The 2020 season is almost upon us, some records will fall and some new milestones look set to be passed.
Evan Bush, should he begin the season as first choice, has every chance of becoming the first Impact player in history to reach 200 MLS regular season appearances. He needs another 24 outings.
Including Play-off matches he’s on 184, so another 16 would see him reach the double century in regular and post-season play.
While on the subject of appearance records, another could fall by mid-season, but much depends on the ‘will he go or will he stay’ scenario surrounding Ignacio Piatti. Nacho needs 17 more MLS games to surpass Patrice Bernier’s record of 151 MLS Regular Season outings for an outfield player. In doing so he would become only the third Impact player to reach the 150 appearances milestone in MLS.
The race is also on to become the next Impact MLS centurion. My money’s on Samuel Piette, but he’ll need to maintain his amazing consistency if he’s to do it in 2020. Piette is 30 short of the target, but hates to miss games, and with one ever-present campaign already behind him, there’s a fair chance come October he’ll become only the fifth Impact player to reach 100 MLS appearances. Anthony Jackson-Hamel has played in two MLS games more than Sam and needs another 28 appearances to reach 100.
Saphir Taider is still in the race to 100 too, but even should the Algerian have an ever-present, 34-game, MLS regular season, he’ll fall agonizingly short on 99. So Taider must wait until 2021.
Ignacio Piatti could claim another outfield appearance record with the Impact kicking-off the season in the CONCACAF Champions League. Evan Bush (again) holds the record for the Impact with 13 appearances in the continental competition, but Piatti (8 appearances) is only two short of the club appearance record for an outfield player in the international competition, currently held by Dilly Duka (10).
Apart from Bush and Piatti, of the current Montreal Impact squad, there’s only Anthony Jackson-Hamel (one substitute appearance), that’s previously played CONCACAF Champions League for the club, so a brand new experience awaits the vast majority of the squad next month in Costa Rica.
Marco Di Vaio’s record of 4 goals in the Champions League competition is also under threat. Piatti has two to his credit so far. Another three and he claims yet another club record.
While on the subject of Nacho Piatti and goalscoring, if the Argentinian steers clear of injury and remains on board, he should comfortably reach the 75-goal mark in MLS Regular Season play. So far, only 25 players in history have reached that milestone. The maestro needs 9 more goals to join the 75-club.
Interestingly too, should he score another 21 goals in all competitions, it will take Piatti to 100 competitive goals for Montreal Impact. Nacho managed exactly that tally in 2016, and if you exclude his injury ravaged 2019 season, he’s hit 19 and 16 in the previous two years. So if old father time hasn’t yet caught up with him, 100 goals may just be within reach. It’s a stretch of course, and the current turbulent nature of the (Piatti) stars must all align for it to happen, but surely not beyond this most special of footballers...
Finally, Montreal Impact’s fifth regular season win in 2020 will be the club’s 100th in MLS, and their 24th regular season goal will enable them to become the 18th MLS club to reach the milestone of 400 MLS goals.
Wonder who the scorer will be...