Two changes are in evidence this week at Impact training sessions.
The team is training on grass in preparation for its match Saturday at Chicago and the Stade Saputo season opener the following week. It won both its matches at Stade Olympique: 3-0 against the Red Bulls March 12, and 2-0 over Columbus last weekend. Warmer weather has prompted the switch to grass for training sessions.
And relishing the return to grass perhaps more than any other player is Marco Donadel, bothered by a leg injury for the past month and until Wednesday limited to running and training on his own. He started the team’s opener April 6 against Vancouver despite feeling pain during warmups, but had to come off in the 56th minute. He hasn’t seen any game action since then.
“Then, I played, because I didn’t want to be out after 40 days of preseason, leave the first game during the warmup,” Donadel told Montreal reporters. “But we won over there. The most important thing is the team.”
If Donadel or team knows the exact nature of the injury, no one has revealed it.
“The sensation was always the same: nothing better, and nothing worse,” he said. “For two weeks, I didn’t feel great, because we didn’t know. But then I started to train over the pain, and it’s gone better.”
Last year, Donadel started 24 of 25 league matches and all three playoff games in his first MLS season. He was second on the team in assists with eight (all competitions).
The Fire game will be just the second on grass for Montreal this season. Forward Didier Drogba, who sits out turf games to rest his weak knees, played 20 minutes at Dallas in his only appearance so far in 2016. The Fire has shut out is last three opponents