MONTREAL — CF Montreal head coach Wilfried Nancy has little doubt his club will be the visiting team when it plays a home game at its temporary Florida home against Inter Miami CF on Wednesday night.
Nancy told reporters that much was clear after watching CF Inter Miami and Atlanta United battle to a 1-1 draw Sunday in front of 8.074 spectators at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with the Florida-based club scoring a tying goal from Lewis Morgan in the 77th minute.
"Even when there are 5,000 spectators, it feels like there are 100,000 spectators and they are cheering for them, we won't be home at all, we will be on the road," Nancy said, despite the schedule showing it as a home game.
"I said to myself during the Inter match that we cannot wait to (mount a) comeback because the Miami players were having a difficult time and thanks to the fans, they found the energy needed to get back to ... score, knowing that they were in trouble."
Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, DRV PNK Stadium has served as home pitch for Montreal (1-1-2) this year and has been friendlier to the Canadian franchise than Miami (1-1-2), its primary tenant.
Montreal has a win and a tie in two outings at the stadium — with no crowd in the stands. Miami has a loss and a draw at home.
Whatever role the crowd might play on Wednesday night, Nancy reiterated that his players need to be concerned with the tasks they have to complete to win the game.
"We focus on ourselves, we focus on how to score goals, how to defend well against them," Nancy said. "The crowd, we will ignore that."
Both clubs go into the game with identical records. They've also each scored as many goals as they've given up: six for Montreal and five for Miami.
But Inter Miami CF has gone three consecutive games without defeat while Montreal hasn't won since a 4-2 triumph over Toronto FC in its opening match on April 17.
Montreal has also been blanked in the last 228 minutes, with its last goal coming in the 42nd minute of a game against Nashville on April 24.
Zachary Brault-Guillard, who is injured and whose status remains unclear for Wednesday's game, scored that goal.
Nancy said that midfielder Samuel Piette, who suffered an injury to his right foot during the first game of the season, will be able to play. Piette has been in uniform for the last two games, a loss against the Vancouver Whitecaps and a tie against the Columbus Crew, but didn't make an appearance.
"I'll be clear: From the moment I put a player on the bench, he's fit to play. It's that simple," Nancy said. "So if Sam hasn't played it's because for now, I wanted to see something different tactically. It's that simple. "
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 11, 2021.
Michel Lamarche, The Canadian Press