Montreal Impact

The Montreal Impact (French: Impact de Montréal) are a Canadian professional soccer team based in Montreal, Quebec. The Impact competes as a member of the Eastern Conference in Major League Soccer (MLS). The team began play in 2012 as an expansion team of the league, being the league's third Canadian club, and replaced the North American Soccer League team of the same name.

Montreal Impact
Montreal Impact (MLS) logo.svg
FoundedJanuary 1, 2010; 10 years ago (2010-01-01)[nb 1]
StadiumSaputo Stadium, Montreal, Quebec
Capacity19,619[1]
OwnerJoey Saputo
PresidentKevin Gilmore
ManagerThierry Henry
LeagueMajor League Soccer
2019Eastern Conference: 9th
Overall: 18th
Playoffs: Did not qualify
WebsiteClub website
Current season

In 2015, the Impact became the second MLS club, and first Canadian club, to advance to the final of the CONCACAF Champions League, in its current name since 2008, where they finished runners-up in the two-game aggregate goal series against Club América. The Impact won the Canadian Championship in 2013, 2014 and 2019. The club plays its home games at Saputo Stadium and is coached by Thierry Henry.

HistoryEdit

Toward the end of 2007, much speculation had been made about a possible franchise move for the lower division Impact to Major League Soccer (MLS). The construction of the expandable Saputo Stadium further suggested an interest on the part of the group to move up to the top level North American league. Although Toronto FC held a three-year Canadian exclusivity deal that did not expire until 2009, they stated in March 2008 that they would gladly welcome the Impact into MLS.[2]

Chairman Joey Saputo held talks with George Gillett (former co-owner of Liverpool F.C. and former owner of the Montreal Canadiens) regarding possible joint ownership of a franchise.[3] 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.[4]

On November 22, 2008, the group'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 Saputo to pursue and realize his vision of Montreal as an MLS franchise someday.[5] By May 16, 2009, the Montreal Gazette reported Garber and Saputo had resumed talks for an expansion team to begin play in 2011.[6]

On May 7, 2010, Garber and Saputo announced Montreal as the nineteenth club in Major League Soccer, set to begin play for the 2012 season.[7] The MLS franchise is privately owned by the Saputo family.[8]

On June 14, 2011, the Montreal Impact announced a five-year agreement with the Bank of Montreal to become their lead sponsor and jersey sponsor in MLS.[9]

On March 10, 2012, the Impact played their first MLS game, a 2–0 loss against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.[10] A week later, the team made its home debut at the Olympic Stadium, playing to in a 1–1 draw with Chicago Fire; the match attracted 58,912 spectators, surpassing the previous record for professional soccer in Montreal established in a 1981 Montreal Manic home game against the Chicago Sting (58,542).[11] On May 12, 2012, the Impact played in front of a crowd of 60,860 spectators during a game against the Los Angeles Galaxy, establishing a record attendance for a professional soccer match in Canada.[12] In the 2012 regular season, Montreal had finished in seventh in the Eastern conference with a record of 12 wins, 16 losses, and 6 ties.

On February 23, 2013, Montreal won the 2013 Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic, beating Columbus Crew 1–0 in the final during their pre season campaign. Montreal Impact also have won the 2013 Canadian Championship on May 29, being their first major trophy as an expansion team in MLS, second in the club's existence.[13] This victory also gave Montreal its eighth Voyageurs Cup.[citation needed] In the 2013 MLS season, they had finished the regular season with a record of 14 wins, 13 losses, and 7 ties. Montreal Impact earned their first ever berth in the playoffs by clinching fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. During the playoffs, Montreal were eliminated by the Houston Dynamo in the knockout round. By being champions of the 2013 Canadian Championship, Montreal earned their first ever berth as an MLS expansion team for the 2014–15 CONCACAF Champions League.

In 2014, The Impact became repeated champions of the Voyageurs Cup by beating Toronto FC in the 2014 Canadian Championship final on June 4, 2014.[14] In the 2014 MLS season, Montreal Impact finished their season with a 6–18–10 (W-L-D) record being the worst team in MLS that season, being last in both Eastern conference and overall in the league. With the chances of appearing in the playoffs gone and still competing in the 2014–15 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League, Montreal Impact had placed their focus in the regional tournament, consequently winning their group, advancing in the knockout stage.

