Defeat of CF Montreal in preseason | Five observations, aside

The breath of fresh air that has blown since the appointment of Laurent Courtois may have bathed CF Montreal in positivism, but everyone at the club continues to ask for patience. A virtue that is well worth remembering again after the 6-2 defeat against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday afternoon in Orlando. Our special correspondent attended this third preparatory meeting of the MFC. These are some of his observations.

(Orlando) “Wake up, damn it!” »

The result of a preseason game is worth what it is worth, especially when said game has 120 minutes divided into 4 periods of 30 minutes. Of course, we had a special place for this confrontation, installed just behind the players’ and coaches’ benches, with our feet on the same ground as the players in the match. Therefore, our vision was perfect to examine Laurent Courtois during a meeting of his team.

Rapids score 6my minute, courtesy of former Montrealer Djordje Mihailovic. Moments later, we get a first taste of Courtois’ style in charge. “Wake up, damn it!” » (Wake up, damn it!), he tells his players.


CF Montréal coaches.

Courtois and Laurent Ciman are the most talkative of the group of coaches. When the assistant notices a gesture of returning the ball that he appreciates, especially towards the young Alessandro Biello: “Well done, chicken! And then what do we do? » –, Biello starts running to follow the game. “Yeah. »

Samuel Piette came on in the 60th minute. From the sidelines, Courtois asks him: “Sam, where do you want Rida?” », talking about midfielder Rida Zouhir. Is it new for you, Samuel, that a coach asks you to choose the location of your own teammates during the game?

“Laurent and his team want us to talk a lot on the field,” the captain explained after the meeting. (…) Giving me this role, the keys to guiding the attackers, is a pleasure. But it is a responsibility that I must learn. I am not an expert at a tactical level, I am learning many things at the same time. It’s super interesting. »

Thirty minutes encouraging, but…

Courtois’ desire to see his players wake up ended up having the desired effect. The second 30 minutes were CF Montreal’s best on Saturday. We clearly saw the beautiful aerial game that the Frenchman is trying to establish. Despite conceding a second goal, Dominik Iankov and Nathan Saliba scored quickly after effective offensive sequences.

The second half of the first group was the one you want to see. But why wait until the second half? (…) It is especially the attitudes of the first half of the first group that I would like to correct.

Laurent Courtois

Therefore, you will understand that, despite this good moment in an otherwise difficult match, Courtois does not come away really satisfied.

“It’s my fault for not giving enough signals to make fewer mistakes,” he said about the game in general. We will rework to see which errors are acceptable and which are not. »

Piette, Wanyama and the reserves

Over the next 60 minutes, the group made up mainly of players who should gravitate around the XI this season gave way to reserves and academics, with the exception of Piette and Victor Wanyama.

It was during this period that the team conceded four goals. Does this explain it?

“It is good to try to find extenuating circumstances for us,” Laurent Courtois answers to the question of Press. They scored four goals, we can’t concede that much. (…) Even if we are young or inexperienced, we must be more competitive. There are defensive notions of solidarity that must be there. Today we do not find them, especially in the second group. It’s up to me to toughen up and instill that. »

For Piette, the goals were “entirely the fault” of Bleu-blanc-noir. “Stupid” technical errors linked to failed passes, among others. “At the same time, it’s the style of game we want to play. It is normal to make mistakes, especially in the beginning when you start learning this new system. It’s okay to make mistakes now. We learn the hard way. »

Sebastián Breza’s setbacks

Far be it from us to focus on the case of Sebastián Breza. The Montreal goalkeeper, who returns to the club after his departure at the end of the 2022 season, was somewhat supportive of the fans that year, before James Pantemis became a regular starter. But this preseason Breza still doesn’t inspire confidence, let’s put it that way.

What’s more, Courtois asks his goalkeepers to be offensive with the ball. The Montrealer came on after Jonathan Sirois for the third 30 minutes on Saturday. After an error with the ball well outside his zone, Courtois went to his team and called Luca Bucci, responsible for the CFM goalkeeper development method. A brief and discreet discussion between the two men followed.

Third goalkeeper Logan Ketterer came on the field for the final 30 minutes.

” Is he moment, Laurent Courtois explained to us when asked about Breza’s deficiencies. There are times when he tries to fit in. And when you are incorporated, you have to make decisions to try to minimize turnovers. We will learn, we will rectify, we will adjust. There is work. »

Good marks for Doody and Álvarez

Despite the result and the pace of the match, some players still stood out. We really liked the percussion of Grayson Doody, an American right back drafted in the last MLS SuperDraft.

Fernando Álvarez, who replaced Joaquín Sosa in the first half, also looked good in defense. The young Colombian seems confident and doesn’t seem to make many mistakes.

His reputation is well established, but defender Joel Waterman has shown great leadership qualities on the field. Wearing the captain’s armband in the first half, he seemed to dictate the game from behind, passing the ball forward effectively, like a quarterback in American football.

On that note, happy Super Bowl everyone!

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