You Are Amway On My mind
With the 2013 Amway Canadian Championship seeding in play, the Montreal Impact still need to make personnel choices on the field for the last 2 games of the season. Being in a tight '' Canadiana '' race against the Vancouver Whitecaps will be an important motivation factor for the club to finish off the season.
While still keeping a competitive edge, there is a delicate balance between finishing the season on a good note, resting key players and giving time to players that have not played much (bench players and younger ones) . Outside being a fly on the wall in staff meetings at Stade Saputo, it will be hard to figure out in advance what the exact plans for the last 2 games.
You could say that by October 27th, all questions will be answered without a doubt.
Think of the children
Is it time to partially overhaul the team and play the young players and see what they can offer?
Andrew Wenger has the lead in playing time and games played among the 5 candidates listed above. In a 2-striker formation/setup, the Impact 2012 first overall choice has not shown a lot in the game against Houston but it's a learning experience. His physical presence and under-estimated striker IQ are a natural match to play alongside Marco Di Vaio. Joey Saputo can always get another DP striker to continue to build the team but re-integrating Andrew Wenger now and prepare him o
Bryan Arguez was loaned for 3 months to FC Edmonton of the NASL. His profile is interesting as a central/defensive midfielder with some interesting ball skills (during a reserve game vs Toronto FC). But I am not sure what are the plans for him when you see a crowded midfield with Patrice Bernier, Felipe Martins and Collen Warner.
Talking of crowded midfield, Calum Mallace comes in mind when looking to give playing time. Slotted in as a right back since preseason, the natural midfielder showed some interesting things against the Houston Dynamo. Again, the midfield is crowded but it would be added value for Mallace to play. As per the Jesse Marsch and co. evaluation of the player, they must have a pretty good idea of what he can and cannot do.
The jewel of the Montreal Impact Academy and the first ever MLS Home Grown player of the club, Karl Ouimette is in that age in which challenging for playing time is key in his development. Rome is not built in 1 day but Ouimette has shown physical and mental soccer maturity beyond his years. Playing alongside Matteo Ferrari and/or Alessandro Nesta could be very helpful. Will Nesta be rested to let Ouimette get some playing time?
I Need Playing Time
Sinisa Ubiparipovic was the super-sub of the Montreal Impact at the beginning of the season. With 2 goals in 3 games started, the creative midfielder spent most of the season on the bench plus some time off due to injuries. His ''80's Panini sticker'' old-school playmaking abilities really makes him attractive to watch him play. I would have hoped to have seen him play more minutes.
Dennis Iapichino is the Swiss left back that came on in mid-season and showed some interesting things on the left side. Very eager to go up and offer passing solutions on the left flank, he watched the last few games on the bench. With a switch to a ''3-CB formation'' and Jeb Brovsky being '' Mr. Reliability'' as a left back, his potential gaming time will be determined in pre-season when we see what the Montreal Impact goes for as per personnel choices (players) and tactics/formatino.
Zarek Valentin played in a good sequence of games and tallied good minutes as he was designated the right back of the team. Unfortunate timing of injuries did not let him get back as a starting 11 with a formation change at the back and with Hassoun Camara and Jeb Brovsky taking over the outside back positions. At his age and already-accumulated experience, Valentin is and will continue to be a core player for the Montreal Impact.
Evan Bush, aka Captain America, matched Hugo Lloris save for save in the international friendly against Olympique Lyonnais at Stade Saputo. the 26-year old Ohio native will be looking for more playing time with what he can offer and his age. With Troy Perkins in the picture, this might be very hard. We are not aware of Perkins' contract situation.Even if the ex-Timbers goalkeeper is a free agent at the end of this year, he making a great case to sign with the Montreal Impact, satisfying the technical and coaching staff in his performances.
Is it now or never for Evan Bush?
What do you think? With 2 games left and out of the playoffs, what should the Montreal Impact do?