, not only for the back line, but for the whole team, but we are looking forward to facing these types of players,” said defender Joel Waterman.
“ [Acosta] can do everything, he is one of the best players in the league and we have to make sure we keep him at bay and not give him the space he needs,” added the Canadian.
A victory against FC Cincinnati would greatly help CF Montreal in its fight for a place in the playoffs. Limited to a 0-0 draw against the Chicago Fire last Saturday due to a lack of finishing, CF Montreal let points slip away at home for one of the rare times this season.
Currently, the Montreal team is eighth in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of DC United and three points ahead of the Fire.
Saturday’s result sets the stage for six crucial regular-season games against opponents who are all in the playoff race and appear to have found their offensive touch.
“I don’t think we’re going to create 10 to 15 scoring chances per game, especially against teams stronger than Chicago or when we’re away,” Losada admitted.
“Defensive discipline is important, but it is also crucial to be more effective in front of goal than last Saturday. »