2015 CONCACAF Champions LeagueEdit

 
The Impact played the 2015 CONCACAF Champions League final before of a record 61,004

On March 3, 2015, Montreal became the first Canadian team, and only the second MLS team (after the 2013 Seattle Sounders FC) to eliminate a Liga MX side from the CONCACAF Champions League knockout stage when they eliminated Pachuca on away goals. They drew the first leg 2–2 in Pachuca and drew 1–1 at home on the return leg, sending the Impact through on away goals. On April 29, 2015, Montreal became the first Canadian team to reach the CONCACAF Champions League Final where they lost to Club América, after a 1–1 draw at Estadio Azteca and a 4–2 loss in front of 61,004 fans at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.[citation needed]

In their 2015 MLS regular season campaign, Montreal finished third in the Eastern conference with 15 wins, 13 losses, and 6 ties returning to the playoffs. During the summer transfer window, the franchise acquired Didier Drogba who went on an scored 11 goals in his first 11 appearances for the club that season. In the conference knockout rounds of the playoffs, Montreal defeated Toronto FC 3–0 advancing to face Columbus Crew in their two-game conference semifinal series.

Edit

In regards to keeping the name "Impact", Montreal stated its intention "to maintain its name and global team image." The official logo for the team was revealed at the start of a match between the NASL Montreal Impact team and the NSC Minnesota Stars on August 6, 2011.[15][16][17]

The logo is a shield in blue, black, white and silver containing a stylized fleur-de-lis and four silver stars, overlaid with the Impact wordmark. The fleur-de-lis, which also appeared on the logo of the NASL Impact team, is a globally recognized symbol of French heritage, and features prominently on the flag of Quebec as a reflection of Québécois culture. The four stars represent the four founding communities of Montreal identified on the city's coat of arms. At the top of the shield, the team's motto, "Tous Pour Gagner" (French for "all for victory") is inscribed. In 2020, the Impact unveiled a new slogan, "Passion. Fierté. Authenticité." (French for "Passion. Pride. Authenticity.").

Uniform evolutionEdit

Home, away, and alternative uniforms.

  • Home
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2012–2013
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2014–2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2016–2018
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2019-
  • Away
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2012–2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2015–2016
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2017–2019
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2020-
  • Alternative
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2013–2014

Club cultureEdit

Supporters groupEdit

Impact's main supporters group is called Ultras Montréal, also known as UM02, and was founded in 2002. They follow the Impact on away games against New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, New England Revolution, D.C. United and Toronto FC. 127 Montréal was formed in 2011 who follow the Impact on occasional away games. The Montreal Impact Supporters Association was created in 2011 to better facilitate the relations between the Club and the Supporters Groups, to promote the supporters culture, and to help with the financing of different supporter group initiatives.

 
Banner for Ultras Montreal's 10th anniversary at Saputo Stadium before game between Montreal Impact and Columbus Crew on July 8, 2012

Named after the founding year of Montreal, 1642 MTL is a supporters group formed in 2015 and located in section 114 at Saputo Stadium during home games.[18]

MascotEdit

The official mascot of the Montreal Impact is Tac-Tik the dog.[19]

The North StarEdit

 
The North Star at the Olympic Stadium for the Montreal Impact's 2016 home opener

The North Star is a 5-foot (1.5 m) high, 44-inch (110 cm) wide, 1,576-pound (715 kg) bell acquired by the 1642MTL supporters group as a goal and victory celebration. It was inaugurated on October 25, 2015 by Montreal mayor Denis Coderre where it was rung twice in a Montreal Impact victory against Toronto FC.[20] Since then, numerous famous Montrealers have been invited to ring the bell such as local radio personalities Tony Marinaro and Jean-Charles Lajoie as well as Canadian soccer player Josée Bélanger and mixed martial artist Georges St-Pierre.[21]

RivalriesEdit

Montreal Impact's biggest rival is Toronto FC because Canada's two largest cities have rivalries in and out of sport. Montreal and Toronto professional soccer teams have competed against each other for over 40 years. From the original NASL, as well as the Canadian Soccer League and the A-League, the rivalry has continued throughout various leagues they have played up until the past few years where the cities would still regularly meet for the Canadian Championships. Since both teams have joined the MLS, the rivalry has intensified and the matches have become a Canadian soccer classic which has been also named the 401 Derby.[22]

The following table lists the history of official soccer meetings in MLS and the Canadian Championship between Montreal and Toronto, updated to the most recent derby of October 21, 2018 (Montreal Impact 2-0 Toronto FC).

