Dynamo Theory: With Marco DiVaio serving his suspension from the incident in the play-in match from last season's playoffs, how do the Montreal Impact expect to adjust their gameplan?
Sofiane Benzaza: Andrew Wenger was expected to set up and he did so against FC Dallas. Scoring with well-timed header, Wenger boosted his confidence with that goal but also had quite a complete game. With a bigger presence in the box, his movement was key to be a pivot striker when the club needed him.
As per adjustments, the team did not change its style of play with Justin Mapp doing this thing on the right side of the pitch. Di Vaio's is not easy to cope with but not as much as Patrice Bernier's absence who was not 100% ready for the FC Dallas game.
Offensively, the Impact is able to make things happen. Though, it just seems that the team freezes against the Houston Dynamo.
DT: Alessandro Nesta was a force to be reckoned with along the back line, and he has essentially been replaced with Heath Pearce. After the first match, do you feel Pearce is going to be close to the same level or is there a drop off there?
SB: Unfortunately, Pearce did not play against FC Dallas. But he will bring added value as a real left back that will not think twice to go up the field. As per his form, during preseason, the ex-NYRB defender did not look bad but needed to get his legs back.
The fact that the Impact signed him signifies that the club felt the need to add another defender to its back line, a defender that can play both LB and CB. I personally hope that he can be the club's left back for the whole season.
DT: What offseason move do you think has the biggest impact on the Impact this season?
SB: The lack of offseason move already has an impact on the club. Having only re-signed Nelson Rivas , for its defensive needs, Nick de Santis failed in getting needed help. Even though Pearce's signing is commendable, the fact that it came so close to the start of the season is another sign of improvisation.
Santiago Gonzalez joining the club will be key as soon as the young Uruguayan striker can get acclimated to his team, the league and the system. He has not shown a lot against FC Dallas but his physical potential could be interesting.
And Lineup prediction and Score prediction.
Perkins ; Miller - Camara - Ferrari - Pearce ; Mapp - Bernardello - Bernier - Warner - Felipe ; Wenger
Houston 3 - Impact 1
To see the questions Sofiane asked me as well as my answers, head over to Mount Royal Soccer!