Montreal Impact: Wikis

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Montreal Impact
MontrealImpactLogo.png
Full name Montreal Impact Football Club
Nickname(s) The Impact
Founded 1992
Ground Saputo Stadium
Montreal, Quebec
(Capacity: 13,034)
Owner Canada Joey Saputo
Head Coach Canada Marc Dos Santos
League USSF D2 Pro League
2009 (USL1) Regular Season: 5th
Playoffs: Champions
Home colours
Away colours

Montreal Impact (French: Impact de Montréal) is a Canadian professional soccer team based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Founded in 1992, the team plays in the NASL Division of the USSF D2 Pro League, the second tier of the American Soccer Pyramid. The USSFD2 is a temporary professional soccer league created by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) in 2010 to last just one season, as a temporary compromise between the feuding United Soccer Leagues (USL) and the North American Soccer League (NASL).

The team plays its home games at Saputo Stadium, where they have played since 2008. The team's colors are blue and white. Their current head coach is Marc Dos Santos.

The Impact also operate a reserve team, Trois-Rivières Attak, which began play in the Canadian Soccer League in 2007. They also used to operate an indoor team (of the same name) in the NPSL (at the Bell Centre, then at Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard) with many of the same players, from 1997–1998 to 1999–2000.

Contents

History

The Impact club was founded in 1993 by the Saputo family, following the demise of Montreal Supra and its league (the Canadian Soccer League). They became a dominant club in the American Professional Soccer League (1993–1996) and the A-League (1997–2003), renamed the USL First Division (2004). The team did not compete during the 1999 A-League season. Their main rivals are the Rochester Rhinos and the Toronto Lynx prior to the latter's move to the USL Premier Development League.

Following a lacklustre first year, the Impact surprised the defending champion Colorado Foxes (1-0) on October 15, 1994 to claim their first league title. Subsequently, the team finished first or tied for first during the regular season in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2003 without making it back to the final. The Impact lost to archrivals Rochester in their first four playoff encounters, in 1996, 1998, 2002 and 2003, before finally defeating them in 2004 on route to their second title. The club was favoured to repeat in 2005, but after a near-flawless season (3 losses in 28 games) the Impact were ousted in the semi-finals by the eventual champions, the Seattle Sounders (2-2, 1-2). The team also won the inaugural Voyageurs Cup in 2002 and successfully defended this title from 2003 to 2008. In 2009 the Impact were crowned at home for their third title, beating the Vancouver Whitecaps FC by an aggregate score of 6-3 in a Cinderella ending to what had been a tumultuous season.

In 2004, the Impact finished first in the A-League's Eastern Conference before disposing of Rochester (1-0, 1-0), Syracuse (2-0, 1-1) and Seattle (2-0) in the playoffs to capture their second championship, 10 years after their first. The final, held in Montreal, saw an all-time record 13,648 fans at Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard Stadium (whose seating capacity for the day was adjusted from 10,100). The MVP was Mauricio Vincello who scored the winner at the 33rd minute of play. Fredrick Commodore sealed the game with a goal at the 78th minute.

At the gate, the Impact had always been solid within the league before 1999 with average crowds of 4,000-5,000. After disappointing seasons in 2000 and 2001 (where the average gate was between 2,000 and 3,000 people), the team had new record attendances in 2002 (over 5,000 on average), 2003 (over 7,000 on average), 2004 (over 9,000 on average) and 2005-2006 (over 11,000 on average). The all-time single game high is the 55,571 fans in attendance for the 2009 CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final against Santos Laguna (Mexico) at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

In 1999, the owners had a conflict with the league and withdrew the team from competition, but did play indoor soccer that year in the National Professional Soccer League. After resurfacing in 2000, the club went bankrupt during the 2001 season when the then-owners were Ionian. Administered until the end of the season by one of the original pillars, Joey Saputo, the club rose from its ashes in 2002, set up as a non-profit organization owned by the Quebec government, Hydro-Québec and Saputo. It also attracted many big-time sponsors such as the National Bank of Canada, Bell Canada and Coca-Cola, among others. The team's mandate is to develop local talent and to serve as a representative of Montreal for tourism. Since the Impact's renaissance in 2002, Quebec-born players have played a much more central role in the Canadian national team, after many years of non-selection. For the 2005 Gold Cup, players Gabriel Gervais, Sandro Grande Patrick Leduc, Adam Braz and Ali Gerba, as well as former player Patrice Bernier and Quebec-born Olivier Occean were all called to the national team and did well by most accounts. The visibility helped Grande and Ali, who both transferred to Scandinavia shortly after the tournament. On July 15, 2006 the team won the 200th victory in its history.

