As the 2015 season beckons, we’ll have a new MLS 2015 Season Preview up everyday. Today we take a look at what the Montreal Impact will be looking to achieve this year.
The 2015 season will be Montreal Impact‘s fourth year competing in Major League Soccer after joining from the NASL for their first taste of MLS in 2012. Montreal Impact fans won’t need reminding how poor they were last season. They were statistically the worst team, racking up just 28 points and finishing bottom of both the Eastern Conference and the Supporters’ Shield standings. So 2014 is a year they’ll want to forget quickly, but head coach Frank Klopas and his side can certainly use it as a learning curve for future developments.
Last season’s finish: Eastern Conference position: 10th – P34 – W6 – D10 – L18Embed from Getty Images
What needs to change this year?
It’s as obvious as it gets, but they need to stop losing so many games. Only Chivas USA suffered more defeats in 2014 and the defensive issues need addressing urgently. They will be hoping to replicate the 2013 campaign which saw them amass 49 points and qualify for the playoffs, but it’s going to take some serious hard work and plenty of hours on the training ground.
Key changes to the squad:
Ins: Kristian Nicht – Goalkeeper, Bakary Soumare – Defender, Ambroise Oyongo – Defender, Marco Donadel – Midfielder, Nigel Reo-Coker – Midfielder, Eric Alexander – Midfielder, Dominic Oduro – Forward, Laurent Ciman – Defender, Donny Toia – Defender, Eric Kronberg – Goalkeeper, Victor Cabrera – Defender
Outs: Troy Perkins – Goalkeeper, Matteo Ferrari – Defender, Krzysztof Krol – Defender, Felipe Martins – Midfielder, Marco Di Vaio – Forward, Issey Nakajima-Farran – Midfielder
Key player: Eric Alexander – MidfielderEmbed from Getty Images
Acquiring the services of Eric Alexander from the New York Red Bulls is fantastic news for Montreal Impact. He was a key player at the heart of the Red Bulls midfield in 2014 and helped them to an MLS Cup Conference Final. A player of his quality arriving can give the whole camp a boost in morale as well as improve the performances of the team on the pitch.
One to watch: Ignacio Piatti – Midfielder
Ignacio Piatti is currently Montreal’s only Designated Player. The Argentinian arrived in August 2014, but only featured six times before limping off injured in September against San Jose Earthquakes. It transpired that Piatti was suffering from tendinitis in his left knee and required surgery, ruling him out for the rest of the season. He managed to notch four goals in his six appearances and could be crucial to the Impact in his 2015 return.
Predicted finish: Eastern Conference – 10th
Unfortunately for Montreal, other teams are attracting big name players and building some formidable squads. Despite some shrewd offseason business, their squad simply doesn’t have the quality, nor strength in depth to be able to compete for a playoff position. It’s a harsh reality, but anything other than last place would probably be seen as a success this year.
How will Montreal Impact fare in 2015?