TBM: Remember early in the season when Montreal was at the bottom of the conference and getting shellacked in all their regular season games? I think you understand what I mean when I ask: how did we end up here?!
JR: I think there are a few factors at play here. With the Champions League going on at the beginning of the season I think the Impact had their plates full, and it hurt their regular season record. With all the games and travel it took a toll on the team. On a different note I think the coaching change was huge moment for Montreal. The players seem to 'give it everything' for Biello, which could not be said for Klopas. And finally the arrival of Drogba has brought a breath of fresh air to the team. The newest DP contributes in every aspect of the game and has helped improve team morale.
TBM: Midseason coaching changes don't often result in smashing success, but Mauro Biello seems to have the Impact playing up to their potential in MLS for the first time this season. What's so different about him and why has he been able to succeed where Frank Klopas failed?
JR: Biello has been around the Impact organization for a long time. He has seen a lot of different coaches come and go and has learned from each of these experiences. I think he has a better understanding of the players he has and what he can get out of them on any given day. One example is Patrice Bernier who was relegated to the bench under Klopas but has rediscovered his form under Biello. The ex-Impact player shows confidence in his players, rotates them well, makes quality substitutions and it has been paying off so far.
TBM: There's just so much focus on Didier Drogba that it's tough to even look too hard at anyone else on that roster, but that would be a great disservice to a lot of talent in Quebec. Give us an under-the-radar player Revs fans should watch out for in this match.
JR: There are a lot of quality players on the backline for the Impact that go under the radar. If he plays Wandrille Lefèvre has been excellent for the Impact in central defence. Wandrille became a Canadian citizen this July and got his first cap for Canada this week against Ghana. The defender continues to grow and has become a rock at the back for Montreal. Donny Toia who was picked up from Chivas USA in the offseason in the dispersal draft has also been very solid for the Impact this season.