MONTREAL — Under a sea of boos, the Montreal Impact retreated to the locker room having suffered a 3-0 home loss to DC United. The visitors scored all three goals in the first half to grab the victory.
“They have every right to be vocal,” Montreal’s Daniel Lovitz said of the booing. “We hear and it certainly doesn’t help, but we’re not helping ourselves at the moment. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a fan right now. It’s a roller coaster and it feels like it’s been that way for a little while now.”
Despite shooting 17 times in the second half, the Impact did not record a goal. Montreal’s record in their last 10 games dropped to 2-7-1.
Rudy Camacho gave up a foul 25 yards from goal in the center of the field. Russell Canouse’s shot was partially blocked by the wall but fell to a wide open Ola Kamara. The Norwegian shot toward the near post to open the score for the visitors at the 20th minute.
DC United added a second goal three minutes later. Samuel Piette headed a Bill Hamid goal kick backward and gave Paul Arriola a breakaway situation. Through on goal, the American international beat Bush with a shot toward the near post and brought the score to 2-0.
“They managed to get in front of the goal a bit too easily,” Montreal’s Bacary Sagna said. “We should communicate more, we should cover maybe more. Everyone is to blame.”
The Impact once again conceded on a set piece, this time on a corner kick at the 32nd minute. Kamara headed a ball sent back into the box to notch his second goal of the night.
“Those three goals, they happened too quick,” Montreal coach Wilmer Cabrera said. “When you’re losing 3-0 you have to defend more. That was something important for us. I told the guys that we have to defend more. We couldn’t concede another goal.”
Playoff race: Opportunity missed for Montreal
With a win, the Impact could have hopped over DC United and the New England Revolution to the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference. Instead, Toronto FC once again bumped the Impact below the red line thanks to a 1-1 draw with the Revolution.
“Well, we knew it was one of the turning points in the season, so we missed it,” Sagna said. “Now the game is gone, unfortunately we can’t change anything. Just the mentality and the way we want to change things. We want to keep the head up and we will keep the head up.”
Aug 31, 2019; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Impact defender Bacary Sagna (33) manages to kick the ball after tripping during the first half of the game against D.C. United at Stade Saputo. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Cabrera offered a positive message during his postgame press conference, saying: “I really believe in this team.”
“The way they played in the second half, the attitude, the mentality and the effort was there. If we can stop making those silly mistakes, this team can compete against anyone.”
Well needed international break
The Impact now heads into a 14-day break due to the international window. With a stinging feeling, Cabrera said his team will take some well needed rest.
“I was waiting for this break to have an opportunity to work with them,” he said. “To show them how to implement some ideas that I have.
“Now I hope to have the possibility to work on the field which is easy for me to try to bring new idea for them.”
For Lovitz, who will join the US men’s national team during the break, the loss will have a sinking feeling during the time off MLS play.
To have that be the last memory going into a little hiatus and not being able to go out and play is difficult,” Lovitz said. “You can look at that we have a point to prove in this break. We all need to be positive and proactive in the way we approach it and not think of it as a break but an opportunity iron out all these details that are killing us in games.”