MONTREAL — The Montreal Impact may well be without their greatest offensive threat in their biggest game yet of the 2019 season.
Remi Garde believes that Ignacio Piatti is “very doubtful” take on Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday. The Argentine suffered an undisclosed injury during the team’s last game at Orlando City SC, a 3-1 win on March 16, and has yet to train with the team.
Zakaria Diallo won’t take part in Saturday’s game either after taking a red card in Orlando. All is is pointing to a two-horse race between Jukka Raitala and Rudy Camacho to take up the spot.
“I know that there will be one or two disappointments after my decision, but I am still reflecting. The level is so close that the decision is not a simple one,” Garde said. “I said it already, I think that the season will be long and we will need everyone. I hope that it won’t hold consequences for the rest of everyone’s season.”
Saphir Taider and Daniel Lovitz are also currently on Garde’s doubtful list as of now. Both are still out playing for their respective national teams. For Garde, their return to the lineup as soon as Saturday is not “automatic.” The Frenchman will revaluate the situation of his squad later this week.
“In Saphir’s case with a return from Africa which is very long, in Daniel’s case it’s less far, but beyond physical fatigue is emotional fatigue,” Garde said. “We know that playing multiple games in a week is complicated. My habit is to reunite on Thursday and see the state of the squad and the ones that are physically and psychologically in shape.”
Disciplinary actions: Garde making amends
After the Impact’s game in Orlando, the MLS disciplinary committee imposed two sanctions on the team.
The first went to Ignacio Piatti who was found guilty of simulation/embellishment and was fined an undisclosed amount. Garde found the committee’s decision “harsh.”
“I re-watched the play many times, Nacho is dribbling, there is an obstruction from the opposition that doesn’t deserve a penalty, but we’re not in a case of a player trying to add or is looking for something,” said Garde. “If we look at the play after the foul, he is up in two seconds, he goes to talk to the referee without malice, no other Impact players call for a penalty.”
Garde himself was also the subject of a sanction. Both teams were issued warnings for a violation of the mass confrontation policy.
“For the mass confrontation we need to make amends and say that we did not conduct ourselves very well on the bench, I accept these reprimands,” said Garde. “Nonetheless, like I explained to the league, this behavior was born out of an anti-fair-play gesture that to my knowledge I don’t know if there were sanctions on.”
In addition to both teams, Orlando City’s Dom Dwyer was fined an undisclosed amount for instigating and escalating a mass confrontation.