Henry prefers to refocus on football after Montreal Impact's Jacob Blake support


Victor Wanyama’s Montreal Impact teammates did not want to play against Toronto FC on Tuesday, it has now been reported.

The reports Montreal Impact players were reluctant to face their rivals in a match they lost 1-0 on Friday have been linked to the widespread solidarity demonstrations following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The Montreal Impact against Toronto FC tie was the first one to be played after the postponement of five matches on Wednesday.

After the loss, Wanyama’s manager Thierry Henry did not want to be dragged into the debate surrounding the said go-slow. 

“Please can we talk about the game? Toronto played a good game and they deserved to win. So can we talk about that?” Henry said in his post-match reaction.

“Toronto kept the ball at the beginning and didn’t give us the ball back cheaply. [Alejandro] Pozuelo, [Pablo] Piatti – guys like that in the middle. [Marky] Delgado with [Michael] Bradley – they know how to manage the ball.

“And so it became difficult for us to get it back. Once you don’t get it back, you can’t obviously impose your style and so it became difficult. As I said, they were better than us on the day, but we have an opportunity to rectify that on Tuesday.”

Montreal Impact centre-back Luis Binks was categorical players did not want to be involved in the Friday match.

“Yeah, no one [on the Impact] wanted to play. That’s true,” Binks said.

“But I don’t think we can use that as an excuse. The final decision was to play, so we played the game. We weren’t good enough. They were pretty better than us. They had more chances than us.

“There are a lot of boys in the changing room, if not everyone, who felt that the right decision was to support what’s going on and try to make a stand against what’s going on in the US.

“And we thought it would be quite powerful if two Canadian clubs – although it’s not happening in Canada, racism happens everywhere – but although what happened didn’t happen directly in Canada, we thought it would be good for us to show our support.

“But for whatever reason, that didn’t happen. And we played the game. But I don’t think we can use that as an excuse to say that’s why we didn’t win or that’s why we didn’t play as well as we can.”

Toronto captain Michael Bradley responded on whether there was communication between them and Montreal Impact regarding the need to take part in the social justice movement protest.

Article continues below

“It’s not worth talking about. Again, there are real things to talk about. There are important issues at hand,” Bradley said.

“The behind-the-scenes stuff that has gone on in so many different locker rooms and across different leagues, that stuff is not important right now.”

Montreal Impact won their previous match against Vancouver Whitecaps.