MONTREAL - After two thumping consecutive home wins against the Seattle Sounders and the Houston Dynamo, it seemed like the Montreal Impact was beginning to make considerable progress.
But the Impact’s season took a turn for the worst Wednesday night, as the team lost 3-0 to Eastern Conference cellar dwellers Toronto FC, a result that club president Joey Saputo would later describe on Twitter as an “absolute disgrace.”
In the post match press conference, Montreal head coach Jesse Marsch described his side's performance as a considerable regression in the team’s season and blamed a lack of competitiveness as the primary reason why the Impact were outplayed and outscored in the second half.
“I think we were just totally outcompeted on every spot on the field,” said Marsch. “I congratulate Toronto cause they gave 100 percent and deserved to win that game. They came in here, they wanted it more, they had more heart, put more into it, they fought harder and we came up short in all those competitive categories.
“That’s a very disappointing loss for us and a big step backwards”.
When asked whether or not fatigue may have played a part in the team’s second half collapse, Marsch affirmed that that may have been a factor, though Patrice Bernier didn’t feel fatigue was a viable excuse given the fact Toronto FC has also played many games over the last few weeks and also had its share of heavy legs.
“You can’t say that [it was fatigue],” said Bernier. “Both teams have played a lot of games. You have to want it more. Maybe we had tired legs but they had tired legs at the other end. It was 0-0 and it was up for grabs for anybody and we just had to keep level headed and we got outcompeted.
“In the end, they were better on every ball.”
Marco Di Vaio made his debut in the match and, though visibly disappointed with the result, was a little more positive about the team’s performance on the night.
“We had a good first half, we could have scored and we didn’t give anything away defensively,” said Di Vaio. “Until their goal they scored on the free kick, they didn’t do anything, but we didn’t handle the game afterwards.”
Di Vaio was kept off the scoresheet in his first outing with the Impact and explained that the chemistry had yet to instill with his teammates.
"It's hard to play with the other guys in attack because we've had very few practices together," said Di Vaio. "We'll get better, but I was hoping our chemistry would be more advanced than it was. We just have to think about working hard and getting better."
The Impact’s schedule doesn’t get any easier as the team will take on Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United in the American capital on Saturday and then come home to face Sporting Kansas City at Stade Saputo on next Wednesday night.