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Three things to watch: RSL facing Montreal with another golden opportunity to get back on track


The last three matches for Montreal Impact have gone rather like their first three matches of the season went, which is to say, they were all losses.

A reasonable assumption would be that Montreal Impact will be hungry for a win. Or, you know, something like that, but really, they're going to want to right their ship. Which, well, let's face it, is exactly what we want to do on Thursday, but it's just that our ship, instead of being capsized at sea, is careened for a high tide. It's simply a matter of intensity.

With that in mind, here are three things to watch against Montreal Impact.

Can we capitalize on systemic weaknesses?

Our dogged dedication to playing our style is admirable, but sometimes, it means we'll leave vulnerabilities on the table — not intentionally, but we don't play a system that's tuned for exploiting space on-the-fly. Instead, we rely on players who understand the spacing that develops around them, and there are few better in this regard than Joao Plata.

This doesn't necessarily allow us to capitalize on those systemic weaknesses, and we can be assured that something will appear while we face a dismal Montreal Impact side. How do we identify those, and how do we exploit those?

How do we get our strikers on the scoresheet?

Inevitably, we're not talking about Joao Plata here, because he's been one to bring about hope and whatnot. No, we do need to continue to wonder what it takes to get Devon Sandoval, Olmes Garcia and Robbie Findley scoring.

It's an interesting thing, because each of them has produced good play, even if goals haven't been coming as rapidly as we'd like.

Who starts in the midfield?

This just keeps getting more and more difficult to predict each week. John Stertzer must be pushing for minutes, Luke Mulholland has returned once again to being an effective off-the-bench player, and Luis Gil provides a desire to attack through the middle that both of the other options lack.

Who starts, then? Maybe it's Gil to get the Montreal Impact midfield moving around a bit, to keep those old, tired legs old and tired. We'll see.