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The Impact family pulled on jerseys and placed on scarves as we sat waiting, in front of a black screen countdown, waiting to see our boys in action for the first time in 2014. With new coach Frank Klopas, who knew what changes where to be made with not only the starting Xl, but with the formation. Was there changes? Here is your answer:
IMFC Starting Xl
Camara – Lefevre – Ferrari – Miller
Bernardello – Mapp
Felipe – Warner – Nyassi
A formation of 4-2-3-1, is a change from the typical formation of 4-4-2 in which the Impact quite frequently would see throughout the 2013 season.
It may have come to a surprise for Klopas to start Wenger, rather than Di Vaio. I think it was a brilliant idea to start Wenger as he will, most likely, be the starting striker for the first few matches of the season. It was a great chance for us to see what he will be bringing to the table. Wenger did not “wow” me this match although, he did have a few weak shots on net.
Early on in the match, I did notice quite a spark from Felipe; His aggression and drive seemed to bring a confidence to the team. With his preseason talk about changing and developing into a better player, he really showed it tonight. If that is the Felipe of 2014, I know we will all be happy with that. Another player that really impressed me early on is Camara. Now Camara is my favourite player to begin with. His caring attitude and passion of the game really makes him a joy to watch. The highlight of his night was when he helped FFC player who was suffering from a leg cramp. That is true class.
My player of the match is Wandrille Lefevre. His amazing defensive plays made a huge contribution to the preseason shutout. He has really developed into an amazing defensive player. Putting his body between the ball and the net, knowing where he needs to be, and also keeping his eye on the ball made him an asset to the Impact's success.
The player who surprised me the most tonight was the beloved Marco Di Vaio, not in a good way. As soon as he stepped on the pitch, we could tell that his head, heart, and passion were not in the game. He showed absolutely no aggression and no will to go out and get the ball. It seemed as he expected the ball to come to him and when it didn’t, he became frustrated and gave up. Last season it was always the same play “Long ball to Di Vaio”. Has he become accustomed to everyone passing the ball to him? His frustration throughout the match carried into a dispute with a FFC player. The argument started off camera but the brawl continued on until Impact keeper Perkins pulled MDV away to cool off. MDV was issued a yellow card. Was this just an off day for MDV? Let us all hope so.
The second half of the match Klopas really utilized young players such as Mallace, Messoudi and Gagnon-Lapare. It was great to see the young players getting pitch time, and it was a great opportunity for us to see what the youngsters can do. With the kids mixed in with a couple of the veterans, the formation seems to remain organized and calm.
Match results: 1-0 Impact with the winning goal from Nyassi whom also received a yellow card later in the game.
Next game: Saturday February 22 at 6:00 p.m. E.S.T vs New York Red Bulls
(image courtesy of impactmontreal.com)