With five matches remaining in the regular season, the Orange and Blue had a meeting. On Monday morning, they discussed their goals for the remainder of the season and what they’d like to accomplish each game. This came after eight losses in the club’s last nine games.
The conversation was open for anyone to share.
Afterward, Head Coach Ron Jans said it was beneficial and helped provide inspiration to a side looking for a first win since mid-July. On Saturday night, FC Cincinnati have that opportunity at Stade Saputo when they play the Montreal Impact.
Here are the main storylines entering the matchup.
“I think we found some new inspiration and motivation to go to Montreal,” Jans said Thursday morning of the meeting.
That’s important because it provides a new perspective for a side that’s essentially been in the same situation for weeks. With postseason hopes dashed, the focus from the front office was toward building for 2020.
Of course, saying that also acknowledges some players currently on FCC’s roster right now won’t be next season. That provides some worry, and Jans said it’s important the team looks past that to focus on a common goal: Producing results for the players and for the supporters.
“When you talk, yeah, you say all the good things, but you have to show it (through action),” Jans said. “We’ve been really positive about the training sessions, and so let’s keep doing that and during the game.”
FC Cincinnati beat Montreal on May 11 in the first meeting. If they can do the same in Canada, it’ll be the first time FCC have beaten an MLS team twice in the same season.
There’s pride in that achievement, and it’s something Emmanuel Ledesma wants to see happen.
“We have to prepare for the game to go to Montreal and do a big fight because they’re fighting for a playoff spot,” Ledesma said. “I think they’re going to be 100 percent ready and we have to be too to play away and give our all.”
The last match was Yoann Damet’s first as interim head coach after Alan Koch was fired earlier in the week.
In that first match, Allan Cruz scored after seven minutes before Fatai Alashe provided the second in a 2-1 win at Nippert Stadium.
This is a must-win match for Montreal, so it’s up to the Orange and Blue to say otherwise
Montreal sits eighth in the Eastern Conference on 37 points, which is two points behind the seventh-place New England Revolution. Because the regular season ends on Oct. 6, the Impact need to accumulate as many points as possible right now.
For Cincinnati, the Orange and Blue need to ensure that doesn’t happen.
According to an article published today on MLS’ website, Montreal has dropped 14 points this season when it’s in a winning position. If all those points would’ve resulted in wins, the Impact would have 51 points, which is second place alongside the Philadelphia Union. (FCC have dropped 16 points from a winning position.)
What this means is Cincinnati has dropped points that would’ve led to wins. In addition, Montreal, had it not slipped in matches, would be much higher the Eastern Conference standings than sitting outside the playoff picture with weeks remaining in the season.
FC Cincinnati at Montreal Impact
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Stade Saputo
Weather Forecast: Cloudy, 67 degrees
TV: WSTR Star 64
Local Video Stream: FloFC
Out of Market Video Stream: ESPN+
Local Radio: WDJO (99.5 FM | 107.9 | 1480 AM)
Audio Stream: TuneIn App, fccincinnati.com
Tickets: Purchase your tickets here:
Player to Watch and his Health Carousel Player Resume
Opponent’s Player to Watch: Midfielder Saphir Taïder
The French midfielder has nine goals and five assists through 28 appearances this season. When the teams met in May, that was one of the two matches he’s missed this season.
Assuming he plays against Cincinnati on Saturday, it’s worth mentioning five of his goals have been penalties. He’s also scored three game-winners.
Assistant Coach Yoann Damet was Montreal’s Under-18 Head Coach before joining FC Cincinnati.
Goalkeeper Coach Jack Stern was at the Impact before joining FCC.
Montreal’s Ken Krolicki played with Fatai Alashe and Jimmy Hague at Michigan State.
Kekuta Manneh and Jukka Raitala played at Columbus Crew SC together in 2017.
Justin Hoyte and Bacary Sagna played at Arsenal together in 2007.
When Przemysław Tytoń was at Deportivo de la Coruña in 2016, Samuel Piette joined Deportivo B.
Maximiliano Urruti has two spells with previous FC Cincinnati players and coaches. Between 2013-15, he played with Alvas Powell (2013-15) and Fanendo Adi (2015). He also played at FC Dallas with Victor Ulloa (2016-18) and Roland Lamah (17-18).