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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting Montreal Impact

We know Didier Drogba is coming to town, but who else is joining him.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Impact swing into Frisco on a wave of hype after two convincing wins. Last week the Impact defeated New York Red Bulls 3-0. Can Oscar Pareja reorganize Dallas in time to face one of the best teams in the league?

Title Contenders

Last week’s crushing defeat to the Dynamo has been talked about a lot. Was it a sign of things to come, or the annual Dallas meltdown? Whatever it was it will need to be fixed by Saturday or Montreal will run riot in Frisco. The Impact look like the best team in the league right now, solid defensively with a lighting quick counter attack.

Potential Lineup

The Montreal team headed to Frisco is much the same as last weeks, with one key addition, Drogba is willing to play in Frisco. I expect Montreal to put Drogba up top and push Oduro onto the wings. Montreal favor a 4-2-3-1 formation.

GK: Evan Bush; LB: Ambroise Oyongo; CB: Laurent Ciman, Victor Cabrera; RB: Donny Toia; CDM: Calum Mallace, Eric Alexander; LM: Harry Shipp; CAM: Ingacio Piatti; RM: Dominic Oduro; FW: Didier Drogba.

Key Matchup

Fabian Castillo vs. Donny Toia. Castillo was one of the few players that was not totally terrible last week. Castillo has been showing off some impressive new moves this season, from his rabona cross vs Philly to his spin move at the end line last week. Toia is a beatable right back and Castillo needs to burn him this weekend for Dallas to win this game. Hopefully Fabian comes out hungry to impress after last week.

Keys to Three Points


Many of us are calling last week a fluke and while I agree with that assessment, the defensive communication on this team needs to be better. The boys need to play telephone in practice. Hedges and Gonzalez looked like they had never played a competitive match in their lives. Before we can conceive of beating Montreal we need to stop beating ourselves.

Defensive Midfield.

Everybody looked bad last week, but that midfield was a disaster. Maybe it’s time for Ulloa to get a start this season over Acosta. Acosta has failed to impress the last two games. Perhaps a benching will get him to put his head down and work harder. Regardless, the midfield will need to be better this Saturday. Montreal are rapid and whoever plays D-mid will need to be capable of shutting down attacks if Dallas want any hope of winning this one.

Maxi Urruti

Maximiliano Urruti, like much of the team, went missing last week. Dallas, are going to need to put shots on target to win this game, but more importantly, Urruti is going to need to make off the ball runs. Laurent Ciman is a great defender. Urruti needs to make runs and drag the defense around Saturday. If he can make space for Michael Barrios and Fabian Castillo to run into, then Dallas is going to have a good night.


Montreal has had a great start to the season, while Dallas has been lackluster. I can see this one going a lot of ways, but with Drogba available I am even more frightened. I can’t see past Montreal, but the homer in me believes Dallas can pull it together. Two counter-attacking teams will make for an interesting matchup and hopefully an open game will give Mauro Diaz more time to be creative.

My Prediction: 2-2 Draw.