Wanyama out as Montreal Impact face game of their lives in MLS

Harambee Stars defender David "Calabar" Owino and captain Victor Wanyama at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Harambee Stars defender David "Calabar" Owino (left) and captain Victor Wanyama at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on November 14, 2020 ahead of team's departure to Moroni for their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Group 'G' return leg qualifier against Comoros.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Henry’s men had dropped three successive matches against New York City, Nashville and Orlando City before getting the crucial win against D.C. United.
  • The Revolution have reached the MLS Cup Playoffs for a second consecutive year, while Impact are returning for the first time since 2016.

Kenya captain Victor Wanyama is unavailable for Montreal Impact’s Audi Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup playoff fixture against New England Revolution slated for Friday.

Montreal Impact head coach Thierry Henry confirmed on Thursday that the Kenyan captain has not returned from international duty where he led Harambee Stars in two 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying matches against Comoros.

The Islanders picked four points from Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee’s men to dim Kenya's hopes of making it to Afcon for the second consecutive time.

“Thierry Henry has confirmed midfielder Victor Wanyama is still in Kenya and that he will miss the duel against the Revolution,” Canadian news outlet 98.5 Montreal said late on Thursday.

This MLS fixture between the Impact and Revolution will be their fifth this year. Out of the four times they have met, the Impact has triumphed only once.

That victory came on February 29 when the Revolution took an early lead through Teal Bunbury, but Honduran Romell Quioto and Argentine Maximiliano Urruti scored on either side of halftime to give Impact a 2-1 win.

At the time, Wanyama had not arrived at the Impact. His impact was however not felt in the last three meetings as the Impact lost against the Revolution with an aggregate score of 7-3.

Despite wobbling throughout the season, the Impact managed to squeeze into the playoffs on the last day of the regular season. Henry’s men came from behind twice in a 3-2 win at D.C. United on November 8.

Bojan Krkic, Wanyama and Samuel Piette were on target for the Impact as they punched the ticket to compete in the single-elimination playoffs.  Piette, too, will miss tonight's fixture, but through suspension.

Henry’s men had dropped three successive matches against New York City, Nashville and Orlando City before getting the crucial win against D.C. United. They finished the regular season in ninth spot with 26 points in the 14-team Eastern Conference. New England Revolution wrapped up the season finished six points ahead in eighth place.  

Wanyama,29, has been a key player for Thierry Henry’s side since his arrival in March from English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur. He has featured in 22 league matches, playing full 90 minutes in each of them.

The Revolution have reached the MLS Cup Playoffs for a second consecutive year, while Impact are returning for the first time since 2016. Other teams taking part in the playoffs from Eastern Conference include Columbus Crew, Inter Miami, Nashville, New York City, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City, Philadelphia Union and Toronto FC.

Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas, Los Angeles FC, Minnesota United, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas qualified from the Western Conference. The final is scheduled for December 12.


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