Impact newcomers Silva, Camacho expected to debut against Sounders - InfoNews

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Impact newcomers Silva, Camacho expected to debut against Sounders

Montreal Impact coach Remi Garde signals during second half MLS action against the Toronto FC, in Montreal on Saturday, March 17, 2018. Now that the signings have been made, perhaps the Montreal Impact can get down to business. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
March 30, 2018 - 11:52 AM

MONTREAL - Now that the signings have been made, perhaps the Montreal Impact can get down to business.

Defender Rudy Camacho and midfielder Alejandro Silva are expected to make their debuts Saturday night when the Impact (1-2) visit the Seattle Sounders (0-2). And central defender Rod Fanni saw his first action in a 1-0 home win over defending Major League Soccer champion Toronto FC in the squad's last outing on March 17.

The Impact hope the imported talent will boost the skill level on a team that started the campaign thin on defence and up front.

Coach Remi Garde said adding depth to the roster was a priority.

"It was (a) target for me, for the club," he said. "If you look at what we've done since the beginning of the season in terms of results, it was not the results we wanted. But in terms of the way we played, the spirit, I was not so disappointed about what I saw.

"I'm very happy to have this depth now, but it is not just because we bought two new players that everything will go right (immediately). It's always a question of working so that the new players settle in well and very quickly."

The new players will get classic MLS experience in their first match — a long flight to the West Coast to play on artificial turf against a team that rarely loses at home.

It may be perfect timing for Montreal however, as the Sounders will be without veteran forward Clint Dempsey, who is suspended for one game after a red card in a 3-0 loss at Dallas two weeks ago. Forward Jordan Morris is out for the season with a torn knee ligament, while designated player Osvaldo Alonso and midfielder Victor Rodriguez have not played this season due to injuries.

Like Toronto, the Sounders have also been juggling MLS play with CONCACAF games, although they are now eliminated from the Champions League.

The Impact began the season with only one healthy central defender, Victor Cabrera. The 36-year-old Fanni, who came from Marseille in France, looked solid against Toronto. Camacho, 27, joined from Waasland Beveren in Belgium and is expected to eventually anchor the back line.

Silva, a 28-year-old Argentine, brings skill to what had been a thin spot on the right side of the attack, although both players who have been in that position this season — Jeisson Vargas and Raheem Edwards — have scored a goal.

"Silva is a kind of forward player that I didn't have until now," said Garde. "It's a different profile from Jeisson or Raheem, with more experience.

"It gives me more options."

Goalkeeper Evan Bush said that what Garde has done differently than past Impact coaches is to put an emphasis on younger players.

"In the past there's been a lot of quick fixes, if you will, bringing in older guys like (Alessandro) Nesta or (Matteo) Ferrari," said Bush. "Certainly Rod's not young but he's really the only one over 30 in the group we brought in.

"There's been a concerted effort to bring in more youthful players, guys who probably have a bigger capacity to work on the field and because of that, the level of training has been very good. We have full team training nearly every day because guys are able to stay a little healthier."

The key is how quickly they adapt to a new team and a new league. Camacho and Silva are said to have meshed well with their teammates.

Now they need to do that on the field.

"Very good guys, pretty quiet," midfielder Samuel Piette said of the newcomers. "Not big personalities.

"They're not troublemakers. So I think it's good for us and for the locker-room. It's good to have more players. It's more competitive in the squad, so it's harder to break into the starting 11. This is important for us when we go to work every day."

Piette, Edwards and right back Michael Petrasso returned this week from international duty, where they helped Canada beat New Zealand 1-0 in a friendly in Spain, although Petrasso picked up an injury that will likely keep him out of the Seattle game.

Designated player Saphir Taider is also back after playing for Algeria.

Garde must make a decision on who will play forward. Matteo Mancosu is likely to miss a second game with an injury.

Anthony Jackson-Hamel returned as a substitute against TFC, when they used Vargas and Ignacio Piatti up front.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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