CF Montreal: a taste of revenge at the opening

After a successful Montreal return to the Champions League on Wednesday, CF Montreal begins the 2022 season in MLS this afternoon, starting at 1 p.m.

The duel will be presented to you on TVA Sports and on TVA Sports direct. The whole team will be in place at noon with the pre-match broadcast.

The Blue, White and Black visits Orlando City SC, the same team that had annihilated all playoff hopes by winning 2-0 at Stade Saputo in the last game of the 2021 season.

“I put myself in the shoes of the players and it is certain that the fact that we were eliminated by them is still there,” said Wilfried Nancy during a conversation with the media on Friday.

“The past is the past and it’s a new season. They don’t have the same players, there have been additions. »

Since he’s the one talking about it, we can’t avoid the subject of changes to the Florida workforce.

The main headliner of recent years, Nani, left at the end of last season. His contract having expired, Orlando did not present him with a new offer.

Nancy believes the departure of the veteran forward will give the team a boost rather than hurt it.

“With all due respect to Nani, he’s a very good player technically, but they’re going to have more speed and be more aggressive defensively. »

Between the regular season matches and the two Champions League quarter-final matches against Cruz Azul, it’s a fairly strong start to the season that awaits Nancy’s men.

“We’re going to see a lot of games, it will be dynamic,” said the head coach. But we have the privilege of playing this Champions League so we will do everything to move forward. »

For the team driver, the important thing is to transpose the spirit of the Champions League matches into the regular season without burning the candle at both ends physically and mentally.

“The Champions League are small moments when we want to do well. The objective is to repeat this kind of performance, but the players know that over a season in MLS, we will win and lose games so they will have to be resilient. »

Called to clarify who would be in the net tomorrow afternoon, Nancy left no room for ambiguity.

If he trusted James Pantemis after the departure of Clément Diop last summer, Sebastian Breza is now his trusted man.

“For the goalkeepers, it’s clear, Sebastian is first and James is second. We will see the evolution during the season, but that’s it for now. »

The great Quebec goalkeeper plays in a generally confident manner and his control in the penalty area complements his team’s defensive play well.

Since it’s about the defense, we may not remember it, but Rudy Camacho received a red card in the last game of the season against Orlando and will be suspended tomorrow.

With that in mind, it was important that Alistair Johnston got some minutes against Santos Laguna on Wednesday.

“Alistair, when he came back from COVID protocol, I felt like he had only been with us for three days since he arrived,” Nancy said. It was important for him to have time so that he understood what we wanted to do and the concepts we were putting forward. »

♦ CF Montreal announced today that it has signed a contract extension for the 2023 and 2024 seasons with midfielder and defender Mathieu Choinière.

The opponent in 5 points


It’s a big chunk of Orlando’s attack that went missing this winter when the club opted out of the Portuguese striker, who was the team’s top scorer last year with ten goals.


We have a little clean house on the offensive level with the Floridians since the young Chris Mueller has also left. In his case, it is a transfer to Scotland. He is a good passer who left during the winter.


To rebuild the attacking sector, Orlando signed 21-year-old Uruguayan Facundo Torres at a big price, a transfer of $9 million USD, a team record. However, it puts a lot of pressure on a young man barely out of adolescence.


Orlando took care to surround Torres by signing Austrian Ercan Kara, a striker who scored everywhere he went, and plenty more. At 26, he is in his prime and could prove to be a good catch.


Orlando has only lost two home games in 2021, but that stat doesn’t tell the whole story. Indeed, the Central Florida club won eight, but mostly drew seven games. This is a performance to improve in 2022.

Dream scenario for Ismaël Koné

We can say that Ismaël Koné’s first career goal was scored in circumstances worthy of a film script.

The 19-year-old did it in his very first professional game in his career and in front of his friends. In addition, it was the goal that knocked out Santos Laguna with less than half an hour to play in the game.

“It was amazing. I’ve always dreamed of this moment and the fact that it’s happening in my city in front of everyone, I’m trying to digest it little by little, ”he admitted on Friday.

It was enough for the supporters to fall in love with him and are interested in his jersey.

“I am extremely happy because two days ago they made me experience incredible emotions. »

Koné is a beautiful nugget who could quickly become an important cog in the team.

It’s interesting for a midfielder with an atypical career since he didn’t go through the club’s training academy. Instead, he played his soccer with the Saint-Laurent Soccer Club.

Now, in one game, he has created expectations and he lives very well with that.

“That people expect stuff from me, it’s understandable since I’m in a professional club. But I don’t live under stress, I don’t put pressure on myself in relation to that. »

Wilfried Nancy has always favored patience with young players in order to allow them to properly assimilate the principles of the game, which requires adjustment.

“When you’re young, you just want to play, but as time goes by, you learn by talking to the staff, recognized Koné. You understand that it may not be the best option to enter the field. You take a step back and you see what you have to improve.

“It was complicated for me for a while because I thought I was ready, but I understood and it went well. »

Now, Koné intends to take all the minutes he can have without putting himself under the pressure of a quantified objective.

“My goal is to play despite the competition in the middle of the field. I haven’t set any goals in terms of matches. »

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