Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact
After the departure of club legend Ignacio Piatti and the hiring of French football hero Thierry Henry as manager, Montreal Impact sported two of the most intriguing MLS storylines coming into 2020. And since, well, 2020 still hasn’t really happened yet, said storylines are still missing their conclusions.
Piatti, who claimed the club records in both goals and assists, takes a lot of production with him back to his home nation of Argentina. Fortunately for Montreal, one of his countrymen looks primed for a breakout year.
Through the two league matches that Montreal had gotten in prior to the stoppage, fellow Argentinean Maximiliano Urruti scored three times, while also recording an assist. For context, Urruti only scored four times in the 31 matches he played in last season.
In Henry’s 3-4-3 striker-heavy formation, the ball naturally funnels to Urruti at the top. As a result, 2020 could be a big year for the one-time Toronto FC man.
In these strange times, extra onus might fall on the league’s managers to keep their players focused. And no one manager will have more eyes on him then Henry.
Henry’s playing career, both with Arsenal and France, is iron-clad. His managerial career thus far however, is a little more shaky.
After going through an excruciating stretch at Monaco that saw Henry win only four of 20 matches, the board sent him packing. Montreal could be his last shot at managing at the professional level.
It must also be said that without the fans, who have made this rivalry what it is, this iteration of the 401 Derby will not be the same. Still, this is Montreal, and players like Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore know what it would mean to the supporters to get a result at 8 p.m. EST on July 15.