For the first time in its history, the Montreal Impact contracted players to 10 months out of the year in 2008. This extended training camp was a first for the Montreal Impact and many in the media have stated that it is a move to next level in professional soccer. They began the year at the soccer training centre, "Catalognia Soccerplex" before traveling to Italy for more training and three exhibition games against Italian clubs. They drew their first match 0-0 against third division Arezzo, lost their second match 1-0 against second division Frosinone and finally won their third encounter 1-0 against fourth division Cassino.

In 2008, the Montreal Impact won the Canadian Championship, gaining the chance to represent Canada in the CONCACAF Champions League. The tournament features the best teams in all of North and Central America and the Caribbean Islands. The Impact won two legs against Real Estali 1-0 and 0-0 to secure a spot in the tournament. Montreal competed then in the group stage where they defeated Joe Public FC of Trinidad 2-0 and 4-1 and CD Olimpia of Honduras 2-1 and 1-1. They finished off against Atlante FC of Mexico which they tied 0-0 and then lost 2-1.

On February 25, 2009, the team won the first leg of the quarterfinals match 2-0 against Santos Laguna from Mexico. The match was played at Montreal's Olympic Stadium in front of a club-record crowd of 55,571.[1] The second leg was held on March 5, 2009 at Corona Stadium, in Torreon, Mexico, where the Impact led 2-1 at the half (4-1 on aggregate). With the Impact only a few minutes from a semi-final berth, Santos Laguna's Carlos Quintero scored twice in stoppage time to rally the homeside to a 5-2 victory, thus eliminating the Impact from the inaugural CONCACAF Champions League 5-4 on aggregate.[2] Following the match, head coach John Limniatis commented that his side "should have done better", noting that it was "unfortunate to finish this way".[3]

For the 2009 Canadian Soccer Championship, the Montreal Impact were eliminated early to the disappointment of fans. In the final match of the Voyageurs Cup, with the Impact already eliminated, Head Coach Marc Dos Santos decision to field a number of reserve team players drew controversy from fans of both the Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The team went on to suffer its worst defeat in history, by losing 6-1 to archrival Toronto FC of Major League Soccer.[4] Toronto FC needed to win by 4 goals to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League 2009-10 preliminary round. As a result, the Vancouver Whitecaps FC were eliminated on goal differential, despite holding the same record as Toronto FC.

The Montreal Impact has clinched the third championship of its history, Saturday October 17, 2009, in front of a sellout crowd of 13,034 at Saputo Stadium, defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3-1, (6-3 on aggregate goals), in the First Division USL final championship.

In November 2009 the Impact announced their intent to leave the USL First Division to become the co-founders of a new North American Soccer League, which would begin play in 2010. The league, which has yet to be sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation or the Canadian Soccer Association, would also comprise the Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina Railhawks, Crystal Palace Baltimore, Miami FC, Minnesota Thunder, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Vancouver Whitecaps and a brand new team led by St. Louis Soccer United.[5]

After lawsuits were filed and heated press statements exchanged, the USSF declared they would sanction neither league for the coming year, and ordered both to work together on a plan to temporarily allow their teams to play a 2010 season. The interim solution was announced on January 7, 2010 with the USSF running the new USSF D-2 league comprising clubs from both USL-1 and NASL.[6]

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Rivalries

A card display mosaic tifo organised by the UM02 at Montreal's Claude-Robillard Centre.

Montreal Impact have a rivalry with fellow USL First Division side Rochester Rhinos. In matches between the two franchises, it is not uncommon for supporters of the two teams to travel to the opposing sides' stadium.

