Patrice Bernier (pictured) and the Impact de Montreal start their 2014/14 CONCACAF Champions League campaign against visiting CD FAS on August 5, 2014. (Photo courtesy of the Impact de Montreal
MONTREAL -- For the Impact de Montreal, there certainly is no rest for the weary in the dog days of August.
After dropping a 2-0 home decision to Toronto FC in Major League Soccer action over the weekend, the Canadian champion will play its first game of the 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League against visiting CD FAS (El Salvador) on Tuesday night.
“We have to prepare mentally for this Champions League game,” Impact midfielder Patrice Bernier said of the Group 3 opener. “We are in a tough spot and we hope the fans will come out and support us. We need their help to get out of this."
Montreal currently sits in last place in the Eastern Conference with a 3-5-13 record, while FAS began its Apertura season with a 1-0 loss at Dragon on Saturday.
So the Champions League is an opportunity and a second chance for the Impact to regain some stature and vie for some international glory.
“From an energy standpoint, we weren’t there," Montreal head coach Frank Klopas said after the Toronto game. "We felt we would be fresh because we didn’t over-do it in practice, but we were flat. We can’t put our finger on it now. Our reaction was not good.”
Bernier was in agreement with Klopas’ assessment.
“I don’t want to make any excuses for today,” expressed Bernier. “This was a derby game against Toronto. I understand that not everyone understands the rivalry, but we should have been more up for this one. We didn’t answer the bell tonight.”
On Tuesday night at the Stade Saputo, Montreal must be in a position to answer that proverbial bell because not getting points at home in the CCL makes life difficult in three-team groups.
The Impact has won its previous two CCL openers