New York City FC returns to the Bronx and Yankee Stadium this Wednesday to take on CF Montréal on Matchday 27. In this edition of Oppo Research, we look at a Montréal side that improved as the season progressed, but historically have struggled against NYCFC and are having trouble scoring goals this season. Here is your NYCFC vs Montréal game preview.
1. After a rocky start, Montéal found their form
Montréal started off the season very poor with just two wins in seven games. Since then, the team climbed up the table and now find themselves up in eighth place and in the playoff zone with a five-point cushion over tenth- place DC United. Even more impressive, Montréal did it by defeating top Eastern Conference sides such as Philadelphia Union, New England Revolution, and Nashville SC.
Since returning to MLS play following the conclusion of the Leagues Cup, Montréal picked up two consecutive wins.
2. But the strikers aren’t scoring
Montréal is having troubles in the striker department this season. After selling Kei Kamara to the Chicago Fire in the winter transfer window, the team failed to find a true replacement. The club lost Honduran forward Romell Quioto to a long-term hamstring injury, and has had to look to younger players such as Kwadwo Opoku, Jules-Anthony Vilsaint, and Sunusi Ibrahim to fill the gap. The brightest spark in Montréal’s lackluster offense has been Chinonso Offor, who scored four goals in 13 starts.
3. Mathieu Choinière runs the midfield
It’s safe to say that homegrown midfielder Mathieu Choinière is Montréal’s best player. Choinière’s biggest contributions are on the offensive side, as he scored four goals and dished out four assists, but he also helps out on the defensive side of the ball. Choinière has the most tackles of any Montréal player, and has the fourth-most interceptions on the team.
4. Montréal are bad on the road
Struggling on the road is very common in MLS, but good teams find a way to win away from home. But in 13 away games, Montréal has picked up eight points — only the New Jersey Red Bulls, Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami, and Toronto FC have worse road records. Montréal has trouble scoring away from the Saputo Stadium, with only eight goals in those 13 games.
5. Goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois is the real deal
Montréal’s Jonathan Sirois is in the same category as FC Cincinnati’s Roman Celentano and ex-New Englander Đorđe Petrović — all are young goalkeepers with elite skills. The Canada international earned ten clean sheets this season, trailing only Seattle’s Stefan Frei, and has a save percentage of 70.8 and a goals-against average of 1.26. Remember the name: Sirois is definitely one for the future.