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Samuel Piette, left, is returning to the Montreal Impact after three weeks at the Gold Cup with Canada.Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Reinforcements could not have come at a better time for the Montreal Impact.

A depleted Impact (9-8-3) side saw three key players return from international duty this week ahead of Saturday’s clash with Minnesota United FC (8-7-3) at Saputo Stadium.

Samuel Piette and Zachary Brault-Guillard of Canada and Panama’s Omar Browne rejoined their teammates after three weeks at the Gold Cup.

Only Daniel Lovitz (United States) and Micheal Azira (Uganda) remain with their national teams.

“We really feel we have strength in numbers,” Impact scoring leader Saphir Taïder said. “These last few weeks, we had so few guys here. We could barely train properly. We were 12 or 13 players on the roster.

“It’s good to have players coming back. We’re getting closer to a full team. The guys were enjoying themselves at training [this week]. I’m sure the coach must be happy, too.”

The return of Piette, Brault-Guillard and Browne coincides with a rapidly growing list of injuries for Montreal.

Striker Maximiliano Urruti is questionable for Saturday’s game after missing the team’s most recent match with a knee injury – a 2-1 loss on the road to Atlanta United. The Argentine trained separately from his teammates this week, alongside countryman Ignacio Piatti (knee).

Midfielder Orji Okwonwko’s status is also up in the air after leaving training this week clutching his thigh. Okwonwko recently missed three games with a leg injury.

With so many players absent through international duty and injuries, coach Rémi Garde was forced get creative against Atlanta United last week. The Impact coach used players out of their natural positions in a very attacking 3-4-3 formation.

“Of course it’s different, but I’ve played out of position in the past,” said defender Jukka Raitala, who was moved to the left wing in Atlanta. “I can handle many positions pretty well. It’s not such a big deal for me where coach wants to use me.

“The guys who are injured are working hard and it looks like soon, we will have everybody on the field. It’s good to get the guys back. We still have Lovitz missing, hopefully he can win on Sunday [in the Gold Cup final versus Mexico] and come back as a champion.”

Minnesota has won back-to-back games in MLS and has four victories in a row in all competitions, after a three-game slide.

They followed up a franchise-best 7-1 win against Cincinnati last week by defeating the San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 at home on Wednesday. Those 10 goals in two games have boosted Minnesota’s season tally to 33, making them the third-most prolific offence in MLS. In comparison, Montreal has 10 goals in the past eight games.

The Loons rely heavily on their designated players, who lead the way on offence. Darwin Quintero has six goals and five assists this season while Angelo Rodriguez has already scored five times.

But Minnesota has not had the same success on the road recently. The third-year MLS club is goalless in its past three matches away from Allianz Field – the longest road drought in team history.

Minnesota is also looking to avoid its fifth consecutive road loss. They have not won away from home since April 6 against the New York Red Bulls.

“If we’re going to take advantage, we need to do it the right way,” said Taïder of Minnesota’s road form and quick turnaround. “We have to concentrate on ourselves and dictate the pace from the opening whistle. We need to take control right away and prevent them from getting going.”