Although it doesn't always happen, we do try to bring you the question exchange with the opposition's blog from SBNation for every game. With the upcoming game against Montreal Impact, I had the pleasure of once again working alongside Sofiane Benzaza, the Editor of Mount Royal Soccer. Below are my questions to Sofi, and his answers which I think do point to a bit of the mentality of Montreal coming to Houston Friday.
1) I've been on-board the Marco DiVaio for MVP train for what seems like months now, as you are well aware. He just seems to play at a level above everyone else in MLS. Would you agree, and if so, is there anything about DiVaio that you point to as to why he has had so much success thus far?
That is definitely correct and I can guarantee you that I am not a Montreal Impact fan at all but I am fan of the beautiful game. Beauty comes in different shapes and forms, especially when it comes to scoring goals. Marco Di Vaio is an artist with a green canvas to his disposal, using his feet as his brushes. He is so magical to watch if you just focus on him for 90 minutes in the Stadium.
He makes runs, he fakes, he stops, he runs again, he pauses. In total honesty, he does depend on some decent service and if you wont be able to be as successful without a strong supporting cast. But his quality comes from his understanding of the game.
Did you know that Di Vaio scored 19 goals without attempting one penalty kick? Let it sink in...think about it
2) Tally Hall, Goalkeeper for Houston Dynamo, recently was quoted as saying the 5-0 decimation by Montreal would be on the team's minds going into Friday. Are you concerned the Dynamo will be out for revenge, and do you think this could play even more into the Impact's hands?
I have not seen one game at BBVA Compass Stadium that has gone well for the Montreal Impact. There was that 1-1 tie last year but usually I witnessed big one-sided scores. If an Orange revenge includes an all-out attack that is not very efficient, I would say that Marco Schallibaum would take that. Playing the counter-attack is the Impact's forte with technical players like Di Vaio, Bernier and Felipe.
But I am concerned with the quality of crosses coming from either Brad Davis or Oscar Boniek Garco, especially with Nesta staying in Montreal. It will come to mental and tactical discipline.
3) Montreal currently sit in 3rd in the East, 2 points ahead of Houston. What do the Impact have to do over these last few games to move up in the standings? I'm not looking for "win" answers, either.
Rekindle with its identity and stick with it. This is not the time to make experiments and try out new formations out of the blue. Marco Schallibaum needs to keep it simple and get his team ready mentally for War. Obviously, the W word is important but it is the way you get to the playoffs that will make or break your season.
Some praying will be involved as Eastern Conference rivals will face off against each other but Montreal needs to focus on itself. Having positive results against Houston and New England is huge before the LA Galaxy game, which looks more like a trap than anything else.
Perkins ; Brovsky - Lefevre - Ferrari - Camara ; Bernier - Warner - Arnaud - Mapp ; Felipe ; Di Vaio
3-3 tie as this game will have a lot of drama, red cards and Schallibaum getting ousted from the game. Did I say that I am horrible with predictions?
For the questions Sofiane asked me, and for my answers and predictions, visit Mount Royal Soccer.