Is It Time For the Impact to Panic?Tough early start to the season shows preseason critics may have been right about IMFC's form
by Dominic Tremblay | Thursday, March 27, 2014
We are now 3 games into the 2014 MLS season and there are still 0 points on the board for the Montreal Impact. It seems all those preseason power rankings that predicted the Impact to be one of the worst teams in the league might’ve been right after all.
But let’s not panic too quickly here. When the Front Office decided to replace Marco Schallibaum with Frank Klopas, one of the strong points in favor of the Greek manager is that he was able to turn the Chicago Fire around after a disastrous start of the 2013 season. If the trend continues he’ll have once again the opportunity to prove his ability to turn a season around in 2014.
In 2013 Klopas’s Chicago Fire started the season with 7 points in 10 games, but he was able to turn the tide by adding centerback Bakary Soumare and league MVP Mike Magee to the roster. If Magee did not miss his penalty shot against the Impact on the last game of the season, Chicago would’ve been in the playoffs and not Montreal. Coincidently, rumours of new offensive additions to the roster have been published.
When it’s not Olivier Occean from FC Kaiserslautern stating his interest in joining the Montreal Impact, it’s Argentine Ignacio Piatti from San Lorenzo being linked with IMFC as the potential third designated player. Wouldn’t it be better if Klopas also used his knowledge of MLS players and try to trade with another team in order to shift momentum in the team’s favour? Getting players from outside the league also means that a longer adaptation time could be needed before that player can perform up to his potential and help on the pitch.
As a new manager, Klopas still needs time to better know his players and understand what they can bring to the table. He seems confident enough that the team can get back to the winning side.
“The work rate has been fantastic, this leads me to believe that this will pass,” he said about the current form following the defeat versus the Seattle Sounders last Sunday.
Truly, the team has not been playing so badly, after all they lead the league in shots with 57 and shots on goal with 20. That’s 12 shots and 4 shots on goal more than the next best teams. What the team lacks this year is finishing and that’s about to change with Di Vaio back on the field.
With Marco Di Vaio and Andres Romero both coming back from their suspensions against the Philadelphia Union on Sunday, we can finally say that 2013 is over and that it is now time to turn the page and go forward for the Montreal Impact. Klopas will now have a little bit more offensive options to shake things up in the later stages of games when he needs a spark and with the play of Heath Pearce during the last 15 minutes of Sunday’s game, we can believe that the defense might be a little bit more experienced for the upcoming games.
Let’s wait before hitting that panic button, it’s a long season and there is plenty of time for Frank Klopas to turn the ship around.
NEXT UP: March 29 – Montreal Impact vs. Philadelphia Union, PPL Park, Chester, Pennsylvania, 4 p.m., MLS Live, TVA Sports.