Montreal aims to break skid against struggling Nashville SC

First-year coach Laurent Courtois will try to pull his CF Montreal side out of a tailspin on Saturday night when they host Nashville SC, a club that has been through struggles of its own.

Montreal (3-7-3, 12 points) has lost four in a row in the league and gone six MLS matches without a victory while dealing with a heavy wave of injuries.

The most acute of those absences have come at forward, with Matias Cocoro (knee), Josef Martinez (knee), Mahala Opoku (ankle) and Mason Toye (hamstring) all held out of last weekend’s 5-1 drubbing at Toronto FC.

And after that embarrassing defeat to a rival, things got even worse on Wednesday, when Montreal fell 2-1 to Forge FC of the lower-division Canadian Premier League in the second leg of their Canadian Championship quarterfinal.

“I can’t explain (this performance). I’m ashamed,” Courtois said of a result that doomed his team to a 3-2 loss on aggregate goals. “I’m having a tough time justifying such a lethargic first half. We are ambitious and we have to match these ambitions with actions, but I haven’t seen that and it’s disappointing.”

The nosedive comes amid instability at the club, with sporting director Olivier Renard departing earlier this month.

Nashville (3-4-6, 15 points) has also undergone turnover after Gary Smith was dismissed immediately following a 2-0 home win over Toronto FC two matches ago.

Rumba Munthali has taken over on an interim basis and was at the helm for a somewhat disappointing 1-1 home draw with Atlanta United on Saturday.

But defender and captain Walker Zimmerman has still been working back toward 90-minute fitness from a knee issue — he started but did not complete the draw against Atlanta — and others, like defender Lukas McNaughton (ankle) and midfielder Randall Leal (hip), remained unavailable.

Munthali believes better days will be ahead as that injury list shortens, even though the Coyotes have earned just one point from their first four away matches.

“I think as you see players come back into the team, you see that we’re starting to be a little more recognizable as a team,” Munthali said. “I think as we get more and more players back and as players are able to work and do what they do best, I think we’ll continue to keep building on this.”

–Field Level Media