The opportunity to set a new record for the longest unbeaten run in Montreal’s MLS history is motivating the hosts ahead of their meeting with Orlando City, says coach Wilfried Nancy.
Montreal are fourth in the Eastern Conference after embarking on a six-game unbeaten run, but lost their season opener to the Lions in February.
Nancy says the chance to make history, as well as the opportunity to right the wrongs of that earlier defeat in Florida, are on Montreal’s minds ahead of the contest.
“The idea is to add a chapter to the club’s history. Now that the players have a chance to do it, they won’t hold themselves back,” Nancy said. “Again, everything happens on the field, but this is extra motivation.
“We faced them in the beginning of the year, and we ended up playing a pretty interesting game.
“We want to beat Orlando and first of all, play well while doing it, to have a chance of taking this game.”
Visiting coach Oscar Pareja, meanwhile, has led his team to third in the Eastern standings after winning five of their first 10 games, and is looking forward to returning to Canada after clinching a playoff place in Montreal last year.
“We’re good, excited and working towards this game against Montreal, a rival that we’ve already played here at home in our opener. It’s a place that brought us good memories from our last game of the regular season last year when we clinched (the playoffs),” Pareja said.
“At the same time, we do respect them a lot. They’re a good team that has good coaching there, I see a very clear model in the way they do their things, so we have been preparing this week for that like always.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
CF Montreal – Kei Kamara
Kamara has scored goals against Orlando while playing for Columbus, New England, Vancouver, and Colorado, and could be set to star against his favorite opponents again.
Orlando City SC – Alexandre Pato
As well as leading Orlando’s scoring charts with three goals this season, Pato netted against Montreal on the opening day and could threaten again when the Lions go north of the border.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Orlando City have won five of their last seven matches against CF Montreal, including a victory in the knockout stages of MLS is Back in 2020. Orlando has kept clean sheets in all five of those wins, but failed to win either of the matches in which they conceded (D1 L1).
– CF Montreal equaled the longest unbeaten run in the club’s MLS history at six (W4 D2) with a 2-1 win over Atlanta on Saturday. This is the fourth time Montreal has gone six unbeaten in MLS play, also doing so in 2015, 2016 and 2021.
– Orlando City are unbeaten in their first four away matches of the season (W2 D2), including a 2-0 win over the Crew in its last away match on April 16. This is the longest Orlando have gone into an MLS season without an away defeat.
– Kei Kamara has scored nine career goals against Orlando City, only Ignacio Piatti (10) has scored more against the Lions in MLS play.
– Ruan was involved in both of Orlando City’s goals against Charlotte on Saturday, scoring once and assisting once. Ruan is the second defender in Orlando City’s MLS history to record a goal and an assist in the same match after Yoshimar Yotun, who did so twice, in September 2017 and May 2018.