MONTREAL—With a 1-1 draw at home against New York City FC, the Montreal Impact slipped but didn’t fall in the MLS playoff race.
Currently sandwiched just above the playoff line, between the fifth-seeded Philadelphia Union and a hard-charging D.C. United, Impact head coach Remi Garde wasn’t pleased with the result.
“I think we had a little disappointment,” Garde said. “I think we had a fair result because we had chances in the second [half] but I don’t think we played well enough to say that we should have won that game.”
For defender Daniel Lovitz, all isn’t lost with drawing the Eastern Conference’s current third-seed. In the bigger picture, the result is not a failure in a tight race for the last playoff spot.
“It wasn’t a must-win. We thought that we could’ve, but playing against a good team at home, we’re in direct competition with them in the league,” Lovitz said. “I think it’s important and I think we can hold our heads high.”
With a crucial match away to D.C. United next weekend (Sept. 29, 7pm ET | TVAS – Full TV & streaming info), Garde stated that he and his team need to “debrief” Saturday’s draw before heading to Audi Field. Regardless of the result against NYCFC, Garde was glad the Impact still control their fate.
“We have our destiny in our hands, which is very important,” Garde said. “We will have games to play – very very important [games]. We have to be ready for that but I think we have experience in the team.”
For Lovitz, a win on their home turf before facing D.C. United would have alleviated the playoff pressure. However, he felt that teammates already feel ready for the challenge to defend the last playoff spot.
“I think we’ve always looked at that following game and the D.C. matchup is an exciting one and it has awesome implication as of now,” Lovitz said. “We’re really excited to go there and put in a good performance against a team that’s been very good at home and has some exciting stuff going for them.
“More than anything, we’re just looking forward to competing against them. And we’ll move forward.”