The Montreal Impact and New England Revolution headed to Kissimmee, Florida on Thursday to kick off the MLS season. The MLS is touting the weekend as its MLS is Back Tournament, but for the Impacts coach Thierry Henry, lost emotion as the game went on.
New England’s Gustavo Bou put the New England Revolution ahead 1-0 early into the second half and with few challenges from the Montreal Impact, were able to hold on to end the game 1-0 and earning their first win of the season.
At the officials and players took to the grass, both kneeled while Thierry Henry stayed in a kneeling position for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the time that it took before a Minneapolis police officer took his knee off George Floyd’s neck. Commenting on the statement, Thierry Henry said,
“I guess you guys know why, it was just to pay tribute and show support to the (Black Lives Matter) cause.”
While the show of respect was honorable, the Impact was unable to control the ball for any length of time on the first half, and that was not unnoticed by Henry. Commenting on his players, Henry stated he wanted to see more spirit. Adding to that, Henry stated,
“If you don’t fight, then you don’t win battles and you lose balls. There is no need even to talk about tactics because it had nothing to do with tactics today. It was about desire, that we didn’t have. That can happen. I’m not questioning the desire of my players. But tonight it wasn’t there. They wanted it more than us, we made too many mistakes under no pressure, individually and as a team, to win this game. Hopefully we’ll come back. This is something that we want to have and we did have before the break. So hopefully it will come back as soon as possible.”
Major League Soccer
The loss to New England only adds to the pressure Montreal will feel heading into their game against the TFC on Wednesday of next week. After a four month break, both teams seemed to be rusty, and Montreal did little to put New England goalkeeper Matt Turner to work taking few shots in the first half. However, Montreal game back in the second half, they came on strong, but it wasn’t until the 50th mark before Montreal had a solid scoring opportunity, one that Turner shut down. After Bou scored give put New England the lead, Montreal attempted to gain control and were able to get a shot in the 96th minute mark, but again Turner stopped the shot.
Montreal was the first MLS team from Canada to resume playing during the pandemic. Vancouver’s Whitecaps are set to make their debut on Sunday against San Jose, while Toronto will take on D.C united on the same day. For punters, the start of the MLS season is welcomed news, especially those who wish to back their favorite teams with sportsbooks such as 888Sport. With up to $250 available is signup bonuses and continued stream of sport specific bonuses, the timing is perfect.The tournament didn’t take long before a player with the Nashville SC was forced to exit after testing positive for COVID-19. All games in the tournament will count towards the regular season, so the caution is critical for all if they hope to make a success of the shortened season.
Thursday game was Montreal’s first since their loss to CD Olimpia this March during the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. Officials all donned face masks prior to the start of the game however as things got underway, they were removed. The game was without spectators as was expected, which is consistent with all sporting events while the U.S and other countries battle to control the spread of the coronavirus.