CF Montréal’s U23 players arrived on August 4 in Moncton, New Brunswick. The team is preparing to play two games against the U23 squad of English club Sunderland AFC, currently on a North American preseason tour.

For the four-day trip, CF Montréal head coach Nicolas Gagnon decided to convene a group of 19 players for the two friendly games. The first match will take place on August 5, at Croix-Bleue Medavie Stadium at 6pm local time before a second match two days later in Charlottetown on the grounds of the University of Prince Edward Island at 1pm.

“A great experience”

“We are very excited about this trip outside Quebec,” said Academy Director Patrick Leduc. “Sunderland is a former Premier League club with a playing style we are not familiar with. It is also a great opportunity to see our players in a different environment.”

This trip to the Maritimes will be educational in more ways than one: “We feel like we know the players but seeing them in this new context will teach us a lot. For them, it is a great experience at the international level. Our opponent is unknown to us, but it is a good thing because it will force us to focus more on ourselves and our game,” added Leduc.

The Academy staff will also take advantage of the team’s presence in the region to meet and exchange with coaches from local clubs in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Recovery on the agenda

After landing in the afternoon, the group settled into a hotel in downtown Moncton. Nicolas Gagnon then spoke to the players in preparation for tomorrow's game. The day ended with an indoor pool recovery session. “The facilities are really good, especially since we are staying in the same place for several days,” said Gagnon. “This is a chance we will be taking advantage of.”

Every detail will count against Sunderland, who defeated Toronto FC's U23 team 1-0 on Wednesday at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Follow the game live on the Academy's Twitter account (@academiecfm).