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CF Montreal: start of the rock’n’roll year

All CF Montreal players are certainly eager to get back to work, and this is even more true in the case of Samuel Piette.

The Quebec midfielder will have a very busy start to the year with the departure of the team’s training camp next Monday, the World Cup qualifying matches with Canada in three weeks, the quarter-finals of the Champions League return to club and the start of the MLS season.

“It’s going to be quite rock’n’roll in the first two or three months,” he agreed in a telephone interview on Tuesday. We can get a ticket for the World Cup and advance to the Champions League. »

“It’s two or three months that could kick off the season for everyone,” adds Piette.

In shape

Lacking internal training, Piette has been putting on her sneakers for the past few weeks.

“We had a training program from physical trainer Jules Gueguen and there is a lot of running. »

Piette had just returned from running when the representative of the Log spoke with him.

Considering the amount of work that awaits him in the next two months, Piette has spared the excesses in the holiday season.

“I only took two weeks off at the end of the season. I won’t hide that I like to enjoy the good things in life and have a good glass of wine, but we’ve been quieter this year, in addition to the pandemic [qui a forcé tout le monde au calme]. »

good core

On the sporting level, the 27-year-old veteran believes that the team is starting with a head start on last year.

“It’s a very good thing to have kept the same core with a workforce essentially similar to that of last year. We have great chemistry on the pitch, but even more off. »

Moreover, he believes that the team will continue to grow after a season of developing the ideas of Wilfried Nancy.

“Last year, we showed a lot of great things for a first year with Wilfried”, says Piette.

“We have created a good foundation and we have a team that is difficult to face thanks to good possession of the ball, in addition to attacking as soon as we lose it. It is certain that Wilfried’s message will not change on this point, ”he adds.

He also wants the team to move forward by fixing some long-standing shortcomings.

“On the set pieces, I have the impression that we conceded too many goals again last year, but we were able to score some. If we can score more, we can add a string to our bow to become even more dangerous. »

Important addition

Piette received a nice Christmas present when the acquisition of Canadian defenseman Alistair Johnston from Nashville was confirmed last week.

The two players are teammates within the Canadian selection and Piette welcomes the arrival of his compatriot with enthusiasm.

“It motivates me even more to start the year with a guy like him. I immediately asked that he be next to me in the locker room because he is a good friend, ”admits Samuel Piette.

According to him, the 23-year-old full-back’s attitude fits perfectly with the team’s environment.

“His arrival is important for chemistry because he’s a really good guy. I already thought it fit well in our system before the transaction. »

Change the story

In a very busy start to the season, there are two challenges that particularly challenge Samuel Piette.

On the one hand, Canada’s national team could overshadow a humiliating 8-1 loss to Honduras nearly a decade ago, and on the other hand, CF Montreal could exact revenge against Santos Laguna.

These are two great opportunities to exorcise a past that can still cause hives to supporters and parties who have lived through its affronts.

“We are lucky to play these games, recognized Piette. In qualifying for the World Cup, we are in a very good position and if we win in Honduras, we eliminate them quite a bit and we position ourselves, while taking our revenge. »

Memory

“I remember that 8-1 game against Honduras, I was watching it on my computer in Germany. It was a defining moment for the Canadian team. »

For the record, this humiliating setback suffered in October 2012 in San Pedro Sula, where the meeting of January 27 will be played, had ended any hope of Canadian qualification for the 2014 World Cup.

Things have changed a lot since then and the mentality is changing, especially since the selection went to seek null verdicts in the United States and Mexico.

“What we want to do in the national team is to take away the defeatist mentality when we go abroad, and settle for winning our games at home,” said Piette.

“We got a point in Mexico, but we could have gotten all three because we played a better game than them. We may have realized that it was possible to get good results outside. »

On the heart

Back in the club, Piette will have the opportunity with CF Montreal to cover the saddest part of the team, this 5-2 defeat in Torreón in March 2009.

The team led 4-3 on aggregate before stoppage time and had the advantage with two away goals. But Santos Laguna scored twice in added time to win that quarter-final.

“I remember it, I was at my parents’ house and I was listening to it on the radio in my bed”, specifies Piette who has not yet spoken of the duel with his teammates.

“We will definitely discuss it as soon as we return to the game, whether through Wilfried or through the visit of the owner who probably still has it on his mind. I find it special to face them and to be able to change history. »

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