Stade Saputo snow

Snow Clasico II? This weekend in Montreal?

Leave a comment

Those luckies at the Montreal Impact get two home openers. Then again, Impact players, officials and fans may not be feeling 100 percent lucky today.

Similar to Toronto FC, l’Impact de Montréal take the early home matches indoors. In Montreal’s case that means historic Olympic Stadium. Of course, the team’s real home ground is the cozier Stade Saputo.

Having played out the limited schedule of March home matches, the club is ready to move outdoors for the year. Marco Schallibaum’s club, surprise leaders of the East with a 4-1 record, takes on Columbus north of the U.S.-Canadian border Saturday.

Unfortunately, the organization’s “second” home opener arrives just in time for the next winter-like battering from Mother Nature.

Regional forecasts call for six to 10 inches of snow – that’s 15 to 25 centimeters of snow if you want to me all metric about it – with ice pellets between now and Saturday’s match. The grounds crew can clear the fluffy white stuff (assuming it abates in time) but temperatures at kickoff will be somewhere between “cold” and “ridiculously cold.” Temps are likely to be in the mid- to low-30s, with wind chill figures well below freezing.

From the team’s official website, what the Impact manager had to say about Saturday’s potentially challenging elements:

Those are circumstances we can’t control. Cold weather comes from above, it’s not our decision. Football is played outside. Sometimes with rain, snow, cold or warm weather. What’s important is that we’re getting back to our stadium, our home. We just have to accept the circumstances and adapt. … When the field is dry and the grass is good, you can play better technically. But there might be mud, there might be water, and we have to adapt. We can’t play short passes when the pitch is heavy. We have to change our philosophy.”

Saturday’s match begins at 2 p.m. ET.

Juan Carlos Osorio to become new Mexico boss

Leave a comment

Mexico looks to have found a new manager in Juan Carlos Osorio.

Osorio, who had stints managing in Major League Soccer with the Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls, was most recently coaching in Brazil with Sao Paulo.

However, the Brazilian club released a statement today that Osorio had decided to step down from his position in order to take the Mexico job.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

Following Miguel Herrera’s firing in July, Ricardo Ferretti was named interim manager of El Tri, and will coach the side in Saturday’s CONCACAF playoff match against the United States. However, Ferretti has stated he will not stay with Mexico past that match, and will return to Liga MX, where he serves as manager of Tigres UANL.

Osorio had recently been linked with the Mexico job, but said he would take his time in making a decision.

His only other exposure to Mexican football came during a short stint in Liga MX managing Puebla. He lasted just seven matches before resigning and returning to manage in his native Colombia.

[ RELATED: Donovan says Klinsmann should be fired if USMNT loses to Mexico ]

He was in line to take charge of the Honduras national team in 2011, but he was unable to get out of the contract with the Colombian team he was managing at the time.

There has been no official confirmation of the hiring from the Mexican Federation.

Benzema and Benitez in a war of words at Real Madrid

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 26: Head coach Rafael Benitez (R) of Real Madrid CF gives instructions to his player Karim Benzema (L) during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Malaga CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 26, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Karim Benzema has scored six goals in his eight appearances for Real Madrid this season, and is currently the top scorer in La Liga.

Despite being in great form, Benzema has continuously been substituted by manager Rafa Benitez, which has upset the French striker.

Benzema opened the scoring for Real in the Madrid derby over the weekend, but was taken off in the 77th minute. Atletico would go on to score minutes later as the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

[ RELATED: Top moments from USMNT vs. Mexico ]

Speaking after the game, Benzema said he was “fed up” with being taken off, but will continue to work to help his team.

Substitutions are what the coach decides, I’m just there to help my teammates.

It’s true I’m fed up of being taken off. I’m calm and will continue to work so I’m not always subtituted. He took me off to get a result, for defensive reasons.

It’s true that the electronic board always shows the No.9. Ask Benitez why that is.

When told about Benzema’s comments, Benitez said he made the change for tactical reasons, as Real was in the lead and he replaced the striker with a more defensive-minded player in midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

I needed to give the team some balance at that point in the game. I’m a huge fan of Benzema. If I were Karim, I’d also be angry at being taken off when I thought I was playing well and was on a great run of form.

What I’d do if I were Karim is score more goals so that next time I don’t have to be taken off and can say, ‘Hey, here I am.’

Benitez’s response comes off as a backhanded compliment, asking Benzema to “score more goals,” despite the player leading La Liga in scoring. In fact, Benzema has averaged a goal every 84 minutes this season, an incredible strike rate.

[ RELATED: Chelsea release statement on Jose Mourinho’s future ]

Over the summer, Benzema was linked with a move away from Real Madrid, but he constantly denied the rumors and said he never thought about leaving the club, which he called the best in the world. Just a few matches into the new season, there may be some trouble in paradise.