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Montreal Impact’s Remi Garde ‘not waiting for excuses’ for officiating issue

Complaints about the implementation of video review, the Revolution hiring of Bruce Arena and a possible new formation Saturday were the topics of conversation after the Montreal Impact trained Tuesday

MONTREAL — Montreal Impact head coach Remi Garde did not expect any apologies from MLS commissioner Don Garber following the refereeing issue in Saturday’s game. 

During the Impact’s weekend matchup in Cincinnati, Daniel Lovitz was ruled offside on a play that resulted in a goal by Maxi Urruti . The decision went to Video Review and was not overturned. 

Speaking at a conference in Montreal on Monday, Garber recognized that Garde was right in his statement.

“We had a challenging officiating experience this weekend, this sport is not perfect when it comes to officiating,” Garber said. “I saw that play and believe that the coach probably wasn’t wrong in thinking that a mistake was made.”

Garber, however, did not offer apologies to the Impact head coach. He added that this was “not the first and not the last time” an issue like this would happen in MLS.

“I’m not waiting for excuses by MLS,” Garde said following Tuesday morning’s training session. “I said what I had to say and that’s it.”

For Garde, the issue with the VAR is centered around plays — like an offside call — that aren’t based on interpretation.

“On an offside, it’s especially for this that it was created,” Garde said. “The person in front of their screen, if they think that there is still an offside, there’s a problem.”

Garde added that he noticed a lot of issues and contesting with VAR in leagues outside of MLS, in France notably.

“It’s a tool that should facilitate refereeing and, for the moment, we’re rather in a phase where we’re not sure if it does facilitate and help out the referees,” Garde said.

Arena in town

The Impact will be playing a newly appointed head coach for the second straight game. The New England Revolution will visit Stade Saputo just after Bruce Arena was named the team’s head coach and sporting director, though in a release the Revs said the current technical staff will remain in tact while Arena focused on starting as sporting director.

Garde admitted that he wasn’t familiar with Arena and his work. He added that a new head coach is always a tricky situation to prepare for heading into a game.

“It gives a second wind to their squads, but now we need to focus on us and what we’ll bring to the table,” Garde said. “We need to work well this week.”

Lovitz echoed his coach’s thoughts. For him, the squad should not focus on Arena’s arrival “at all.”

“I think we did [focus on the new head coach] a little bit too much this past weekend, but we have to worry about us,” Lovitz said. “Especially in a game where we’re at home finally and we get to implement our game. I don’t think we should be worried about anyone other than the guys in black and blue.”

Garde hinted at the possible return of his usual 4-3-3 formation for Saturday’s game. The Impact played two formations with three center backs during the 2-1 win at New York Red Bulls and 2-1 loss at FC Cincinnati. Garde is hoping that player availabilities will allow him to have the freedom to choose what formation he prefers.

“To play the 4-3-3 you need players that could play on the flanks offensively, I didn’t have any on Saturday,” Garde said. “So the second they come back it becomes an option that we can go with.”

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