FC Montreal Clinches First Win With Shutout
Louis Béland-Goyette Scores to Give FC Montreal First Win in League History
FC Montreal grabbed their first three points of the season by beating the Charleston Battery 1-0 on Thursday at Saputo Stadium’s turf field. A goal by midfielder Louis Béland-Goyette in the first half gave Montreal their first win and first shutout in the team’s short United Soccer League history.
As the starting whistle blew on the windy Thursday afternoon, FC Montreal was looking to attack the Battery. The Montrealers got to taste the fruit of their labour at the 28th minute when the bleu-blanc-noir took advantage of a bad clearance by Charleston’s goalkeeper.
A well placed Louis Béland-Goyette received a pass from Romario Williams and scored his second goal of the season.
“It’s a play where [Romario Williams] plays the defender one-on-one well and makes a retreat pass,” explained Béland-Goyette. “For me, following the play is a big part of my job so the ball retreats back, and I’m there at the right moment. The finishing is one that I work a lot in training. I calmly open my foot and I put it in.”
Nearing the end of the game, the scoreboard still read 1-0 for manager Philippe Eullaffroy’s team. A situation they had never encountered in professional soccer.
“Our worry was that we might had a sense of fear of winning,” said Eullaffroy. “But we felt like the guys continued being confident and playing, and that’s a big satisfaction to see that they didn’t have this.”
“It puts a little pressure on the back four. We need to defend our goal and it’s a situation that we haven’t seen yet since the start of the season,” said center back Mele Temguia. “But I find that we dealt with the situation really well, and I’m happy for the guys and the coaches.”
The home side’s bench greeted the final whistle with a roar. The team used their bye week to go to Mount Washington, New Hampshire for team bonding.
“In the last minutes when we suffered, a little part of what we did there was what we did last week when we climbed Mount Washington,” said Eullaffroy. “It helped and contributed on the whole of a season to go through difficult moments like these ones.”
Newly acquired defender Jonathan Grant was also making his USL debut for the club. The 21 year-old Canadian international signed with FC Montreal on Wednesday and was immediately included in the starting lineup at right back. However, Grant was training with the team for around a month before signing his contract.
“It was pretty easy to adjust because everything we do is very systematic, so a lot of it I’ve been learning from the past month now,” said Grant.
The right back was pleased to see that coach Philippe Eullaffroy decided to make him start a day after signing his contract with the club. “I think it’s very positive. I think the coach believes in me. I just want to go out there and give him hard work.”
Four players loaned from the first-team were starting for FC Montreal. Goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau manned the net, midfielder Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare wore the captain’s armband, while usual team captain Nazim Belguedouz sat from the bench. Finally, Anthony Jackson-Hamel and Romario Williams were the team’s two strikers.
FC Montreal will hit the road for the next two games as they will play New York Red Bulls II on May 24th and reunite with the Rochester Rhinos for another derby on May 30th. The next home game will be played at Saputo Stadium on June 6th as they will take on New York Red Bulls II for the second time in almost two weeks.
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