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.