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Massive Predictions: Montreal Impact

How does the Massive Report staff believe Crew SC will perform in Week 2?

MLS: Montreal Impact at Vancouver Whitecaps Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

A week ago, the Massive Report staff did not pick in favor of Columbus Crew SC in the team’s trip to Toronto FC. This week, we’ll try and be better.

The Black & Gold are back at home for the first time since the first leg of the Eastern Conference Final last year. Crew SC welcomes the Montreal Impact to Columbus for the home opener.

As mentioned, the Black & Gold began the season with a bang, upsetting the defending MLS Cup champions at BMO Field 2-0. The Impact were not as lucky, losing to the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 at BC Place.

After the impressive performance in Week 1, is the MR staff changing its tune on Crew SC? Let’s see what our staff thinks for this week’s game.

Guilherme Torres

Columbus Crew SC returns to Ohio in high spirits after starting its 2018 MLS campaign with a sound road win against defending champions Toronto FC in what was the team’s first season-opening victory since 2014.

The Black & Gold will try to keep its momentum against a Montreal Impact team that lost two of its key pieces in Blerim Dzemaili and Laurent Ciman and struggled last Saturday, losing 2-1 to Canadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps.

New head coach Remi Garde is making some experiments and Crew SC can benefit from them, especially with Jukka Raitala, a serviceable left back for the Black & Gold in 2017, playing center back against a physical striker like Gyasi Zardes.

Columbus has all the tools to get a massive win in front of its home crowd and should do it if it manages to stop Ignacio Piatti.
Columbus Crew SC 3 Montreal Impact 1

Patrick Murphy

In watching the Impact’s loss to Vancouver last week, I was not overly impressed. Star player Ignacio Piatti was largely invisible in the opener and therefore there was little offense for Montreal. The defense also struggled, committing plenty of fouls, as former Crew SC striker Kei Kamara and the Whitecaps attack sent waves of pressure towards Evan Bush’s goal.

I expect this game to be very different than last week’s in that the Impact won’t be as open and play the same brand of soccer Toronto did. Instead, I expect Montreal to sit back and look to spring the counter attack. This means Crew SC must be patient and move the ball from side to side, looking to open up the backline.

I said on the podcast this week that I was going 3-1, but I’ve changed my mind as I expect a more cagey affair due to the Impact’s tactics that have caused Columbus issues in the past.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Montreal Impact 1

Sam Fahmi

Will we see a similar performance to week one? How will the crowd’s emotions affect this game? Could this really be the last home opener in team history? Crew SC emerges victorious.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Montreal Impact 0

Collin Johnson

After an impressive performance against the reigning champions, any result other than a win in the 2018 home opener against Montreal will be a disappointment.

The Impact’s opening match with Vancouver was a relatively even affair, but it’s clear that Montreal were still figuring out new manager Remi Garde’s system. I’m most interested to see how Columbus play as the favorite for the first time this season. Will they continue to focus on intentional counter attacking as against Toronto or will we see a return to the high-volume possession from Gregg Berhalter’s system? My bet is on the latter.
Columbus Crew SC 3 Montreal Impact 1

Ralph Schudel

Montreal definitely is rebuilding and in disarray at the moment. Injuries to Zakaria Diallo, Kyle Fisher and Anthony Jackson-Hamel has left new manager Reme Garde with a premature youth movement. Consequently, Garde played players out of position last week and this could be beneficial to Crew SC.

Gyasi Zardes looks to continue his incredible goal scoring clip against the young Impact. Look for the Black & Gold defense to have another great game and Zack Steffen to continue doing great things between the posts.
Columbus Crew SC 3 Montreal Impact 1

Patrick Guldan

In MLS, you need to pick up maximum points against teams that are struggling. Montreal is a team coming together under a new coach with an influx of new players and a still solidifying defense. Crew SC has hit the season in stride and should be able to capture all three points to continue their hot streak.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Montreal Impact 0

Nathaniel Marhefka

I had the chance to watch Montreal play in preseason and against Vancouver and I can say that this team has a lot to work towards succeeding this season. There are players playing out of position (see Jukka Raitala playing center back), and unproven youngsters like Kevin Krolicki and Raheem Edwards thrusted into the starting 11.

On the more positive end, they do possess Ignacio Piatti and new signing Saphir Taider, who is one of my most anticipated signings of the offseason.

I expect to see Crew SC approach the game similarly to the match in Toronto, and pull out a win here.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Montreal Impact 0

Josh Mlot

Montreal has got some issues, which bodes well for Columbus. The Impact have question marks defensively, and attacking-wise Ignacio Piatti doesn’t have a whole lot of help creating (maybe Raheem Edwards will add an attacking element, but he wasn’t impactful in the opener).

On top of that, it’s a team adjusting to the system and expectations of a new coach. And on the road. That all creates a favorable cocktail for the Black & Gold. With that said, Ignacio Piatti is good enough to kill you on his own if you let down, and a new system may leave the possibility of surprise. I, however, believe the situation sets up well for Columbus to build on a strong opener and defend its home field.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Montreal Impact 1

Now it’s your turn. What’s your score prediction for Saturday’s match between Crew SC and the Impact? Let us know in the comment section below.