Having natural left-footed players is not easy for any club but the Montreal Impact have four of them. Marco Schällibaum has used that versatility to his and to the club's advantage. Jeb Brovsky has been the designated left back of the club since last year. Showing defensive intelligence, athletic abilities and courage, the right-footed midfielder has since been moved as a right back.
Injuries took Brovsky away from the left side (now the team's right back) but that also helped to reveal and give more playing time for younger players that need MLS minutes and experience.
Justin Mapp: Quiet Leader
He is not a left back , never was and never will but the left-footed magician is playing his best soccer with the Montreal Impact. Tagged as an underachiever , the 28-year old midfielder has shown enough to impress the club to want to keep him. With a re-negotiated contract during the off-season, Mapp is cap-friendly and is also coach friendly with his recent performances.
His head-turning performance against Toronto FC was the turning point of his season. Taking on defenders with his excellent skills with the ball at his feet, Justin Mapp is a difference maker on the field.
The promise of that young Project-40 graduate has surfaced again and hopefully it is here to stay for the player and the club.
Dennis Iapichino: Getting Better but...
has struggled to find playing time with the big club. The Swiss left back started 3 games this season but an injury sidelined him. Tagged many times as the weakest link of the Impact defense, his latest game against the Vancouver Whitecaps was his best game as a Montreal Impact.
If not tagged as the default starter for the future, his last game was positive but the club will need more stability and offensive crosses into the box.
And this takes us to Maxime Tissot.
Maxime Tissot: Academy Graduate
Part of the 2013 youth movement at the club, Maxime Tissot was always tagged as the future left back of the club, at least the one that might make it from the Academy. Surrounded by allies such as Philippe Eullafroy, Academy Director and ex- U21 team coach, Tissot provides speed and quality crosses with a cool head for such a young age.
He is not the next Ashley Cole of the world but his evolution and maturity at such a young age is good news for the club. His bad first start against Toronto FC is an after tought by now but it is a lesson that he will never forget.
Blake Smith: The Menace from Texas
The stars at night are big and bright
Deep in the heart of Texas
The Texan midfielder also provides speed and great crossing skills, something he demonstrated against Real Salt Lake. His well taken corner kick led to the dramatic Matteo Ferrari game winning goal. He represents another option on the left side with blazing speed.
Listen to his post-game comments right here.
Except for Justin Mapp (for natural reasons), all south paws of the Montreal have a keen sense of style with fancy haircuts. But all of them have their say on the gamesheet and on the field to help Marco Schällibaum and even make him do the hard choices.