Many clubs in many countries use these kinds of championships as a way to field younger players and give them a chance at a greater level of soccer. With the rumours surrounding the possibility of fielding Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla, it may leave an opening for more young players to step on the pitch June 1, at BMO Field. All in all, up to six USL players could join their MLS clubs for ACC and CCL play.
Under new CBA, Caps can call up USL players for ACC & CCL play — 4 times per player for 4 days each time. Max of 6. ACC must be CDNs. 4/4— Marc Weber (@ProvinceWeber) May 26, 2016
We all know the attention Tabla got in the past few months and starting him in the Canadian Championship would be a good showcase for him—we remember FC Edmonton’s Hanson Boakai who almost sunk the Impact two years ago.
With that possibility on the table, why not add more? Here are players you have never—or very rarely—seen with the Impact first team that should have a case to make the trip down to Toronto for the ACC.
Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla
Let’s point out the obvious right away. Tabla was the one that started this whole discussion in the first place. I personally don’t think that the Montreal soccer bubble would have known that USL players we allowed to play in the ACC without his emergence. Every time Montreal plays on the road, the opposing team’s broadcast crew feel the need to make a segment on the 17 year-old.
Despite FC Montreal’s poor 1-8 record, Tabla has always found a way to shine through the cracks. When he starts, the team has a punch to it. When he steps off the bench, you notice the difference. And since the coaching staff switched him from winger to a number ten position, an area I am told he is more used to, he really seemed to have stepped up a notch. He holds the team’s first game-winning goal of 2016 in a 2-1 win over the Richmond Kickers last weekend.
If I had to choose only one FC Montreal player to join the Impact for the ACC that wasn’t Tabla, I would pick Charbonneau. Since I started covering the team back when they were playing their inaugural game at Olympic Stadium, Charbonneau had to be the most consistent player on the team.
Last year during the team’s post-mortem, head coach Philippe Eullaffroy gave his player of the year to winger Alessandro Riggi. It was a great choice, but I think there is a case to make for the 20 year-old right back from Gatineau, Quebec. One of the main reasons in my opinion is that a right back will never be as flashy as a winger.
However, Charbonneau is the only payer on the team to have played every game this season in USL. He also made a more than respectable game Saturday May 21, as a centre back in Montreal’s 1-0 loss to New York Red Bulls II.
This one is a bit of a wildcard. There is no doubt that Riggi is one of the best players on the team, the issue with him revolves around fitness. The 2015 FC Montreal player of the year was down with an injury during most if not all of the off-season
On again, off again due to injury this season, Riggi still has the talent to be considered. The 22 year-old also has the will power, even after games Riggi stays back and trains with the physical trainer. This guy wants in to the big leagues and knows this year is the year. He also got back to winning ways after opening his 2016 account last weekend in Richmond off a penalty kick.
Crépeau is already an Impact first team player but since he doesn’t really have the chance to play, I will still include him in this list.
In my opinion however, I don’t think Crépeau will play a game in the ACC. My reasoning behind this is that Eric Kronberg was the starting goalkeeper for FC Montreal’s game against New York Red Bulls II on May 21. Granted, James Pantemis and Crépeau returned from respective stints with the U20 and U23 national teams the day before but there was a possibility of starting David Paulmin and the team still went with Kronberg. This seemed like a fitness game for the ACC matchup with Toronto FC at BMO Field.
That being said, Crépeau has the upside to play this game. He was named on the USL Best XI numerous times in the 2015 season and was a revelation for the Canadian national team when they played the United States last February.
Zachary Sukunda (left back), Louis Béland-Goyette (central midfielder and captain), Marco Dominguez (central midfielder)