Orlando City will travel north for its first-round playoff match against second-seeded CF Montreal this Sunday at 8 p.m. at Stade Saputo. Montreal finished the regular season with a 20-9-5 record, good enough to earn the club 65 points and a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference standings. Let’s take a look at the numbers behind Orlando’s first-round foe, CF Montreal.
Montreal was incredibly efficient on the offensive end all throughout the regular season. The Quebec-based side is second in goals – expected goals (+8.8) and fifth in goals (63), while taking the 16th-most total scoring attempts (425) in MLS. Part of Montreal’s highly efficient identity spurs from the club’s ability to be patient in waiting to take the right scoring chances. Montreal ranked 10th this season in on-target scoring attempts (155) and tied for eighth in accurate shooting percentage (36.5%). The Canadian club is also good at creating quality scoring opportunities, ranking fourth in assists (66), second in goal-creating actions (100), and 14th in shot-creating actions (667).
The Montreal defense has been inconsistent this season having kept seven clean sheets but has six games with three or more goals allowed. Somewhat surprisingly, Montreal has allowed the fourth-fewest shots against (128) in MLS, while being tied for 16th in most goals conceded (50). A lot of the inconsistency from the Montreal defense can be attributed to their goalkeeping situation, however, it is also largely due to generally poor play by the team’s defenders. This year, Montreal ranked 26th in interceptions (287), 27th in tackles (467) and pressures (4,165), and 28th in blocks (394) and clearances (415). Montreal did have some bright spots on defense though, ranking sixth in successful pressure percentage (30.2%) and eighth in duel percentage (51.3%).
Players to Watch
Forward Romell Quioto has not played since the international break after suffering a thigh injury while playing for Honduras. Quioto leads the team in goals (15), total scoring attempts (76), and on-target scoring attempts (34), while he is second in accurate shooting percentage (44.7%) among Montreal players with at least 20 total scoring attempts. Forward Kei Kamara and midfielder Djordje Mihailovic are tied for second in goals (9). Kamara is the more frequent shot taker of the two, ranking second in total scoring attempts (45), while Mihailovic is the most precise scorer on the team, as he leads in accurate shooting percentage (58.5%). Kamara is also tied for first on the team in assists (7), while Mihailovic is first in crosses (44).
When the Montreal defense has been pressed, defender Rudy Camacho has continued to step up and deliver for the club. Camacho leads the team in clearances (80) and interceptions (51), and he stands third in successful pressure percentage (37.2%). In the middle of the pitch, Montreal has relied on midfielder Victor Wanyama to win the ball back for the offense. Wanyama is first among Montreal players in tackles (60) and pressures (429), while he is also second in blocks (45). Goalkeeping duties have been split between James Pantemis, who only has 11 starts but has started the last two matches, and Sebastian Breza, who has started 23 games for Montreal this season. Breza has allowed 38 goals and made 51 saves for a save percentage of 57.3%. Pantemis, although through a smaller sample size, has performed better in his starts, with a save percentage of 68.4%, while allowing 12 goals and making 26 saves.
That is what I found on CF Montreal. Let me know what you think about this playoff match in the comments and, as always, go Orlando!