Monday’s soccer news starts with Montreal taking the somewhat surprising lead at the top of the Eastern Conference. Montreal shutout Charlotte FC -0 on Saturday to pull into a three-way lead with 2nd-place Orlando City and 3rd-place Philadelphia all on 20 points. With Montreal and Orlando tied on total wins, Montreal takes the top spot on goal difference +3 to -1. Montreal and Philadelphia both have a game in hand over Orlando, 11 to 12.
Those three teams already have a history this season. Montreal lost at Orlando City to open their schedule back on February 27. They followed that up with a 2-1 home loss to Philadelphia the following weekend. A loss at NYCFC had Montreal 0-for-3 to start the 2022 MLS season. They’ve gone eight games undefeated since, including drawing 1-1 at Philadelphia on April 23 and beating Orlando City 4-1 at home on May 7.
Figuring out strength of schedule has been difficult across MLS this year due to the slow starts of would-be contenders. There’s no discounting Montreal’s undefeated run, not falling into traps like the teams that have lost at Charlotte.
“I’m very happy with what the guys did tonight,” Montreal coach Wilfried Nancy said. “It wasn’t easy on an artificial field and in a stadium with a great atmosphere. We faced a good team with some interesting tactics. I’m happy because this clean sheet is good for the team. Today we continued to do good things. We are on a good run and the credit goes to the players. There is a confidence building since last year and the players are enjoying executing the game plans.”
Montreal is at Nashville before getting four games at home against Real Salt Lake, FC Cincinnati, Austin, and Charlotte. Orlando City lacks the four-game homestand and faces a trip to an improving New England three games from now on June 15. Philadelphia hosts Inter Miami midweek before a trip to Portland on Sunday and then playing New England away on May 28.
Assessing the difficulty of any matchup this season is week-to-week dependent. However, Montreal has a clear opportunity to add points at or very near the top of the table over their next five games.
MLSsoccer’s Matthew Doyle’s review of week 11 in MLS. DW’s Jonathan Harding asks some questions about the Bundesliga. The Guardian’s look back at the Premier League results. iNews’ Daniel Storey on the undecided Premier League title.
TUESDAY’S SOCCER TV
Premier League on USA: Southampton vs Liverpool at 2:45pm. Copa Libertadores on beIN Sport: RB Bragantino vs Estudiantes at 6:15pm and Flamengo vs Universidad Catolica at 8:30pm. beIN en Espanol has Penarol vs Cerro Porteno at 6:15pm and Boca Juniors vs Corinthians at 8:30pm ET.
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