401 Derby was the most popular used term to describe games between the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC. We can try to describe it, we can try to create it in the media and within the fans, but I just do not get that feeling of rivalry between both clubs. Building a
With no big incidents (nothing violent please), ideological clash, or meaningful games, the '' 401 derby '' is still kilometers away from growing into a rivalry that crosses boundaries, players, coaches and eventually generations.
Parallel paths...never to cross meaningfully
The Montreal Impact , as an expansion team, was quickly focusing on taking care of themselves in the process of growing as an expansion team. With 4 losses and a a draw in the club's first 5 games, Montreal had its first historical MLS win against Toronto FC on April 7th 2012, a 2-1 win. The 3 points were more important than anything else and nothing came out of it as per special intensity, animosity between players and such.
On the other side, Toronto FC was just too busy not drowning as a club in the midst of 0-9 run in MLS.
Paths did cross during the 2012 Amway Canadian Championship semi-finals that resulted in a 0-0 draw in Montreal and a 2-0 win for TFC in Toronto. Maybe the Voyageurs Cup could be the spark and trigger towards a rivalry that could transpose itself in MLS action.
The spark that I am still waiting for
With no ideological clash between both clubs, you would hope for a clash between coaches and/or players that would just be the spark, the setup for a future rivalry. Did the Patrice Bernier tackle on Ryan Johnson trigger something between both players?
At this point, there are no apparent signs of animosity, hate or anger between players and/or coaches.
Rivalry through the Academies?
Both U21 teams play in the Canadian Soccer League and recently the Montreal Impact eliminated Toronto FC in the CSL quarterfinals playoffs.
If you assume that some players from both academies make the big team and face each other in a few years in MLS action, could that be the beginning of a rivalry? Is it possible to see animosity from the Academy days between players from the Academies and see it translate into the MLS realm?
From my standpoint, I see more of a rivalry between the Montreal Impact and the Houston Dynamo as per different incidents between both clubs. From the '' Ching-Gate '' to both teams handing humiliating wins over the other, you can feel some hate and some humph between the sides.
Like in any good North American sports setup, rivalries are made in the playoffs and not to be too pessimistic, that could take a while to see the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC to meet in the playoffs.
What do you think of a potential rivalry between both clubs? Do you see the fans having a part in it