Despite not playing over the weekend, the Montreal Impact has not only enjoyed some much needed rest but results elsewhere in MLS has kept the club above the infamous red line. With Toronto FC and Orlando City losing over the weekend and the Philadelphia Union tying the Chicago Fire (2-2), the Bleu-Blanc-Noir still holds the 6th spot in the Eastern Conference but barely.
MLS Playoff chances : 72%
Orlando City and Seattle are both on the fringes of the @MLS playoff race entering today's game: pic.twitter.com/1ca4BGTNob— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) August 16, 2015
Paul Carr of ESPN is giving the Impact a 72% to make the 2015 MLS playoffs. With 13 games left , including 6 at Stade Saputo, the sprint-like marathon has already started for the club that has brought in more talent up-front in Didier Drogba and Johan Venegas.
The hope is to see Drogba energize the crowd and his teammates with his vast experience and most importantly, his goal-scoring pedigree.
Even if the club has not soared in the MLS standings during the first half of the season, as it did under Marco Schallibaum, staying in the thick of the playoff race is even more important. If the Impact could transform themselves into the Houston Dynamo teams under Dominic Kinnear, that momentum could make them one the most dangerous teams in the Eastern conference.
With the top 6 teams in each conference going to the MLS playoffs, the odds are in favor of the Impact though everything is so fragile. With a 5-point cushion over last-placed Chicago and 6 points away from third place Columbus, nothing is guaranteed.
As a whole city awaits Didier Drogba's first minutes as a Montreal Impact, the upcoming game against a fierce conference rival, the Philadephia Union, will be extremely important for both teams but even more for the Bleu-Blanc-Noir that has to capitalize on all its home games.
The good news is that the club still has a few games on hand that could catapult them higher in the standings. The bad news is that Montreal will be playing 14 games ( 13 MLS + Canadian Championship) in 10 weeks.