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Recent Success for the Montreal Impact Academy: Learn, Grow to make it to the Pros

With recent actions in the last 2 weekends for the Montreal Impact Academy teams, good results reflect the good work and patience of the Academy staff. But this is only the beginning and it's all about continuity.

Sofiane Benzaza

U21 : From The Academy to the Pros

Great news for Impact hopeful Mircea Ilcu who scored 2 goals against Toronto FC Academy at Stade Saputo this past weekend. This was one of the four quarter-final game of the 2012 CSL Championship playoffs. With the results of the other games known, the Impact will host the York Region Shooters for the semi-finals on the weekend of October 19 - 21.

It was a nice win, but made even nicer by defeating TFC. We continued this good streak we've been on recently, and despite being only our first ever playoff win, it is a 10th consecutive victory for us and we hope to make it 12 in a row. The level of play was not extraordinary, but we played the way we are capable of playing.

Philippe Eullaffroy, Montreal Impact Academy Director and U21 Head Coach.

quotes courtesy of the Montreal Impact

Watching the Montreal Impact U21 team is a great opportunity to look at the young potential upcoming stars of the Academy. It's great news to see Mircea Ilcu,a talented forward, coming back from injuries and proving his worth. The 21-year old forward is at the same stage that Karl W. Ouimette was before he signed his professional contract. If still in the plans of the Impact for next year, Ilcu will bid for a place in first team and hopefully get some playing time with the MLS Reserve team next year. It's unfortunate that his injury in pre-season with the MLS club stalled his progression but he is back in full force.

Wandrille Lefevre is another U21 hopeful that has had some time with the MLS reserve and regularly practicing with the first team. A ''older'' player at 23, Lefevre will be hoping to get a professional MLS contract with the Montreal Impact soon. The versatile midfielder has a heavy precise left shot with a knack at goal.

Other hopefuls like the goalkeeper Jason Beaulieu, Maxime Tissot the left back and Zakaria Messoudi (midfielder) will definitively have a chance to impress the first team and Nick De Santis for next season.


MTL: GK - Jason Beaulieu; D - Amine Meftouh, Kai Morton, Karl W. Ouimette, Hugo Lapointe-Senécal; M - Zakaria Messoudi (Philippe Lincourt-Joseph 80'), Wandrille Lefevre (Jeremy Gagnon-Laparé 87'), Dominique Morin, Maxim Tissot; F - Yacine Ait-Slimane (Anthony Jackson-Hamel 55'), Mircea Ilcu (Charles Joly 74')
Subs not used: GK - Hicham Kettani; M - Felix Cardin; F - Victor Ndiaye

TOR: GK - Adam Street; D - Roberto Galle, Eli Roubos, Alain Sargeant, Tyler Pasher (Christian Campanella 70') ; M - Joshua Janniere, Sergio Camargo, Mario Orestano, Michael Wagenknecht, Nicholas Lindsay (Adrain Avila 67'); F - Mario Kovacevic

Subs not used: GK - Alexander Pothemount; D - Deon Rose, Adam Bradshaw; M - Francisco Montoya

Goals from Ilcu (Messoudi) 9' , Ilcu (Morin) 63'

Montreal Impact U18 / U16 : A Win and a Draw

Facing the Met Oval team , the Montreal Impact traveled to Queens, NY to continue the USSDA adventure for its U16 and U18 teams, on October 7th.

The U18 team, led by head coach Wilfried Nancy, started first with a 12:00 pm start against the Met Oval U18 team. A 3-0 win was what Wilfried Nancy's boys got with goals from Emad Houache (39') and a brace for Charles Joly (78', 84')

The U16 team, led by head coach Jason Di Tullio, played at 2:30pm and got out of Queens with a 3-3 tie. Goals for the Impact came from David Choiniere (8') and Claudio Di Zazzo (13' ,57').

The U18 and U16 Montreal Impact teams are respectively ranked 7th and 8th in the Eastern Conference of the USSDA League (12-team conference).

Outside the results and victories, the importance of the U18/U16 teams level of progression is key. While still instilling the value of winning and victory, the role of the U18/U16 teams are to make these young boys/men ready for the respective next level until the U21 level.

When Mount Royal Soccer recently talked with Wilfried Nancy (after the Impact faced the Red Bulls Academy), the U18 head coach made it clear

The results are secondary, in the sense that if we respect our playing principles, our game identity, results will come.

And the results are starting to come. The process of evolution and progress has to be looked at over a season and beyond when talking about Academy players development. Yet the winning culture that has defined the Montreal Impact needs to be there and from what we have seen and heard, these young men are in good hands.