Back to back Canadian champions, the Montreal Impact have gotten an even bigger boost after retaining the Voyageurs Cup. After a 2-0 shutout against the new Eastern Conference powerhouse, the New England Revolution, Montreal is close to avoid becoming irrelevant in 2014 and make a run for it after the 2-week break.
With an important game against D.C. United on Wednesday evening at Stade Saputo, le Bleu-Blanc-Noir has a chance to enjoy the World Cup break, watch their idols play in Brazil with the peace of mind that the club is still in a hunt for a playoff race. Add to that a potential CONCACAF Champions League conquest, including two games against the New York Red Bulls, the sun is suddenly shining at Stade Saputo, or almost.
Moves: Better late than never
Nick de Santis and the club as a whole were deservedly blamed for an inactive off-season that only saw an unknown Uruguayan striker, Santiago Gonzalez, join the club. Add to that the Nelson Rivas debacle and a back-line that needed help, new blood and more depth.
The Departed & The Newcomers
Heath Pearce: He came in as a solution for the vacant left-back position but injuries and squad rotation instilled by Frank Klopas, the ex- Chivas USA defender has been an excellent utility player and a veteran at the back.
Jack McInerney: The Impact traded Andrew Wenger for Jack-Mac and the club has obviously won the trade when it happened and still does: Three goals in seven MLS games and fits in any system and formation Klopas decides to use.
Mamadou Futty Danso: The ex- Portland Timbers central defender finds a friend and compatriot in Sanna Nyassi. Whether he represents depth or is a starter, the Gambian international will help a fragile back-line but also a young back-line that will need to be rotated.
Mechack Jerome: The Haitian right back seems more like a depth move for the CCL but we never know what he can bring.
Issey Nakajima-Farran: Collen Warner went the other way to Toronto FC. The winger/midfielder was part of the spark that ignited the Impact in its 2-0 win over the Revolution. He has been motivate to prove Toronto wrong and find a home in MLS. Quality player.
Andres Romero: Missing In Action for one year since joining the Impact, Romero has found a new life and is playing excellent football for the past 3-4 games. If he can continue to be effective, dynamic and intense, the Argentinean will be important for club.
Have you noticed that the keyword around this mini-evaluation has been depth? It's something the Impact lacked since joining MLS in 2012. It will be interesting to see how the coaching staff handles it.
Ignacio Piatti should be joining the club anytime soon. Joey Saputo confirmed that a deal has been finalized with a third Designated Player that will be a game changer for the club. If it's not Piatti, the fact that Saputo used the words '' game changer'' is a sign of how confident he is about the work done by the technical staff and Nick de Santis.
Another rumor is going around twitter that the club is in talks with Gaetano D'Agostino, a midfielder playing for Siena in Serie B.
But before the club signs Neymar or Cristiano Ronaldo, Montreal will focus on its next adversary and will hope to enjoy the World Cup with 13 points and 3 points closer to a playoff spot.