- Matthew Laboissonniere
Montreal CF Match Review
Just when I thought the days of shitty performances like Cincinatti and Red Bulls were behind this team, they came to visit again on Saturday. Apologize for a bit of a late article as I’ve been going through Finals, but even studying for these tests was better than watching that match. The Lions were caught with jet lag vs Montreal, losing 4-1 in another shocking performance this season. Montreal is red hot at the moment with 7 games unbeaten despite a slow start to the season, and the Lions haven’t truly connected all the pieces yet.
The defense was all over the place and they should be thanking their keeper for at least making this a somewhat reasonable scoreline. It could have easily been 7 or 8 if Gallese wasn’t in goal. Montreal missed some easy chances too that they wish they could have got back. Offensively, Orlando could not get much going at all. I anticipated that even without Wanyama in the middle that Montreal would see most of the ball. I expected it to be Kara up top with his ability to clog up the middle defensively when Orlando sits back. Pato was basically invisible, and even when Kara replaced him, he didn’t look the part either.
It wasn’t looking like a pretty day for Orlando right out the gate. Michel getting the start is quite despicable and he might be my least favorite player. Big reactionary from me but I can’t help it. All he contributed to the game was the first goal… for the other team. Schlegel was paired with 17 year old Thomas Williams, so it’s difficult to put much blame on them either. Pereyra got an assist but not much else, and Facundo Torres was the 2nd best Torres on the field.
It’s tough to tell what Orlando wants to be this year. Do they want to compete at the top amongst teams like Philadelphia? Or can they not string together enough consistent performances for that? Regardless of the answer, the Lions need to find their identity before it’s too late.
Goal - 21’ - Waterman
Yellow Card - 24’ - Waterman
Yellow Card - 42’ - Mihailovic
Goal - 52’ - Mihailovic
Yellow Card - 55’ - Quioto
Yellow Card - 68’ - Kara
Goal - 72’ - Moutinho
Yellow Card - 79’ - Piette
Goal - 81’ - Torres
Goal - 84’ - Brault-Guillard
Yellow Card - 88’ - Williams
1. Cut Michel
It’s not too harsh, shut up. He can’t beat a man in a dribble, he can’t find the critical pass, he can’t create his own shot. His biggest contribution was flicking the ball off his backside so Montreal could score in the 21st minute. He got replaced in the second half in the 57’ minute, not even making it to the 1 hour mark. I haven’t been too fond of Michel since I’ve started doing these articles, as it’s clear I prefer the likes of Torres, Pato, and Pereyra in the attacking half of the team. But even Mulraney looked decent when he came on for Michel. I wonder where he sits on this team, and hopefully it’s the bench.
2. Thank You, Gallese
Gallese is the only one who took his cleats off the plane. Gallese is the only one who ate breakfast. Gallese is the only one who played on Saturday like he gave a shit. If it wasn’t for him, the scoreline could have read 7 or 8 for Montreal. He made 6 saves on the day and even when Montreal missed sitters he had excellent positioning and made himself big to throw the attackers off. While I believe he could have done better on the 4th goal, he was the least of Pareja’s worries following that performance.
3. Antonio Carlos' Absence is a Hole You Can’t Fill
The leadership, toughness, and technical skill that Antonio Carlos brings to the squad was visibly missing on Saturday, and it begs the question of how Orlando plans to fill this gap before his return. Jansson will be back soon after the yellow card suspension, but is Schlegel a reliable partner? He’s looked flimsy and clumsy in moments this season. Williams is young and inexperienced, but he will definitely see more time as the season goes on and hopefully will gain confidence quickly. Moutinho is a reliable fullback but Ruan on the other side has been a shell of himself this year, with Kyle Smith consistently being subbed on during games. Orlando was one of the best defensive sides prior to Carlos’ injury, and that team seems like a distant memory compared to this one.
A U.S. Open Cup match is coming up for the Lions as they take on the Union, one of the best teams in the league. They have to move on quickly, because after that it’s more away games for them. You really don’t know what you’re going to get with this team and I’m just grateful to be a part of the ride, despite having no clue where I’m going.
Orlando welcomes the Philadelphia Union to Exploria Stadium on Tuesday, March 10th at 7pm for the U.S. Open Cup.