The Two Solitudes Derby is one of the most exciting rivalries in Major League Soccer. For some players, this rivalry runs even deeper. Today we take an in-depth look at some of the players who have seen some of their most passionate moments in the Two Solitudes Derby. This time, the spotlight is on Patrice Bernier and Hassoun Camara.
This is the third part in a series covering the Montreal Impact - Toronto FC rivalry. (See previous parts: 1, 2)
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Notre capitaine, Bernier is a native of Brossard and an Impact legend. True to his Canadian roots, Bernier actually spent some time in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League before switching to the beautiful game.
He got his soccer start with the Montreal Impact way back in 2000, and played three seasons before leaving to ply his trade in Scandinavia. While there, he became a regular member of the Canadian national team, seeing 53 caps since November 2003. When the Impact joined MLS in 2012, Bernier returned to his hometown club.
Bernier is definitely the most passionate of all Two Solitues Derby players on either side of the pitch. He has scored two goals against Toronto FC, a feat that twenty players have achieved. Including Bernier, just 9 are still active and able to increase their tally
Additionally, his red card in the Voyageurs Cup semifinal game on June 1st 2016 makes him the most disciplined derby player in history, with 4 yellows and that red. Montreal is historically the chippier side, with 57 cards to Toronto's 36, and Bernier is the biggest offender.
His deeper understanding of the rivalry, being a Montreal area native, is likely what leads to a more passionate (if occasionally reckless) game for Bernier in Two Solitudes Derby matches, and it is something that I as a fan very much appreciate.
Like Bernier, Hassoun Camara is among the most aggressive of the derby players, having earned four yellow cards and one second-offense red back in 2014.
Camara is a native of Paris suburb Noisy-le-Sec, and played in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 before joining the Impact in 2011, the club’s final year in the lower divisions. Camara was named the team’s MVP that season, and was one of just four players (another being current first-choice goalkeeper Evan Bush) to stay on the roster for the leap to MLS.
Camara is often a chippy player, but his love for the city has grown. As reported in the Gazette recently, Camara wants to remain in Montreal after he retires and open a restaurant. He would also like to continue working with the Impact, if possible. His love for all things Montrealais definitely shows when TFC is the opponent.
Sanna Nyassi, who left the Impact after the 2014 season, sits just behind Camara with four yellow cards. Toronto's most disciplined player is former full back Richard Eckersley, now playing for Oldham Athletic in England’s League One, with one red card and three yellows.
Active players who could still overtake these two in the derby disciplinary record include Laurent Ciman, who has earned two yellow cards and one straight red, and Wandrille Lefevre, with three yellows. Jonathan Osorio’s lone red card is the highest disciplinary count among active Toronto FC players.