Montreal Impact 2014 Season Preview:

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Stade Saputo, Mark II.

How’d 2013 Treat ‘Em: 14-3-7 (W-L-T), 50 gf, 49 ga; 5th in the East
2013 saw the L’Impact (yes, I know I doubled-down on the articles) take “doing a Dallas” – that is, the act of starting strong, only to flame out later – to a searing new level. They somehow made the playoffs, but only after a collapse so thorough and sickening that everyone understood that their play-in game versus Houston was just the next room in the slaughterhouse. But it got worse. On their way to losing the game, Montreal lost their minds and some pieces of their dignity: at least two players were sent off (might have been three) amid snarling tempers and petulant crap. They don’t give out an award for this, but put Montreal down for last year’s ugliest season. (DC, being shit from start to finish, missed out on the churning fall from grace.) Theories as to why they lost pointed to several culprits: the way attackers ran circles around their plodding, aged Italian defenders; forcing Patrice Bernier to be an over-matched one-man show; and a near-total reliance on Marco Di Vaio to fix it all. All true, but also all details: what happened is that people figured them out and set phasers to “kill.” Or “exploit.”

Exciting Additions! – Santiago Gonzalez(?), Heath Pearce

Tricky Departures… – Alessandro Nesta, Davy Arnaud

Quality Parts: Patrice Bernier, Marco Di Vaio, Felipe Martins, Troy Perkins

It Gets Better If They Come Good: Hernan Bernardello, Justin Mapp, Sanna Nyassi, Pearce, Collen Warner, Andrew Wenger

What I’d Expect Based on the Above:
Little in the way of improvement, but with a lot less misplaced hope; then again, maybe it’s better to fail without going through the crushing disappointment that only hope can bring. Unless that Gonzalez guy noted in the additions above is the love child of Pele and some soccer-lovin’ baby mama, he’s not going to be enough. And, much as I admire him personally, landing Heath Pearce won’t, uh, turn things 180 either. And…your already-old star player just added another, unwelcome year to the odometer. (Still bet Di Vaio scores 10+). Those looking for brighter news can count the modest blessing of longer having to count the number of steps Nesta was left behind after any given attack. OK, I’m probably having more fun mocking this team than I ought; the reality probably won’t look so grim. Maybe the Bernier/Bernardello works out this year, and that frees up Felipe to do a little more damage. Solid seasons for Mapp or Nyassi or even Wenger could send a little sunlight through the clouds. It’s just not something to count on. Mediocrity, and a shorter season, looks like the smart place to put one’s money.

2014 Season Opener: @ FC Dallas, March 8

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: 2014 Major League Soccer Season Preview Spectaularrrrr! | The Next 5-Year Plan

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