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CF Montréal looks to keep unbeaten streak rolling against Nashville

CF Montreal celebrates after a goal by Alistair Johnston during the second half of an MLS soccer match against Charlotte FC, in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday, May 14, 2022. CF Montreal is playing some of the best soccer in the club’s history, winning three straight games as part of a nine-game unbeaten streak in all competitions.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Carlson

MONTREAL — CF Montréal is playing some of the best soccer in the club’s history, winning three straight games as part of a nine-game unbeaten streak in all competitions. 

After a convincing 2-0 win on the road against Charlotte FC, the club is also at the top of the competitive Eastern Conference.

“We try and not look at the standing at this point in the season,” said midfielder Victor Wanyama. “The big thing is that we stay focused on our tasks. Hopefully we can continue and get these good results but that happens when we concentrate on one game at a time.”

Montreal’s road schedule continues as it faces off against Nashville SC on Wednesday evening, the second of five games it will be playing over a two-week stretch.

Nashville’s campaign has been a disappointment so far compared to its top-three finish last season. The club will be looking to bounce back after a rough loss on the road to 10-man Houston.

“It’ll be exciting to see all the guys there again, but we’re there on a business trip,” said defender Alistair Johnston, who joined Montreal from Nashville in the off-season. “It’ll be fun to see the crowd again and see the new stadium. It’s a big team that’s strong on ‘you don’t lose consecutive games’, so I’m know that’s something they’re going to try and stop.”

The last time Montreal’s form seemed to drop was at the beginning of the season amid lots of travelling and mid-week games. The unfavourable schedule left the injury-riddled squad tired and out of focus, leading to three consecutive losses in MLS and their elimination from the CONCACAF Champions League.

This time around, Montreal is benefiting from the return of many key players the previous weeks and are much better equipped to handle the challenge of such a condensed schedule.

“I like rotating my squad and keeping people fresh, but I also have to look into the last game and whether the team needs to be rotated,” said head coach Wilfried Nancy. “If we controlled the game a lot and didn’t have to do as much running because we had more of the ball then switching thing up isn’t as necessary.”

One player that is still doubtful is centre-forward and last year’s leading goal scorer Romell Quioto who left the game on Saturday with a shoulder injury after assisting Mikhailovich’s opener.

Forward Mason Toye, however, has resumed training with the team after missing the last 10 months with a string of injuries. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2022.

Elias Grigoriadis, The Canadian Press

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