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CF Montreal comes home after six straight on the road


After an unorthodox start to the MLS season, CF Montreal will be back in front of home fans Saturday night to take on FC Cincinnati.

Fans will finally see their team play at Saputo Stadium after six straight away games to start the season, due to the Olympic Stadium being unavailable indefinitely

The first 7,500 fans get a bobblehead, and every fan will be hoping to hear the bell ring after CF Montreal scores a goal.

"We're very excited of having, our team, in front of us for the first time this season," said CF Montreal supporter Simon Willeme. "I'm sure people will be, going all out when it comes to their support and their cheering and their chants."

Six bumpy road games to start

New manager Laurent Courtois said the first six games on the road gave the team a chance to bond and grow as a team.

"It was difficult, but it was also awesome," he said.

Montreal started the season on a positive note, with a tie and two wins against Orlando, Dallas and Miami, but then dropped three straight against Chicago, D.C. and Seattle.

The Chicago loss - dubbed "The Windy City Miracle" - ended in particularly embarrassing fashion with Chicago midfielder Kellyn Acosta's pass? shot? lob? from behind the midfield line, catching the Illinois wind and bouncing off the outstretched hands of Montreal keeper Jonathan Sirois in the 98th minute to seal the come-from-behind win.

Montreal was leading 3-1 after 70 minutes and lost 4-3.

Dominik Yankov's goal in that game was the last one Montreal scored, after the team was shut out against D.C. (1-0) and Seattle (5-0).

The team is ready for a home game.

"I think it's just going to be good to get back in front of our fans," said Sirois. "It's going to give us that little boost, motivation and energy we need."

New faces

In addition to Courtois, CF Montreal welcomed a slew of new players, including Uruguayan Matias Coccaro, attacking midfielder Yankov and former MLS MVP and golden boot winner Josef Martinez.

Coccaro leads the team with three goals.

Wingbacks Raheem Edwards and Ruan also joined the team.

With the additions came subtractions, with striker Romell Quioto, wingback Aaron Herrera and right-back Zachary Brault-Guillard leaving the team.

Difficult opener

FC Cincinnati finished last regular season at the top of MLS, claiming the team's first Supporters' Shield.

"Not an easy home opener at all. FC Cincinnati, one of the best teams in MLS," said TSN 690 Radio play-by-play announcer Jon Still.

Still said the crowd will be a factor.

"The CF Montreal fans have been fantastic," he said. "Literally going back to last season, they knew how important it was considering how bad the team was away from home. They knew how important it was to get behind their players last year, and I expect the same this season."

The Messi effect

Superstar Leonel Messi's arrival in Miami sparked a frenzy for tickets across MLS and Montreal was no exception.

The team sold out of season tickets for the first time.

"We should be thrilled, and we are," said Courtois. "I just hope it's not going to be too overwhelming, and we kind of skip a few steps of what we agree to do."

"If we can make sort of a fortress and make it hard for teams to come here and get any points at all, I think it's going to be very interesting for us," said Sirois.

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