Impact hope to take advantage of fading Loons (Sep 16, 2017)

The Montreal Impact are running out of time as they cling to their MLS Cup playoff aspirations and are hoping to complete an all-Canadian double over Minnesota United FC.

The Loons, with just seven wins in their first MLS season, were on the west coast Wednesday night for a 3-0 loss to Vancouver and now make the trip to Quebec for a Saturday game against the Impact at Saputo Stadium.

Given their opponents’ tough first season and busy travel week, the Impact know they have a chance to get into the playoff picture. Montreal has a visit to MLS-leading Toronto in midweek, where points will be very tough to get, so they must make the most of the opportunities at home.

“(Saturday) is a must-win for us and I’m very reluctant to typically say that,” said Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush. “But (Saturday) is a home game against a team that has struggled for most of the year and they’re coming off a midweek game across the country, so for us, it’s a must-win.”

Minnesota has just one-win in its last five games and conceded 11 goals in that time, which culminated with the loss to Vancouver on Wednesday night at BC Place.

With 26 points in 27 games, the playoffs are all but out of reach for a team that has conceded 56 goals, or an average of two per game. With seven games left in its season, Minnesota would like to finish strong and end on an optimistic note as it heads into its first offseason.

“Every game is important for us. It’s going to be very difficult for us, but we have to keep playing for a lot of things,” head coach Adrian Heath said after Wednesday night’s game. “A lot of pride and we’re playing for positions to be here next year, because if you go on the road and play like we did (in Vancouver) you can’t expect to win.”

Montreal will only be without Ambroise Oyongo (knee) while Minnesota will be without Bernardo Anor (leg), Thomas de Villardi (Achilles), Jermaine Taylor (head) and Sam Cronin (head), while Christian Ramirez (hamstring) and Kevin Molino (illness) are questionable.