Marathon not a sprint, not just the season but the rebuild the Impact is currently under. We may have judge the good that was being displayed by the team at the beginning of the season too quickly.
After a few strong performances at the beginning of the season, win or lose, the Impact have been missing the mark in their last two outings. Some fans are disappointed in the product others are disappointed in the performances but are fans being too demanding or is their disappointment justified?
First off, the product is obviously nowhere near perfect. If comparisons were to be made, some players would not make the lineup in most MLS teams, but the Impact is doing what they can with what they have. At the very beginning of the season, management was clear, they are in a process that will take time and are rebuilding towards a quality product.
The first obvious sign of the rebuild is the amount of youth that was picked up during the off-season and the quality coaching staff that was appointed. While the wins might not come easy, they are still possible! The Impact still has quality on the pitch at some spots, but it will come down to the amount of fight that they will put day in and day out and in every single game from whistle to whistle.
That is where their performances comes into question. The Impact showed resiliency and fight in their first few games. They were structured on the pitch and worked as a unit. In the pass two games what we’ve seen is a lack of fight and a team that look completely different when faced with a challenge. The designated players, while they will obviously play an important role, have become key points in the chances of success of failure. Some players still have managed to excel to a certain degree; Bush has been surprisingly dominant even if the scoreline doesn’t reflect it, Vargas has shown he is a free kick threat and Fanni has become a key player in the defense.
Moving forward, the Impact needs to evaluate their performances individually and as whole since the beginning of the season. Compare the amount of work they put in in the first few games in comparison to the last two. In their first six games, the Impact picked up six points which isn’t horrible but averaging 1 point per game would put them in a worse position than last season. In the following six games, four of them will be played at home, the Impact will have a great opportunity to pick up some points and need to do it.
It will be interesting to see the length of the Fanni injury and the effect it will have. This injury may force a shuffle in the lineup, playing with four back instead of five. Furthermore, it will be interesting to see if the Impact are able to get back their fighting spirit.
What are your thoughts? What are the key issues in the lack of success of the Impact? Let us know in the comments below.