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Impact to Meet Familiar Face in Season-opener?

Former midfielder rumored to be headed out west . . .

MLS: Eastern Conference Knockout Round-New York Red Bulls at Chicago Fire
Felipe - Off to Vancouver?
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Could Montreal unexpectedly be facing former midfielder Felipe Martens in their Opening Day clash with Vancouver Whitecaps?

Strong rumors, emanating mainly out of New York, over the last 24-48 hours, suggest it’s a distinct possibility.

Felipe while fit, was omitted entirely from the Red Bulls 18-man squad that faced Honduran side CD Olimpia last night in CONCACAF Champions League play, giving momentum to stories emerging about a probable move to BC.

Post-match comments by NYRB coach Jesse Marsch, a well-known admirer of the Brazilian, further fueled the rumor-mill. In fact, it sounded like he was already talking about a former player;

“Felipe has been an important guy around here and he really has balanced our midfield out the right way,” said Marsch. “But we also know that moving forward that Tyler (Adams) is going to be a big piece of that, Sean Davis is going to be a big piece of that, we think Mark Rzatkowski is going to be a very good player.”

“I think there will be clarity in the next couple days,” added Marsch.

MLS: D.C. United at New York Red Bulls
Marsch/Felipe - Parting of the ways?
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Felipe had been the subject of speculation over recent weeks, with the Red Bulls eyeing up Vancouver central defender, Tim Parker. It all adds up. Parker has not agreed terms with the Whitecaps.

NYRB team-mate, Bradley Wright-Phillips, also seemed to indicate Felipe was on his way. “The guy was quality when he was here. Even up to his last game, he gave 100 percent and you can’t fault the man. Good luck to him. We move on.”

Another player, Tony Tchani, definitely won’t face the Impact, Sunday. The experienced defensive midfielder yesterday moved to Chicago Fire for $150,000 targeted allocation money. Vancouver has used the funds to acquire the services of former England u21 international Jordon Mutch (26) from Crystal Palace FC on a 12-month loan.

Mutch is in Vancouver currently, however no official announcement has yet emerged, so the chances of him lining out against Montreal, Sunday, are at the moment, at best slim.

Mutch’s best season in Premier League was 2013/14, notching 7 goals for a relegated Cardiff City. He’s been on the bench for Palace three times this season without seeing action, and last made an appearance in The Championship, while on loan to Reading FC last April.