The last time CF Montreal and FC Cincinnati faced off, it fueled a seven-game unbeaten run for Montreal.
The Canadian side will be looking for more of the same when Cincinnati visits on Saturday.
Montreal (6-5-2, 20 points) defeated Cincinnati 4-3 on April 2, earning its first win of the season and kicking off a 6-0-1 run. The club has dropped its past two MLS matches since but is coming off a win in Canadian Championship play on Wednesday with a 3-0 triumph against the Hamilton Forge.
With Montreal in a stretch of four games in 11 days, coach Wilfried Nancy rested many of his MLS starters.
Forward Sunusi Ibrahim was the beneficiary, scoring all three goals. After netting four goals in 26 matches in his rookie campaign last year, Ibrahim has yet to tally in MLS action this season. He has one assist in the four games he’s played.
“Last season I got more playing time. This year is hard,” the 19-year-old said. “I have to keep working hard to see if I can get more minutes and improve from last year. I know it is difficult because we have experienced players. I am always learning from players like Kei Kamara. We are playing as a team and together. Hopefully this is just the beginning. I hope the goals will keep coming.”
Cincinnati (6-6-1, 19 points) heads across the border eyeing a fourth straight road win. The club, which is sixth in the MLS Eastern Conference standings, boasts one of the best road records in MLS at 4-2-1, with only the New York Red Bulls holding more victories.
“It’s important that your players believe in themselves and what we’re doing and where we’re going,” coach Pat Noonan said. “And so, yes, I think we all believe that we’re capable of being a playoff team, we know there’s a lot that’s going to play out prior to the conclusion of the regular season. But yes, these guys should feel that they’re a playoff team.”
Cincinnati had a four-game winning streak snapped with a 3-2 loss to the New England Revolution last week.
Luciano Acosta had two assists in the defeat, marking the sixth straight game he’s factored into the scoring. The midfielder has been involved in nine of Cincinnati’s past 11 goals, recording five goals and three assists in that stretch.
–Field Level Media