Unfortunate Start to the MLS Season for CF Montreal.

It wasn’t the start to the season that CF Montreal fans were hoping for when CFM travelled to Orlando for their first MLS game of the season. Montreal would fall 2-0 to Orlando City SC, on a very hot day. Both goals that Orlando scored were basically unforced mental errors by the Montreal defence that were determined to play out from the back all game. This is something that Wilfried Nancy will have to sort out going forward.

The first half was actually pretty solid for CF Montreal. I thought they moved the ball well, especially in the midfield, but just lacked the final ball. The timing was off for most of this game, but specifically in the first half where CFM racked up all of their four offsides for the game. The best chance of the first half came when Romell Quioto rounded the Orlando keeper, but the angle was just too tight and he put is shot just wide. I think that with the creativity that Montreal have in their side, this won’t be a problem for long.

The second half was a nightmare for CF Montreal. Just 4 minutes in, the defence switched off and OCSC’s right back Ruan was slipped in behind CFM’s back four, and his cross found Alexandre Pato (Remember him!) who put away his first MLS goal. A few minutes later, Sebastian Breza’s pass put his team in a terrible spot, which led to a glorious chance for Cesar Araujo who remarkably put his shot wide of the target. Don’t worry though Orlando City fans, as Montreal players weren’t done giving the ball away needlessly yet…In the 59th minute, Joel Waterman would turn the ball over and this time Orlando would make it count with Benji Michel scoring his first of the season.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, Romell Quioto would lose his head and punch/shove Robin Jansson, and was shown a straight red. Being down two goals and down a man, Montreal would receive a glimmer of hope in the 81st minute when Jansson would be shown his second yellow of the game, bringing both teams down to ten men. The best chance probably fell to Lassi Lappalainen but he just couldn’t connect with Alistair Johnston’s low driven cross from in close.

There were some positives in this game, and most of it was the young talent. I was impressed with Ismael Kone who looked calm in the midfield for the most part, and Rita Zouhir came on in the second half, looked a really tricky customer at times for the Orlando defence. Now to the opposite of young players, I also liked the way that MLS legend Kei Kamara held up play and distributed passes to the wingers when he came on in the second half.

Stuff that HAS to improve is the distribution from Sebastian Breza. A lot of his passes were losing possession or dangerously close to being intercepted. If Wilfried Nancy is insisting from playing out of the back, this will need to improve. The team as a unit also looked a bit sluggish, It might have to do with the hot temperature and playing only three days ago in the CONCACAF Champions League, but all good coaches will say that’s no excuse.

CF Montreal’s next chance to get some points on the table will be next Saturday when the Philadelphia Union make the trip to the Olympic Stadium. That game is scheduled for a 4pm kick-off.

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