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Can The Montreal Impact handle the Favorite Tag in Major League Soccer?

From an ''unknown'' expansion team hovering in the middle, lower-middle of the pack in 2012, the Montreal Impact have jumped to the top of the class in MLS after 3 wins in 3 games. Is the favorite tag too early, too heavy for the 2nd year MLS club?

Coach Schällibaum , What Does It Mean To Be Favorite?
Coach Schällibaum , What Does It Mean To Be Favorite?

Accolades, Power Rankings, Sexy Headlines are praising the Montreal Impact early in the 2013 season. What is a an obviously deserved status in results. effort and positive aura around a club that has kept 80-90% of its 2012 roster. Part of a logical path of continuity, the Montreal Impact wanted to continue the positive momentum in 2012, led by Swiss MLS Rookie Head Coach , Marco Schällibaum.

It was the first time that [the team] was favorite. When you have more points than the other team, you are always a favorite [to win] - Marco Schällibaum

Schällibaum does stay grounded when it comes to the team's new status. With the caution of a coach that has seen a lot in Switzerland and fans being happy about the team's status,we sense a balance between expectations and deserved credit.

The excitement among fans is evident and well deserved after a desert of recognition in 2012 among MLS observers. The Montreal Impact have been given the default Expansion tag with not a deeper analysis, at least from some.

Alessandro Nesta's Injury: The Inter Milan Colors Curse

Without wanting to cast a cloud of '' Doom & Gloom '' , the Impact's success (and ''favorite'' status) is closely intertwined with Nesta's availability to play games and perform as well as he did for 2 games and 12 minutes. The Montreal Impact confirmed that the Italian defender will be out for a period of 2-3 weeks.

Between Nelson Rivas that is already injured and young players looking for playing time, the Impact's central defense will need to go through a mini pre-season camp quickly. Familiarity and knowing the game plan will not be too hard as Hassoun Camara and Matteo Ferrari have already played together.

Is it time to give more playing time to Karl W. Ouimette?

The first of the Academy to make it to the Pro team, Ouimette might benefit from some playing time if he is called upon sooner than later (if more injuries come up, for e.g)

Will Zarek Valentin see the pitch to fill in as a right back?

With Jeb Brosvky being as comfortable on the right and on the left, Schällibaum will choose between Valentin on the right or Iapichino on the left. With Valentin not being once on the 18-man game day roster once this season. More likely to be on the trading block, would be feasible to see him play to showcase him?

So You Are A Favorite

And how do you handle it? This early in the season, we might talk more of over-stated perception on a deserved but pre-mature winning streak. Though, it is the fruit of hard work from 2012 that continued to take on in 2013 with different ideas. Schällibaum's ideas obviously fit with the club's philosophy and the stigma of constantly losing away is a monkey that is almost off the Impact's back.

Marco Schällibaum admitted himself that the game against Toronto FC was the Impact's hardest game, even after playing the Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers. That admission proves realism while still aiming for the 3 points before anything else.

The Montreal Impact is no Sporting Kansas City or the LA Galaxy in being able to impose its game and style at home and away. Can it sustain a winning streak and accumulate precious points before a difficult summer?

A lot of answers will come in the next 3 games against the New York Red Bulls, Sporting Kansas City and the LA Galaxy ( a game that might be re-scheduled to accommodate the Galaxy's CCL fixture)