The MLS is Back tournament for the Impact ended the same way it began — with an uninspired, lacklustre performance.
The only difference was, this time rookie manager Thierry Henry didn’t throw his players under the bus, as he had following theiropening-game defeat to New England. Instead, he talked about how proud he was of them, how they had tried their best and, how difficult the conditions were in Reunion, Fla., where the club congregated in a bubble environment for most of the month.
What’s abundantly clear, following Saturday night’s 1-0 loss to Orlando City SC in the round of 16, is the enormous amount of work facing Henry and his staff before, and assuming, regular-season play reconvenes at some point later in August. Whether it’s tactically or philosophically, Henry and the players aren’t on the same page.
This was an elimination game on Saturday, yet the Impact generated a pathetic one shot on target. The offence was non-existent, again, with few threats around the net. The team was too pragmatic, and slow, on offence; too listless and disjointed in general.