Montreal Impact says it doesn’t want to play against Toronto, but that’s no excuse to lose


Toronto FC’s 1-0 victory over the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo was the first MLS game since a player protest on Wednesday that led to the postponement of five games in a show of solidarity led by athletes who extended to all professional sports. This decision helped shine the national and international spotlight on the fight against racism, social injustice and police violence against the black community.But 48 hours after this powerful statement, one team would still have preferred to take another position and sit down. Montreal defender Rudy Camacho revealed players on his squad, who were not involved in the midweek fixture list, were unwilling to play on Friday and his center-back partner Luis Binks later confirmed this when of the post-match press conference.

“Yeah, nobody [on the Impact] wanted to play. It’s true, ”Binks said. “But I don’t think we can use that as an excuse. The final decision was to play, so we played the game. We weren’t good enough. They were much better than us. They had more chances than us.

“There are a lot of boys in the locker room, if not everyone, who felt that the right decision was to support what is going on and try to take a stand against what is going on in the United States and we thought that it would be powerful enough if two Canadian clubs – even if it doesn’t happen in Canada, racism occurs everywhere – but even if what happened didn’t happen directly in Canada, we figured that it would be good for us to show our support.

“But for some reason that didn’t happen. And we played the game. But I don’t think we can use that as an excuse to say that’s why we didn’t win or that we didn’t play as well as we could.

Binks indicated that there had been contacts with Toronto FC to express the Impact’s position, but “that’s where the message got lost”, according to Binks.

“They wanted one thing, we wanted another,” Binks said. “For some reason we did not come together to decide. We made it clear what we wanted, but yes the game was played. There was a rift between the two camps – they wanted to play, we didn’t. Obviously like I said earlier we can’t use that as an excuse which is why we didn’t win because the final decision was to play. And I, personally, was not well enough tonight.

Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley was asked about communication between the two teams ahead of the game, but he did not feel the topic needed to be addressed.

“It’s not worth talking about. Again, there are real things to talk about. There are significant issues to be resolved, ”Bradley said of the social justice movement. “The behind-the-scenes stuff that’s been going on in so many different locker rooms and in different leagues, that stuff isn’t important at the moment. ”

Although the media insisted on questioning Montreal manager Thierry Henry on the state of mind and motivation of his players, the Frenchman insisted he would only answer questions specific to what is happening. went into the game.

“Please can we talk about the game?” Henry said. “Toronto played a good game and they deserved to win today. So can we talk about it?

“Toronto kept the ball early and didn’t give the ball back to us on the cheap. [Alejandro] Pozuelo, [Pablo] Piatti – guys like that in the middle. [Marky] Slim avec [Michael] Bradley – they know how to handle the ball. And so it has become difficult for us to get it back. Once you don’t get it back obviously you can’t impose your style and so it got tough. Like I said, they were better than us that day, but we have the opportunity to rectify that on Tuesday.

It’s Tuesday, September 1 that the two rivals will meet again, this time with the change of scene at BMO Field in Toronto (8 p.m. ET).


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