United-CF Montreal Preview
Hernan Losada admits he is pleasantly surprised by how quickly his DC United players have adapted to his style of play as they go in search of a third-successive victory.
United lost five of their opening seven games this term, but they defeated Inter Miami in back-to-back matches either side of the three-week break to climb the Eastern Conference.
Losada was appointed by the Black-and-Red in January, making him the youngest manager in MLS at 38, and the Argentinian is pleased with the progress made in that time.
"I feel surprised in a positive way. I didn't expect the team to understand and get to know the style of play so soon," he said.
"I'm impressed by all the young guys, how smart and mature they are. I'm confident we're going to be even more efficient in the future.
"Now we have to keep on growing in confidence and trust in our decisions. The important thing is that they are in the right spot and in the right time."
United are one point better off than Montreal ahead of Wednesday's match at DRV PNK Stadium.
The Canadian club battled to victory at bottom side Chicago Fire last time out through a late Mason Toye goal and, like opposite number Losada, Wilfried Nancy is satisfied with performances thus far.
"We are top five in the league in terms of our passing in the final third," the Montreal head coach said.
"We've conceded nine goals, three of those being set-pieces and two penalties. Of course you can improve from set-pieces, and penalties can be avoided, but defensively we have not been bad.
"What we can improve on is our pressing. We have a block that is quite high, but when it comes to winning the ball high up the pitch we are not good enough in the execution."
CF Montreal - Bjorn Johnsen
Johnsen scored twice for Montreal in their recent win against Inter Miami, but the Norwegian striker has failed to find the net in his seven other appearances for Montreal.
Nancy took off his two other attacking starters before Toye's late winner at the weekend, and it is likely that Johnsen will retain his place in attack for this contest. Should that be the case, he will have a point to prove.
DC United - Ola Kamara
Kamara scored three goals in the two victories over Inter, taking his tally to four goals for the campaign - the most of any DC United player.
Those three goals came from six efforts, but he might find shooting opportunities harder to come by against Montreal in midweek.
- Montreal won both of its meetings with DC United last season, including a 1-0 win in the MLS is Back group stage. This is only the second winning streak for Montreal against DC in the club's MLS history, also winning three straight (including playoffs) in 2016-17.
- Montreal beat Chicago 1-0 in its last MLS match and can win consecutive MLS games within a single season for the first time since June 2019 when it beat Seattle and Portland at home. Montreal won its last regular-season match of 2019 and first regular-season match of 2020, then did the same with the last regular-season match in 2020 and first in 2021.
- United's 1-0 win over Inter Miami on Saturday was its fifth match to end 1-0 this season (W2 L3). No other team has played more than three 1-0 games this season.
- Montreal has allowed a joint-MLS low one goal before half-time this season, a 45th minute goal by Marco Delgado in the season opener in April. The seven consecutive matches since the opener without allowing a goal before half-time is the longest such streak in the team's MLS history.
- Ten different United players have recorded at least one assist this season, most in MLS. Four teams, including Montreal, have nine different players with at least one assist this season.
Updated June 22, 2021