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The challenges awaiting the Impact in Texas


The Montreal squad will have more than FC Dallas to contend with

The Impact took care of business against a Texan team at Stade Saputo last Saturday. This week, the Bleu-blanc-noir is Texas-bound to face another tough opponent from the Lone Star State, FC Dallas. And if the Toros, who sit second in the Western Conference with only one loss this season, present an intrinsic challenge, the Bleu-blanc-noir will have other issues to contend with, like the blistering heat. The forecast for Saturday evening in Frisco is a whopping 35 degrees Celsius.

“Whenever you get your schedule, you look at which games are going to be the most difficult ones of the season,” explained full-back Chris Duvall. “Going to Dallas, with the heat in the summer, is always a tough one, and everyone around the league knows it.”

The Impact put an end to a streak of four consecutive losses last week when it shutout the Dynamo at Stade Saputo. If the Bleu-blanc-noir expects to leave Texas with something to show for, the effort will need to be just as good.

“It’s going to need to be a very big defensive outing,” added Duvall. “We need to try and string together a few shutouts in a row. As long as we keep them off the scoreboard, it always gives us a chance. Mistakes happen in games like this and we’ll have our opportunities.”

Changes in defense

The Impact will be without Jukka Raitala for this one, who will be representing Finland in a friendly game against Belarus on the same day. That could set the stage for the potential return of Rudy Camacho in the centre-back position.

“The key for us will be to continue on last week’s success,” said Camacho. “Winning a game is great, but that it isn’t enough at the end. We’ll need to be fierce and solid, stay true to what we did last week and get a result.”

On Dallas’s end, defense has been one of the team’s stronger suits. In 13 games played this season, Óscar Pareja’s men have only allowed 14 goals, tied for second in the league.

“They’ve been a team that has found ways to get victories,” added Duvall. “Going into their home, we’re going to have to grit it out to get the result. The guys understand the challenge we have ahead of us this weekend, and we’re going to be ready for it.”