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Montreal Impact respectful of underdog C.D. Olimpia ahead of CCL quarterfinal

Victor Wanyama, Emanuel Maciel available to play in CCL quarterfinal

MONTREAL — The Montreal Impact took all the advantages necessary to head back home early and prepare for the Concacaf Champions League after their 2-2 draw to FC Dallas. 

Thierry Henry’s squad took a charter flight back to Canada Saturday night following the game. The squad had two days to train at Olympic Stadium using CCL match balls. Henry did not play a reserve team at Toyota Stadium and is once again asking for the best out of his players on Tuesday. 

“You have players that are here to play. We’ve changed a couple of times, or almost every time, our starting lineup because of sometimes injuries and sometimes plans and tactics,” Henry said. “Thats just the way it is, you have to adapt to the situation but I can say the same thing [for Olimpia], they had to travel here first. That’s just how it is.” 

Henry declined to say his club had the upper hand heading into the first leg of the quarterfinals. The Frenchman praised the Honduran club’s fight and dedication that got them the upset win in penalty kicks over the Sounders in Seattle during the round of 16. 

“They are powerful and very good on set pieces. They’re a team that fights until the end, like we saw in the return leg so we’re studying them,” Henry said. “We had to think about the Dallas game and we immediately went on to the Olimpia game of course so we’re doing our jobs.” 

One advantage Henry will have up his sleeve is the Impact’s two newest signings. Designated player Victor Wanyama and Emanuel Maciel will both be available for the hosts on Tuesday. 

Quioto plays his former team

Tuesday night will be a special one for winger Romell Quioto. The Honduran will play his former team for the very first time. 

“It’s a great experience to be able to play against this team,” Quioto said through and interpreter. “I know the players a lot and we’ll see if we can be able to take them on.” 

The 28 year-old had CCL experience with his former club, notching four goals in 10 games. Quioto spent three seasons with the Honduran side before moving to MLS to join the Houston Dynamo in 2017.

“MLS is a league that’s a little more organized than in Honduras,” Quioto said. “I think that we can take an advantage there in that sense.” 

Defending crosses, set pieces

Much like Deportivo Saprissa in their round of 16 tie, Olimpia made its chances on crosses and set pieces. Without copying their game plan, Rod Fanni said they will focus on their defending. 

“We’re expecting the same style a little bit but they also have other skills,” Fanni said. “They are a physical team that are really good on set pieces.” 

The 38 year-old added Henry and the Impact coaching staff have worked on their own defending. For Fanni, the team may be its own worst enemy when it comes to defending. 

“We are focusing on ourselves a lot,” Fanni said. “We did a lot of video analysis of a lot of games and it’s not necessarily the other teams that gave us trouble. It was more about how we haven’t dealt with our games in the best of ways. We’ll be trying to focus on that to improve our game.”

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