With pre-season games right around the corner the final overview of players in the lineup is here. The forwards, even last season, did not have a definitive starter and it will be interesting to see if Garde can find that starter to install consistency in the lineup.
Anthony Jackson-Hamel: The native boy with the skyline tattooed on his arm developed very well in the 2017 season even in all the negativity that was around the team. Most of Jackson’s success though came off the bench last season, it will be interesting to see if he can show success as a starter given the opportunity. In the games he was chosen as a starter last season he was not as much of a threat as when he was a sub.
Matteo Mancosu: A player with quality but the question always remains is he worth 700,000$ a year? Seeing him miss golden opportunities last season where a striker of that caliber should be scoring but doesn’t was aggravating for fans to watch and most likely management as well. Last season his injury left him out of the line up for a few weeks and gave opportunity to native youngster Jackson-Hamel. There was rumours of Mancosu returning to Italy but after considering all his options he chose to stay in Montreal, in part because of the salary he had here. Under Garde’s reign Mancosu will not be guaranteed a start if he is under performing; it will be interesting if this pressure will work for or against him.
Nick DePuy: The 2017 first round draft pick of the Impact has a special career that could make him a threat if he develops his game. He is a centerback/midfielder turned forward because of his offensive threat but he has not been able to apply this in the MLS just yet. Last season Nick split his time between the Montreal Impact and Ottawa Fury, but did not get an abundant playing time. It was announced yesterday, January 31st that he had been loaned to the Danish club BK Fremad Amager. This is a 3 month loan with an option to renew until December. Nick, in his time with the Impact, did not show MLS quality. Hopefully, the time with this Danish club will provide him with enough playing time and professional experience to develop his play.
Dominic Oduro: Flash Oduro is a charismatic guy who always had the fans on his side. Last season, Oduro did not have as much of an impact on the pitch as he used to have. His speed was always his best attribute but at 32 years of age he seems to have slowed down. Given the midfield that the Impact have but the lack of depth they have on the right it will be interesting to see how Oduro is used. I see him being more of a substitution used to out speed the defensive lines of other teams at the end of games.
Michael Salazar: A player with a lot of heart that always gives his all on the pitch is always fun to see. On the other hand, to win an MLS Cup you need players who are MLS caliber or more. Salazar is strong is some situation given his fight and stature but gets caught when facing high caliber players. I see Salazar being a substitute but once again with the lack of depth on the right it will be interesting to see if he does get some starts and how many minutes he does get this season.
Rodrigo Aguirre: A short lived rumour of Rodrigo coming to the MLS and either landing in LA with the Galaxy or Montreal with the Impact. This rumour lost a lot of steam in the past few weeks.
The Impact acquired a new International Spot via Orlando for 100,000$ in General Allocation Money yesterday, January 31st. This spot could possibly be to acquire a forward to solidify the starter role. At the same time, it would be unfortunate for a big chunk of the Impact salary (Mancosu) to be sitting on the bench.
Stay tuned for the fan 11.