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Omar Browne opens account in Montreal Impact’s 1-0 win over Chicago Fire

MONTREAL — In his first appearance with the Montreal Impact, Omar Browne singlehandedly gave his club a 1-0 win against the Chicago Fire Sunday at Stade Saputo..

The Panamanian substituted in for an injured Clement Bayiha in the 40th minute and eventually found the game-winning goal in the 83rd minute. However, head coach Remi Garde thought twice about subbing in his newest player this quickly after signing with the club just 12 days ago.

“I hesitated to put him [in] since he doesn’t speak the language and I don’t speak his,” Garde said. “It’s complicated so we try to communicate in other ways.”

The Spanish speaking members of Garde’s staff gave Browne a few instructions and the winger subbed in to make his Impact debut. Luckily for him, Samuel Piette and Bacary Sagna both spoke Spanish.

“I tried to communicate with him as much as I could, as I do with everyone,” Piette said. “But the fact that Bacary — who also speaks Spanish — was behind him helped him a lot. There’s always a direct relationship between wingers and fullbacks so I think that Bac helped him a lot today.”

After only 23 minutes in an Impact kit, Browne made his way from the right flank into the box, dancing at the end line along the way. After beating Jorge Corrales along the end line, he took advantage of Bastian Schweinsteiger’s tackle to tap the ball in midair for the game’s lone goal.

“I’m very happy, my family is very happy, I got a chance to speak to them after the game,” Browne said through an interpreter. “It’s my first MLS goal so it’s a little push to keep working hard, keep getting better and help the team win games.”

Garde doubled down that Browne can bring a lot to the Impact. Garde said that the left-footed winger’s effectiveness to cut back inside from the right flank was something his team missed.

“I think that he’s got the talent to be decisive in this league,” Garde said. “And when I say decisive it’s not only to score or assist, but to be very important for our game and I’m very happy the way he started.”

Apr 28, 2019; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Chicago Fire midfielder Dax McCarty (6) reacts after he got hurt by Montreal Impact defender Bacary Sagna (33) during the second half at Stade Saputo. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Clean sheet machine 

Of their last six games, the Impact (5-3-2, 17 points) have recorded five clean sheets. Since the 7-1 debacle against Sporting Kansas City, the Impact only conceded three goals. All three coming in the team’s 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union

“I think that there is rigor in my team,” Garde said. “I think that the players understood a certain amount of important positional tactics. I think that it’s important in modern football that if you take in a lot of goals it’s complicated.” 

Zakaria Diallo takes a lot of pride in the Impact’s recent defensive form. He believes that it bodes well for what his team can achieve later on in the season. 

“It gives us even more motivation for the rest to, why not, get a clean sheet record,” Diallo said. “It means that the defense is going well. We changed a lot on the defense in the last three games but it’s great. We need to keep working.”

Montreal’s win paired with D.C. United’s loss to Minnesota United, puts the Impact level with DC in points atop the Eastern Conference. D.C. United currently holds on to the top spot on goal difference.




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