MONTREAL— The Montreal Impact (2-3-0) received a boost this week as midfielder Ignacio Piatti returned to training. A thigh injury kept Piatti out of the Impact’s 4-0 loss to the New England Revolution, but he will be available against the New York Red Bulls (2-2-0) on Saturday.
Head coach Rémi Garde, who’s in his first season in charge with the Impact, said having Piatti back was good news.
“The change is that we’re going to play with a key player who can be decisive in a game,” Garde said. “But we also have to know that it’s not only because Nacho is back that all the situation will be solved. It’s a boost for the team, but Nacho is not the player that can change all the game on his own. We also rely on the team spirit, that we can take benefit from Nacho’s return.”
The Impact have undergone many changes since last season, but they still largely rely on Piatti for attacking production. Piatti led the team in scoring with 17 goals in each of the last two seasons. Of the team’s five goals scored so far, the 33-year-old Argentine has one goal and three assists.
But even with Piatti, Saturday’s encounter promises to be arduous. Since their inaugural MLS campaign in 2012, the Impact’s record at Red Bulls has been notoriously poor. The Red Bulls are 8-0-1 and have outscored the Impact 26-8. Their sole home defeat to Montreal was in the 2016 playoffs, a 2-1 decision.
Garde, for his part, only has good memories of Red Bull Arena. He won the French Trophee Des Champions there in 2012 while he was in charge of Olympique Lyonnais. Lyon beat Montpellier 3-2 in penalty kicks.
Forward Matteo Mancosu also returned to training this week but is a doubt for Saturday’s fixture. Designated player Saphir Taider will miss the game because of a red card he received against New England.