If you're a regular reader of the site, you'll be familiar with my continuous bleating about Marc Dos Santos. I have a real soft spot for the Ottawa Fury, and their head coach in particular. I'm not sure if it's because he brings a European/Latin style to an otherwise boring American league, or because he has brought so many former Impact players to Ottawa. It's probably a bit of both.
He is also exactly the kind of coach l'Impact de Montréal happen to be looking for. Coincidence? I doubt it.
If I were a betting man, I'd say he'll be the next coach of the Impact. He fits the mold perfectly, and has done the job before. He has everything we are looking for, including experience coaching in Latin America and a bilingual environment.
So, what could he bring to Montréal?
He understands the soccer market. Frank Klopas, as I've said before, was coaching an American team in an American league. We don't play that style. We don't want to see that style. He played defensively, hoping it was enough to not lose. Joey Saputo is on record saying he wants a European or Latin style of play. Free flowing soccer was always a problem with our coaches - yes, even Marco Schillibaum - that is not with Marc Dos Santos. He has drilled an attacking, and possession orientated style of play into the minds of his players in Ottawa. So much so, that they've gone 11 games undefeated this year. That streak speaks volumes when you consider that the Ottawa Fury are on a limited payroll compared to league heavyweights (whom they defeat regularly) and are only in their second year of play.
Dos Santos also has a winning mentality. It's not enough to merely compete. Competition without success is simply exercise. Dos Santos has brought that idea to life in Ottawa. The Fury are engaged in a struggle with the New York Cosmos and Minnesota United for first place right now, a team with nearly triple their payroll (by social media's estimate) and another moving to the MLS. While other coaches would blame a loss on the imbalance of resources and talent, it propels Dos Santos forward each match; much like a perpetual chip on his shoulder.
Thirdly, he understands our culture. He knows what type of player we want to see in Montréal. The Latin midfielder, the Italian veteran, the Francophone striker, the Québécois rookie are all concepts that are not new to him. He perfected the talents of players like Eduardo Sebrango and Pierre Rudolph-Mayard during his time in Montréal and earned us our first berth in the Champion's League, and a league title to boot.
Lastly, he knows personally the entire management staff at Stade Saputo. Both Joey Saputo and Mauro Biello are on good terms with Marc Dos Santos, and they all have history. There would be no transition period for him. He could, quite literally, hit the ground running.
Whether the Impact are looking at Marc, and whether he's looking at us remain to be seen. But if he does come back home to Montréal, let's hope he brings that winning mentality with him.