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Shadow of Olympus: Professional Soccer NaySayers , Haters?

Shadow of Olympus looms over Saputo Stadium and the Montreal Impact?
Credit: Montreal Impact
Shadow of Olympus looms over Saputo Stadium and the Montreal Impact? Credit: Montreal Impact

Inspired by excellent piece and fan post by SBNation brother, Andrew Berkshire of Habs Eyes on the Prize ,I decided to tackle , much earlier than expected, the haters/naysayers spring of discontent and misplaced sarcasm. I suggest to read the excellent fanpost by my SBNation brother by clicking on the magical link... here

Montreal being Habs country, it is pretty hard for any professional sports team to establish itself equal to the Montreal Canadiens. Habs is the religion of the city and hockey is king, queen and prince in the province of Quebec. Ask the Montreal Alouettes: the CFL team has almost become a dynasty and is a winning organisation. Although there is a strong media and faithful fan following, the Montreal Alouettes have had many challenges to promote the team and organization, proportionally to their success.

How will the Black, White and Blue fare in this Bleu, Blanc Rouge market? Will the ghosts of the Montreal Expos haunt the Montreal Impact?

More after the jump......

Potential of big crowds at Olympic Stadium but...

As much as having big crowds at the '' Big O '' , the Big O has not always been a haven of peace and tranquility. A symbol of the 1976 Summer Olympics and home to the defunct Montreal Expos, many Montreal Impact fans at the home opener were synced up to the same frequency: '' I haven't been here since the Expos left'' , '' Still looks as old and rusty'' '' Will the roof leak again? '' ... . A constant reminder of a financial hole for taxpayers, the Olympic Stadium did not leave great memories to everyone even thought many baseball must shed a tear of remembrance to their beloved Expos.

I want to get into MLS and Soccer but the Stade Saputo/Olympic Stadium is so far east...

One of the excuses that '' doomed '' the Montreal Expos came back very quickly to cast a shadow on the Montreal Impact. Once again, the curse of the Big O wants to come back and cast a dark shadow in the East end of Montreal. One of the Montreal Expos' failing , identified by fans and media, was not having a downtown stadium. It would have been great to have a downtown soccer stadium but cost wise and the ability to attract sell-out crowds at every game was probably seen a challenge for Joey Saputo and not necessarily cost-effective. I don't base myself on any studies or metrics but building a stadium in downtown would be much more expensive than the east-end (Real Estate 101).

Parlez-Vous Francais?

Two articles caught my attention: one from Stephane Laporte and the other by Philippe Cantin. Google Translate is your best friend for the non-french speaking audience.

The most recent one by Stephane Laporte is entitled '' Se Foutre du Foot'' . I read the post many times and I feel a sort of sarcasm in the writing so I am not sure how to exactly take it . But he does make a point of rightfully pointing out that soccer is not a religion in Quebec , more of a hobby and it needs to be an event, a spectacle. He urges, Montreal Impact owner, Joey Saputo to have a local hero that will inspire young quebec kids to grow up wanting to be like that local hero, wearing the Black, White and Blue. If he only kept it at that, I would have been fine but he swerves into a monologue full of assumptions and hypothesis.

Among these hypothesis, we have:

  • Soccer never caught up in North America because it was called Football and people got confused: maybe in 1977 but since WiFi was created and Japanese toilets can talk.
  • Montreal impact should already have had a local star to replace Joey Saputo as the central figure: Immaculate Conception anyone? Let's skip training centres and building up from the bottom and genetically create this super star from antimatter .


The Philippe Cantin article is from August 2011, an editorial on Jesse Marsch, entitled '' L'expérience a éclipsé la langue '' : Experience has eclipsed the language. Jesse Marsch was barely introduced as the MLS head coach for the Montreal Impact and he is already challenged for not speaking French. but still praises Marsch's CV.

The quote that immediately made me doubt of his creditiblity when talking soccer was the following:
Compte tenu de la popularité du soccer dans les pays de la francophonie, les candidats compétents étaient sûrement nombreux.
Given the popularity of soccer in the francophone countries , qualified candidates were probably numerous
I will let you ponder on that and focus on ''probably'' and ''francophone countries'' without a mention of MLS knowledge as per Expansion Draft, Super Draft and trades.

It's disappointing to see some members of '' mainstream '' media talk about the Montreal Impact, without really talking about soccer, its structure, youth training, MLS elite requirements and more. Having local talent from players to coaches is important for any team, any province, any state but wouldn't make more sense to start with the best available to help you build an expansion team with a strong clear process? Do we have to abide to politics right away without giving a chance to the source and core of the Montreal Impact: '' Tous Pour Gagner ''