The Impact also has a rivalry with MLS side Toronto FC. Toronto FC and Montreal Impact both participate in the Canadian Championship annually along with Vancouver. On June 18, 2009, the Impact suffered its worst defeat, losing 6-1 at the hands of archrival Toronto FC [4]. The lopsided loss by the Impact eliminated the Vancouver Whitecaps FC from the 2009 Canadian Championship, thus causing widespread resentment among Whitecaps fans towards the Impact. As a result, a rivalry has simmered between the Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the Impact.

The Impact and Major League Soccer

Towards the end of 2007, much speculation had been made about a possible franchise move from USL First Division to Major League Soccer. The construction of the expandable Stade Saputo further suggests an interest on the part of the Impact to move up to the top level American-Canadian league. If allowed entry into MLS, the Impact would be the third Canadian franchise of the league after Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Although Toronto FC currently holds a three-year Canadian exclusivity deal, they have stated that they would gladly welcome the Impact into MLS.[7] Chairman Joey Saputo held talks with George Gillett (former owner of Montreal Canadiens and co-owner of Liverpool F.C.) regarding possible joint ownership of a MLS franchise.[8] Such a bid would involve paying the MLS expansion fee (USD $40M as of 2008), and would probably also require increasing the new stadium capacity to the 18-20,000 seat range (estimated to cost C$10–15M). On July 24, 2008, MLS announced they were seeking to add two expansion teams for the 2011 season, of which Montreal was listed as a potential candidate.[9]

On November 22, 2008, the team's bid for an MLS franchise, was not retained by commissioner Don Garber. In response to Vancouver's successful bid in March 2009, Impact GM Nick De Santis commented that he expected chairman Joey Saputo to pursue and ultimately realize his vision of Montreal as an MLS franchise someday.[10]

On May 16, 2009, the Montreal Gazette reported that MLS commissioner Don Garber and Montreal Impact president Joey Saputo have resumed talks for an expansion team to begin play in 2011, with a franchise possibly granted by the end of May if all goes well.[11]

Players

Current roster

as of January 28, 2010[12]

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 United States GK Matt Jordan
2 Morocco DF Hicham Aâboubou
3 Canada DF Adam Braz
5 Canada DF Nevio Pizzolitto (captain)
6 Canada MF Tyler Hemming
7 United States MF David Testo
8 Portugal MF Filipe Pastel
9 Canada MF Rocco Placentino
10 Panama FW Roberto Brown
11 Argentina MF Leonardo Di Lorenzo
12 Cuba FW Eduardo Sebrango
14 United States MF Tony Donatelli
No. Position Player
15 Canada MF Patrick Leduc
16 Italy DF Stefano Pesoli
19 Canada FW Reda Agourram
21 France MF Philippe Billy
22 Canada GK Srdjan Djekanović
23 Jamaica MF Stephen deRoux
24 Canada DF Simon Gatti
26 France DF Cédric Joqueviel
28 Antigua and Barbuda FW Peter Byers
30 Canada MF Pierre-Rudolph Mayard (on loan at Charleston)
40 Romania GK Andrei Badescu

Notable former players

Staff

Awards Year by Year

Year MVP Defensive Player of the Year Unsung Hero Newcomer of the Year
1993 Canada Patrice Ferri -- -- --
1994 United States Jean Harbor -- -- --
1995 Jamaica Lloyd Barker -- -- --
1996 Canada Paolo Ceccarelli -- -- --
1997 Canada Mauro Biello -- -- --
1998 Canada Mauro Biello -- -- --
1999 N/A -- -- --
2000 Canada Jim Larkin -- -- --
2001 Canada Mauro Biello -- -- --
2002 Cuba Eduardo Sebrango Canada Gabriel Gervais Canada Jason DiTullio Brazil Zé Roberto
2003 Canada Greg Sutton Canada Gabriel Gervais Canada David Fronimadis Canada Martin Nash
2004 Canada Gabriel Gervais Canada Greg Sutton Brazil Zé Roberto Canada Sandro Grande
2005 Canada Mauro Biello Canada Nevio Pizzolitto Argentina Mauricio Vincello Japan Masahiro Fukasawa
2006 Argentina Mauricio Vincello Canada Gabriel Gervais United States Andrew Weber Argentina Leonardo Di Lorenzo
2007 Argentina Leonardo Di Lorenzo Argentina Mauricio Vincello Canada Simon Gatti United States Matt Jordan
2008 United States Matt Jordan Canada Nevio Pizzolitto United States Joey Gjertsen Italy Stefano Pesoli
2009 United States David Testo Canada Nevio Pizzolitto Canada Adam Braz Jamaica Stephen deRoux

