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Impact and High-scoring Road Trips - What is it About Fall?

After last night’s four goal haul, wonders why mid-September produces most Impact away-day, goal-fests...

MLS: Montreal Impact at Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Saphir Taider is congratulated by team-mates after putting the Impact 2-1 in front on the stroke of half-time at Vancouver last night. The Impact went on to win 4-2, the sixth time they’ve hit four or more road goals in an away MLS game.
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

I know where I was the last time Montreal Impact scored four on the road. BMO Field to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic acrobatically score his 500th career goal.

I had been down in Toronto working, and what do you do when at a loose end on a Saturday evening? Go to the match of course.

15 September 2018 was the date, and of course I was keeping close tabs on my phone for news of the Impact at Philadelphia the same evening. It was the inevitable groan and ‘here we go again feeling’ when early news filtered through that Union had scored after only 11 mins.

But the game was to turn midway through the half and the Impact led by the break. Goals from Alejandro Silva (2), Saphir Taider and the only one ever in Impact colours from Quincy Amarikwa sealed a 4-1 success.

So what is it about this particular part of September? Montreal Impact has scored 4 or more goals on six occasions on the road ever, and four of those occasions have fallen between the dates of 8-20 September.

The first time was in 2013 at Gillette Stadium, one Patrice Bernier will remember well having converted two first half penalties. The Revs lost goalkeeper Matt Reis to a red card in giving away the first of those spot-kicks after only 5 mins. Marco di Vaio weighed in with a second-half brace to secure a 4-2 success.

Then in September 2017, at BMO Field, Montreal recorded their only-ever 5-goal haul on the road in MLS. They lead 5-1 until late in the game when Tosaint Ricketts bagged a brace to add respectability for Toronto. Piatti (2), Jackson-Hamel (2) and Donadel were the Impact marksmen in a 5-3 win. Until Ricketts’ markers in fact, the Impact had scored all the game’s goals, with Romanian centre-back Deian Boldur putting through his own goal for TFC’s opener.

And then to last night... Okwonkwo, Taider, Piette and Quioto, all on target in the Impact’s latest 4 goal away-day jamboree.

Only once have the Montrealers managed four goals away from home in the first half of a season. May 2016, and it’s not a tale of victory, but one of glorious fight-back. Trailing 1-4 at MAPFRE Stadium to Columbus Crew, Dominic Oduro popped up in the 3rd minute of added time to complete a famous comeback. Impact’s other goals that evening came from Piatti (2) and Didier Drogba.

MLS: Montreal Impact at D.C. United
Matteo Mancosu celebrates one of his two goals with Ignacio Piatti in the 4-2 play-off victory at DC United in October 2016.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

And the other occasion when the Bleu/Blanc/Noir recorded four on tour? Well it was that famous 4-2 play-off victory at Ben Olsen’s DC United in October 2016. In fact Montreal led 4-0 through Ciman, Mancosu (2) and Piatti, before conceding twice after the 89th minute, robbing the Impact of a record away victory.

With another four September road dates coming up, Montreal’s band of travellers and their dedicated supporters back home will be hoping for ‘autumnal charm’ to once again weave it’s magic and a few high-scoring wins.

Goals on the road will be key to Canadian Championship and play-off participation, extending this already crazy and haphazard season of soccer.