CF Montreal – Match Report Vs. DC United (23/07/2022)

CF Montreal defeated DC United 2-1 in MLS action. DC Had some chances but ultimately did not have the firepower to match Montreal’s. I highly recommend watching Montreal’s first goal, which was scored within 30 seconds. It was quite funny. The Quebec side played in their usual 3-4-1-2 while D.C United played in a 4-2-3-1. 

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Ismaël Koné

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Canadian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of Birth: 06/06/2002
  • Current Club: CF Montreal
  • Career: CS Saint Laurent 
  • Position: Centre Midfielder 
  • Preferred: Foot Right

I reported on Koné earlier in the year and was quite positive about him. With him being linked to Norwich (though it now looks like that won’t happen) and now having considerably more games under his belt I thought it would be worth revisiting him to see how he had changed.

The good news is Koné showed improvements in a couple of areas I cited as weaknesses in my first report. He was much better at making himself available for the ball, doing well to move into pockets of space and receive the ball higher up the field. He also looked a bit sharper defensively. He’s not a ball-winning midfielder by any means, and he was a bit easy to bypass with passing but he did have a couple of good moments where he recovered well and snuffed out an attack. He still needs to work on his defensive positioning and forcing opposing attackers to beat him but the little bit of defending he did do was pretty solid. 

That said though, Koné looked a lot less assured when progressing the ball. He has never been a ball progressing machine but in other matches, I have at least seen him make a couple of medium-range forward passes to teammates in space. In this match, he did not look at all confident in his passing. There were many moments when he looked up, seemed to think about a forward pass but waited a little too long, and then had to turn back. He generally referred to the more experienced Victor Wanyama to dictate the tempo and handle most of the progressive passing. 

Koné still looked quite good on the dribble. He was very smooth with the ball at his feet and good at using his body to shield the ball from opposing players. When receiving the ball he usually seemed to know where to turn to find space but, as I discussed in the previous paragraph, he usually passed it backwards once he was in that space. He was also a danger at the edge of the box, making forward runs from the midfield and having a shot a couple of times. 

Rating: A2

I believe Koné has all of the skills to be a success in the right role. He does, however, have quite a few things to work on. Any team buying him in the hope that he will boss the midfield and dictate the tempo of the game will be disappointed. But any team buying him to make late runs into the box, dribble, and maybe develop his passing and defending a bit will be pleasantly surprised. Regarding Norwich (or any Championship clubs that might be interested) specifically, I can see him being a good squad player at the Championship level right away. If he develops he can definitely go on to bigger and better things.  

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