Year-by-Year

Outdoor Team

Year Division League Reg. Season Playoffs Voyageurs Cup CONCACAF Champions League Avg. Attendance
1993 1 APSL 7th Did not qualify N/A N/A
1994 1 APSL 3rd Champion N/A N/A 3,216
1995 2 A-League 1st Semifinals N/A N/A 5,075
1996 2 A-League 1st Semifinals N/A N/A 4,868
1997 2 USISL A-League 1st, Northeast Division Finals N/A N/A 5,066
1998 2 USISL A-League 2nd, Northeast Conference Semifinals N/A N/A 4,008
1999 Did not participate
2000 2 USL A-League 4th, Northeast Did not qualify N/A N/A 2,338
2001 2 USL A-League 4th, Northern Did not qualify N/A N/A 2,103
2002 2 USL A-League 2nd, Northeast Conference Semifinals Champion N/A 5,178
2003 2 USL A-League 1st, Northeast Division Finals Champion N/A 7,236
2004 2 USL A-League 1st, Eastern Champion Champion N/A 9,279
2005 2 USL First Division 1st Semifinals Champion N/A 11,176
2006 2 USL First Division 1st Semifinals Champion N/A 11,554
2007 2 USL First Division 3rd Quarterfinals Champion N/A 11,035
2008 2 USL First Division 3rd Semifinals Champion Quarterfinals 12,696
2009 2 USL First Division 5th Champion 3rd Did not qualify 12,033
2010 2 USSF Division 2

Indoor Team

Year League Reg. Season Playoffs Voyageurs Cup
1997/98 NPSL 3rd, North Division Finals N/A
1998/99 NPSL 3rd, Central Conference Semifinals N/A
1999/00 NPSL 2nd, Central Conference Semifinals N/A

Honours

  • USL First Division
    • Winners (2): 2004, 2009
    • Northeast Division Champions (2): 1997, 2003
    • Eastern Division Champions (2): 2004
  • APSL
    • Winners (1): 1994
  • Can Am Cup
    • Winners (3): 1998, 2003, 2004
  • Montreal Cup
    • Winners (1): 2001

Historical Stats

Seasons: 16 (1993-1998, 2000-2009)

First Official Match: 14 May 1993 (against the Los Angeles Salsa)

First Match: 22 April 1993 (against Ponte Boggianese, Italy)

First Home Game: 21 May 1993 (against the Tampa Bay Rowdies)

Best Finish: Champion (1994, 2004, 2009)

Titles: 3 (1994, 2004, 2009)

Voyageurs Cup: 7 (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

Attendance record: 55 571 spectators (25 February 2009, against the Santos Laguna CONCACAF)

Most Goals Scored: 58 (in 28 matches in 1997)

Least Goals Allowed: 15 (in 28 matches in 2004, 2005 and 2006)

Largest Victory (h): 6-0 (against Worcester in 1997)

Largest Victory (a): 0-6 (against Toronto Lynx in 1998, played in Ottawa)

Worst Defeat (h): 1-6 (against Toronto FC in 2009)

Worst Defeat (a): 6-0 (against Rochester in 1998)

CONCACAF Champions League: First Canadian participant in 2008, reached quarterfinals

