Jesse Marsch has been able to count on many players from his Montreal Impact squad in recent outings, and to good effect.
MONTREAL - There were several new faces in the Montreal Impact starting lineup that faced Eastern Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City on Saturday at Livestrong Sporting Park and they didn’t disappoint, as the Impact won the match 2-0. The victory is the expansion side's third consecutive positive result and, following Monday's training session, head coach Jesse Marsch attributed this recent success to the depth he has at this disposal.
“There’s a lot of confidence in our group and we know that we have a lot of options,” said Marsch to assembled media at Claude Robillard Sports Complex. “It makes my job a little bit tougher to figure who to put out on the field at different moments, but I’m also very proud of our group for everyone really staying focused on what we’re trying to do here.”
A brilliant long distance strike from Brazilian midfielder Felipe and a coolly taken penalty from Canadian international Patrice Bernier provided the goals for Montreal against K.C. Marsch, however, highlighted the commanding performance from the Impact’s two central defenders - Nelson Rivas and Hassoun Camara - as the decisive contributing factor in Montreal being able acquiring its first three points on the road.
“They [Kansas City] weren’t really able to figure out how to break us down” Marsch said. “Our centre backs, both of them had very good games.”
Rivas was the Impact’s very first signing as an MLS franchise, and the defender finally made his debut on Saturday after sustaining a right hamstring injury back in January. Marsch went on to explain that he was very pleased with the Colombian’s play.
“With Nelson, you got to see all the qualities that we know he has,” Marsch said. “I’m very happy for him because he wants to get himself going so bad. You can see that he was enjoying himself, he has confidence in who he is, he’s only going to get better.”
Camara was the Impact’s most valuable player last season in the North American Soccer League, and Saturday’s game was the Frenchman’s first chance at showcasing his ability in MLS and he was happy with his performance.
“The coach called other players to start this game and it was great to show that we could play too, and we are very satisfied about that,” said Camara. “I know what I’m able to do so I just keep going since the beginning of the season. I knew that I would be called for a game, so I had to be ready to play for the coach, and that’s what I did”.
On top of the Impact's recent positive results, Marsch will also likely be able to count on the services of former Bologna striker Marco Di Vaio in July, but the coach explained that it was important for his team not to dwell on potential signing and concentrate on the present.
“We’re all just focused on the moment and what we’re doing here, and I think we all feel good about what we’ve established as a group,” Marsch said of the team that's currently in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. “The key now is not to be complacent. I keep saying, 'put the pedal to the floor.' The commitment to keep pushing this thing forward has got to be there because that’s how we’re going to get to where we want to be.”