After enjoying a good run this season as a starter, Dominic Oduro seemed to be the odd man out behind Lucas Ontivero and Michael Salazar during the summer. But like the whole team, he has awoken after a 3-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes, a win that kickstarted the Montreal Impact's final push towards clinching a playoff berth.
His key goal against Orlando City SC on October 2nd, in Florida, virtually qualified the Impact to the final dance. A veteran in MLS, Oduro's speed has always been his best asset but has technically and tactically evolved since joining Montreal 2 years ago.
His influence during the 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls, last Sunday, will not be very visible on any chalkboard or heat maps but his relentless effort to run with the ball, take some pressure off his team while defending properly has been key for Montreal.
And during those crucial moments, Oduro was able to free himself to get a long pass or run with the ball to stretch out the Red Bulls as much as he can, giving more space and time to Matteo Mancosu. The Impact midfield also took advantage of Oduro's run as the Ghanaian winger was as much a target as Mancosu was, but in a different role.
It was a humble afternoon for Oduro numbers-wise but what he has brought so much to the squad energy-wise, effort-wise
When I named him the 2014-2015 CONCACAF MVP, assuming Club America was not going to thrash the Impact during the away leg at the Big O, I was convinced of the qualities of a player that has his technical limitations; something he has never really denied but has definitely improved on.
If Red Bull Arena is hell for the Impact, maybe if the Bleu-Blanc-Noir can find the same kind of spirit they had at Azteca Stadium to transform that hell into a haven as they try and claim a piece in MLS history.
See you in December.