The recent success of the Impact is often attributed to the same few individuals, Drogba, Piatti, Ciman and as of late Mauro Biello. However, there is always one man that flies under the radar, and thats Evan Bush. Bush signed with the Impact in 2011 while the club was still in the NASL.
It was during that season that he also won the NASL Golden Glove award for goalkeeper with the best goals against average and was named the Impacts defensive player of the year. Bush looked to have a bright future with the club and was poised to be the keeper of the future.
All was well and good for Bush leading into the Impacts inaugural MLS season in 2012. He had just signed a new deal with the club and was ready to play big MLS minutes. Then as is the norm with any new team trying to make a name for themselves in a new league, the Impact began bringing in bigger name players to fill out their roster.
This foray into the transfer market left Bush as the Impacts third string keeper, behind Greg Sutton and Donovan Ricketts. The season which had so much promise for Bush ended up being a dud, as he only started one game for the Impact. The ensuing 2013 campaign was more of the same for Bush, as he only started nine games, eight of which were non-MLS contests.
This brings us to the Impacts infamous 2014 season, a season which was marred by ugly losses and a last place finish in the MLS table. Although the season was a disaster for the club overall, the goal-tending situation was interesting to watch. Bush finally began getting more MLS starts and was showing his worth in all of them. Perkins who was still considered by the club to be the first string keeper was put on the hot seat.
Bush ended up playing 13 MLS games (21 overall with the CCL) and recorded a clean sheet in 3 of them, 6 total when including the CCL once again. As any soccer fan would tell you, measuring a goalies worth entirely based on clean sheets is flawed, although it was evident that in these performances Bush showed the spark and tenacity needed to be an MLS keeper.
The only good thing to come out of the Impacts 2014 season was a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League. As any Impact fan or Montrealer for that matter would know, the clubs legendary run was unlike any other clubs in MLS history. Evan Bush started all these games except one, the ill-fated final at the Olympic Stadium. It was during this dream-like run that Evan Bush showed us all just how good he is.
Although the Impact failed to win the tournament, Bush's efforts were rewarded as he was named the tournaments best goalkeeper. The tremendous form Bush exhibited during the CCL transitioned into the MLS season, where he showed us all once again how talented he truly is.
This talent shined brighter than ever on May 23rd 2015. Dallas' Matt Hedges had just the scored in the 77th minute to bring Dallas within one goal. The next thirteen minutes were an absolute clinic by Evan Bush. I remember cheering louder than ever for Bush's saves that night. He put the team on his back, and finally the fans had noticed.
This season has been one of great promise for the Impact. They have arguably the best CB in the entire league and signed one of the biggest strikers in soccer history, all while fighting for a playoff spot. Its easy for us to get lost in the excitement of Laurent Ciman and Didier Drogba, but we mustn't forget about the man backstopping them. The consummate professional and unsung hero of the Impact, Evan Bush.