With five games remaining in the inaugural MLS season, the Orange and Blue are aiming to finish the campaign on a high note, and the first chance to do so is Saturday night at Stade Saputo, where FC Cincinnati play Montreal Impact.
Ahead of the match, here were the main talking points from Head Coach Ron Jans’ media availability:
“If I were the coach for Montreal, I wouldn’t analyze our last game because there will be a lot of changes because people are coming back from injury and especially from the international games,” Jans said. “So, there will be a lot of changes to the lineup.”
Kendall Waston, Allan Cruz, Alvas Powell and Derrick Etienne Jr. missed last Saturday’s game against Toronto FC because of international duty, but have returned. Cruz and Waston have been training the majority of the week, their return to the starting XI seems set.
As for others, Leo Bertone, Victor Ulloa and Maikel van der Werff have been recovering from injuries.
Assistant coaches Yoann Damet and Jack Stern return to their former club. That return is a momentous one, Jans said.
“It’s important for them,” Jans said of Damet and Stern’s return. “They spent a long time over there and liked it a lot, but they’re here now. I already know that they want to win there and then tell their friends, ‘That’s bad luck for you.’”
Damet was the head coach of the Under-18 team in Montreal, while Stern was the goalkeeper coach.
Back on the road, this is the first time in Jans’ career that he’s coached a league match in another country. While other domestic leagues are exclusive to their countries, MLS has teams in the U.S. and Canada.
“For me, it’s not important,” Jans said. “It’s another country. It’s maybe a new experience. I’ve never been to Canada, but for me, it’s not so far away. It’s not a problem.”
Designated Player Fanendo Adi hasn’t played for Jans yet this season because of a calf injury that’s kept him sidelined. Last week he trained with the team, but his availability has been limited. When asked if Adi could play again in 2019, here’s what the Dutch head coach said:
“He trained with the group for one week, but now on his other calf we’ve had some problems,” Jans said. “So, (Wednesday and Thursday) he was out. Time is running fast. You hope Fanendo can play the last two games, maybe. But it’s still a question mark.”