Montreal-Whitecaps FC Preview
Marc dos Santos insists he is looking forward to "just another game" with Vancouver Whitecaps as they prepare to face his former club CF Montreal for the first time since their rebrand.
Dos Santos coached Montreal 10 years ago prior to their entry to MLS.
They were called the Montreal Impact then, as they remained until the start of this season.
The name change was merely the latest alteration Dos Santos has noted from afar and, despite being from the city, he now sees no special meaning in a meeting with his old side.
"Of course, it's the city where I'm born, so it's a special city for me," he said.
"But it's a very different club than when I left, the identity, the culture of the club, the personality of the club. It's very different.
"So, honestly, for me, it's just another game, the same way it was important Colorado, important Toronto, it's also important Montreal."
An all-Canadian clash is cause enough for Montreal coach Wilfried Nancy to talk up the game's importance.
"We want to win," said Nancy. "It's a game against a Canadian team, so it's important to have a good performance.
"It's a good opposition. We have to continue to perform at the same level, because I'm pretty happy with what I'm seeing so far."
Montreal are unbeaten with five points from three games despite a tough run of fixtures, while Vancouver have four points but lost their undefeated start against the Colorado Rapids last time out.
Vancouver Whitecaps – Cristian Dajome
Both Dajome and Lucas Cavallini were a little underwhelming in their debut Whitecaps campaigns in 2020, yet they have each scored already this season. Dajome will hope to kick on now against an inconsistent Montreal back line.
CF Montreal – Romell Quioto
Montreal might have expected to face a real test last time out against the Columbus Crew, but they dominated the match. They produced 20 shots to three, with Quioto attempting a game-high three. He did not find the net, though, and Nancy needs his front men to deliver.
- The Whitecaps kept clean sheets in each of their first three matches against Montreal (W2 D1) but have not kept one in the eight meetings since (W3 L5). Montreal have managed just two clean sheets against the Whitecaps, in June 2014 and August 2020.
- The Whitecaps have done well in their temporary homes, winning five of their past seven games as the home team in Portland and Salt Lake. In fact, the Whitecaps only won four of their final 13 matches (D3 L6) in Vancouver before having to move to the United States.
- Montreal (W1 D2) are unbeaten in their first three games of a season for the second time in club history (W3 to start the 2013 season). This is Montreal's first three-match unbeaten run in a single season since April 2019 (W1 D2).
- Vancouver's first three goals of the season were all scored from set-pieces (one corner, one penalty, one free-kick). Last season, Vancouver scored just six set-piece goals; only FC Cincinnati (four) scored fewer.
- Montreal have scored in an MLS-record 22 consecutive away matches, including playoffs. They have not been shut out on the road since a 3-0 loss to Philadelphia on April 20, 2019
Updated May 7, 2021