All-Time Leaders

Most appearances
# Name Career Appear. Goals
1 Canada Mauro Biello 1993–98, 2000–2009 344 72
2 Canada Nevio Pizzolito 1995–98, 2000– 252 9
3 Canada Nick De Santis 1993–2003 219 21
4 Canada Patrick Leduc 2000– 203 10
5 Jamaica Lloyd Barker 1993–98, 2000–01 190 34
6 Canada Patrick Diotte 1993–98, 2000–01 186 0
7 Canada John Limniatis 1990–2002 150 2
8 Canada Gabriel Gervais 2002–08 148 7
9 Brazil Zé Roberto 2001–07 138 17
10 Canada Greg Sutton 2001–06 132 0
Most goals scored
# Name Career Appear. Goals
1 Canada Mauro Biello 1993–98, 2000–2009 344 72
2 Cuba Eduardo Sebrango 2002–05, 2009– 111 40
3 Jamaica Lloyd Barker 1993–97, 2001–04 190 34
4 Canada Nick De Santis 1993–98, 2000–03 219 21
5 Canada Grant Needham 1993–98 87 19
6 Canada Guiliano Oliviero‎ 1997–2002 115 18
7 Serbia Darko Kolić 1997–98, 2000–06 105 17
8 Brazil Zé Roberto 2001–07 138 17
9 Canada Ali Gerba 2000, 2003, 2005 32 12
10 Jamaica Onandi Lowe 1996–98 29 12

Head coaches

The Impact's current head coach is Marc Dos Santos who, at 31 years old, is one of the youngest head coaches of any North American professional sports team.

Stadia

The Impact currently plays its home games at Saputo Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium which opened in May 2008. As the name suggests, the stadium was funded privately (mainly by the Saputo family). Seating 13,034 supporters in three main stands, Saputo Stadium is located just east of Olympic Stadium in the city's east end. Prior to moving to the new stadium, the Impact played their home games at Complexe Sportif Claude-Robillard.

Supporters

The Montreal Impact have one of the most vocal groups of supporters in the USL First Division, the UM02, which stands for Ultras Montréal. The group was created in 2002, after the re-opening of the Montréal Impact, when a group of fans decided to bring organized and vocal support to Impact games. Their slogan is "Toujours Fidèles" which is French for Always Faithful. The UM02 is the subject of much animosity by the rival Rochester Stampede. The UM02 are located in the bottom half of section 114 of the Saputo Stadium, the designated supporters section.

References

  1. ^ Farrell, Sean (2009-02-25). "Big Montreal crowd takes in winter soccer". Yahoo! Sports. http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news;_ylt=Am1qmutmJ1KMvef.wg56wzgmw7YF?slug=ap-santos-impact&prov=ap&type=lgns. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  2. ^ "Impact bounced from CONCACAF Champions League". CBC Sports. 2009-03-06. http://www.cbc.ca/sports/soccer/story/2009/03/05/sp-impact-santos.html. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  3. ^ "IMPACT 2 SANTOS LAGUNA 5". Impact Montreal News. 2009-03-05. http://www.impactmontreal.com/News/News.aspx?language=EN&ArticleID=1082&Focus=0. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  4. ^ a b "TFC rout Shocks Impact, Whitecaps". Sportsnet. 2009-06-18. http://www.sportsnet.ca/soccer/2009/06/18/tfc_beat_impact/. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  5. ^ USL outcasts set to launch new league in 2010
  6. ^ "Division 2 Professional League To Operate in 2010". ussoccer.com. 2010-01-07. http://www.ussoccer.com/News/Mens-National-Team/2010/01/Division-2-Professional-League-To-Operate-in-2010.aspx. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  7. ^ CANOE - SLAM! Sports - Soccer - Montreal to bid for MLS franchise
  8. ^ "Gillett launches MLS bid". Sky Sports. 2008-03-27. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11095_3353672,00.html. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  9. ^ Major League Soccer: News: Article
  10. ^ http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Soccer+Montreal+will+land+team+Impact+says/1406744/story.html
  11. ^ Phillips, Randy (May 16, 2009). "New coach, same old problem". Montreal Gazette. http://www.montrealgazette.com/Sports/coach+same+problem/1603145/story.html. 
  12. ^ http://www.montrealimpact.com/Team/Roster.aspx?language=EN

External links


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