Montreal unbeaten in six games heading into final stretch

CF Montréal is on a roll at the moment.

The Montreal side is coming off another win on the road last weekend against Houston, their first ever win against the Texas side away from home

Despite losing their lead twice during the game, head coach Wilfried Nancy’s men were able to break through in the 69th minute thanks to some nifty moves from Lassi Lappalainen.

“What stood out for me was our mental strength,” said head coach Wilfried Nancy. “It was truly a team win. Our mentality was at a very high level, and that’s why we won. We still did good things on the pitch, but it’s very difficult to play here. Congratulations to the players.”

It’s Montreal’s seventh win of the year on the road, way past the previous club record in MLS of four games won away from home, and their third straight, following wins against D.C. United and the Columbus Crew.

“The resiliency that this group has shown on the road is impressive,” said defender Alistair Johnston. “There aren’t a lot of teams that have a record like this on the road. Whenever you’re setting club records, you must be doing something right.”

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The Bleu-blanc-noir is now unbeaten in six games heading into the final stretch of the season, with a record of four wins and two draws. Their last loss goes all the way back to July 4, in Los Angeles. They’re currently ranked second the Eastern Conference with 43 points, just five points behind Philadelphia in first, and 10 points above the playoff line.

All in all, things are looking good for the squad with just nine games to go.

“What’s impressed me most is the team’s mental strength,” added Nancy. “We know the way we want to play, and they guys to a good job adjusting to every situation. They’re fighters and they play with a lot of courage, offensively but especially defensively. The guys give everything. They keep going and going even when it can be difficult in certain moments.”

Playing the system

Something we’ve heard repeatedly in the Wilfried Nancy era at the Club is that CF Montréal has a specific style of playing the game, a style that doesn’t change depending on who the opponent is. We’ve seen it firsthand in the past two seasons as well.

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For defender Alistair Johnston, this has been a crucial reason for the team’s successes.

“We’re sticking to what we’ve been taught and to the system,” explained Johnston. “At the end of the day, we have full belief in how we’re playing. We’re consistently playing the way we know we can and sticking to the principles. Once you get everyone on the same page and we’re in harmony, you can tell how simple it makes the game for everyone out there. The biggest thing for us is that it makes things predictable. Everyone is ready to go and that goes down to the coaching staff for preparing us so well.”

With just nine games to go, Montreal is on track for one of its best regular-season campaigns since joining MLS in 2012. They’ve already broken their record of wins on the road, and their 13 wins after 25 games is also their best total since joining MLS.

This was one of the team’s goals set in the beginning of the year, to write a page of the Club’s already long history.

“It’s something we discussed since last year, and something we put a lot of emphasis on this year,” explained Nancy. “It’s an important part of our approach. We want to go as far as possible while always respecting our identity, and we want to write history.”