Well, there was a soccer game, and the Impact won 1-0 over the Houston Dynamo. That's about all that stood out from the game.
In a very boring affair between our Montreal Impact and the Houston Dynamo, the Impact were able to come away with a very important 3 points, keeping up with the rest of the Eastern Conference Contenders.
Defensive mistakes for both teams lead to chances on both ends, with both teams largely unable to convert their opportunities, especially the Impact.
While this is largely seen as a negative, the Impact were able to create a lot of offensive opportunities, even without the greatest of fluidity moving forward, which is a positive sign. All the more, they did this without star striker Didier Drogba.
Man of the Match: Hernan Bernardello
What a game from the Impact's newest signing.
I need to be honest, when it was reported that Bernardello was coming back for a second stint in Montreal, I wasn't all that excited, likely due to the memories of him disappointing my high expectations of him when he was here previously on a DP contract.
Now without those expectations of a DP player, Bernardello was "just another guy" to me, and boy did he out perform what I expected. Bernardello is a quality midfielder, capable of moving up and down the field, maintaining solid possession, and tackling efficiently. Essentially, he is a huge upgrade over both Evan Alexander and Callum Mallace, which was exceptionally apparent with Alexander on the opposite side of the field.
All in all, Bernardello played a fantastic game, one worthy of this Man of the Match Award.
Honorable Mention: Matteo Mancosu
Again, time for another honesty hour in this post.
When Mancosu was the player rumored to be coming to the Impact to play the role of Drogba's understudy, I was largely underwhelmed, seeing as he was coming from Serie B.
In the limited time he'd played thus far, he flashed some ability, but not enough to get me too excited for his first start against Houston. And yet again, I was wrong.
Mancosu consistently made tuns to give himself opportunity after opportunity, having trouble converting some grade A opportunities.
This was until he was able to chest down a ball to his knee and then half volley it into the back of the net. That was a quality finish from a quality MLS player. If not for Didier being there, Mancosu would be getting many more opportunities to shine. I hope he continues to impress in his limited opportunities.
Most Surprising: Coach Biello's Choice of Harry Shipp at RW, and Substitutions
When the Starting XI was announced, I loved the formation, I loved the players chosen, even the out of form Victor Cabrera playing, but there was one thing that stuck out like a sore thumb, and that was the choice of Harry Shipp at Right Wing in the formation. Now, don't get me wrong, I love Harry Shipp as a player, and he has been playing great as of late, but in no way is he a right winger. I knew from the beginning that this experiment would never work, with Shipp lacking the pace to really make a difference at that position.
When the change was made to bring Salazar on for him, you immediately saw that the Impact attack was suddenly much more dangerous. This is no coincidence. Shipp should have started where captain Patrice Bernier was, allowing him to Impact the game from a more natural position, with precision passing and offensive creativity.
Coach Biello also made some very interesting substitutions as the game went along. If you remember, this was an issue earlier in the season, one that seemed to have been solved recently, but reared its ugly head again against Houston.
I understand the idea that the Impact needed more offense in an effort to win the game, however having Dominic Oduro come on for Patrice Bernier was an interesting choice, to say the least. After that change, the Impact employed a very odd 4-2-4 formation, one which had even the Impact players look confused.
Let's hope the coach gets just a bit better in his substitution decisions.
Most Disappointing: Lack of Trust from Ignacio Piatti
Very simply, Piatti has issues trusting some players on the field. Mancosu made many runs where the ball should have been played to him by Piatti, but Nacho decided he wasn't to be trusted. Eventually, Piatti will trust him enough.
But that's just one man's opinion, let me know yours by commenting below!
Man of the Match Awards - Thus Far
Ignacio Piatti - 4
Laurent Ciman - 3
Didier Drogba - 3
Lucas Ontivero - 2
Kyle Bekker - 1
Micheal Salazar - 1
Victor Cabrera - 1
Hernan Bernardello - 1
N/A - 1