Matches Montreal wins draws Toronto wins Montreal goals Toronto goals
MLS regular season (2012–) 20 7 4 9 25 32
MLS cup playoff (2012–) 3 2 0 1 8 7
Canadian Championship (2008–) 18 3 5 10 17 27
Total Official matches 41 12 9 20 50 66

AffiliationsEdit

Montreal Impact AcademyEdit

Montreal Impact Academy is the youth academy and development system of the Montreal Impact, that was established in 2010. The academy consists of various teams, from U8 to U23. The U23 team competes in the USL Premier Development League, the fourth tier of the Canadian soccer pyramid and the U18 and U16 teams both compete in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.[23]

Ottawa Fury FCEdit

Ottawa Fury FC, of the United Soccer League at the time, entered into an affiliation agreement on December 9, 2016.[24] That agreement ended when the team went into hiatus and then shut down at the end of 2019. The Impact used to own and operate their own reserve side, FC Montreal, in the USL. FC Montreal operated for the 2015 and 2016 seasons before being disbanded.

StadiumEdit

 
Match of Montreal Impact at Saputo Stadium against New York Red Bulls on July 28, 2012

Montreal plays its home games at Saputo Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium – with a natural grass playing surface – built in 2008 for the second division Impact but designed with expansion in mind with the club anticipating a move to MLS. The Quebec government announced $23 million in funding to expand the stadium to more than 20,000 seats as well as building a training field – with synthetic turf – next door.[8]

The Impact had hoped Saputo Stadium's expansion would be finished in time for the start of their inaugural 2012 MLS season, but it was announced on July 17, 2011 that the expansion would be delayed. As a consequence, the neighbouring Olympic Stadium was used for the Impact's first six home dates (5 MLS Regular Season, 1 Canadian Championship)[25] The Impact's first MLS game at Saputo Stadium was finally played on June 16, 2012, a 4–1 win over Seattle.[26]

Though Saputo Stadium serves as the Impact's primary home, Olympic Stadium is also used for special events which demand a larger capacity or more favourable playing conditions (e.g. the team's home opener, the MLS All-Star Game, playoff games, or fall/winter international games).[27]

Home stadiumEdit

Other stadiumsEdit

BroadcastingEdit

As of the 2017 season, TVA Sports is the exclusive French-language broadcaster of all Montreal Impact matches, as the team's regional rightsholder, and newly instated national French rightsholder.[28][29] TVA Sports aired 24 games during the team's inaugural season, with play by play duties currently held by Fréderic Lord and colour commentary provided by Vincent Destouches.[29] English-language coverage of select Impact games (particularly those against other Canadian opponents) are broadcast by TSN as part of its national MLS package, and its team rights to Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps.[29] The Impact do not have a separate English-language rights deal for the games not covered by TSN's main rights packages. Some Impact games were previously televised in French by Réseau des sports before it lost the French national rights to TVA Sports.

CHMP 98,5 has served as the Impact's French-language radio flagship since 2015,[30] with Jeremy Filosa on play-by-play and analyst Arcadio Marcuzzi.[citation needed] CKGM TSN 690 Montreal serves as the English-language radio flagship of the Impact.[31] Rick Moffat handles play by play duties while colour commentary is provided by former Montreal Impact player Grant Needham.

Players and staffEdit

For details on former players, see All-time Montreal Impact roster.

RosterEdit

As of October 5, 2020[32]
No. Position Player Nation
2 Midfielder Victor Wanyama (DP)   Kenya
4 Defender Rudy Camacho   France
5 Defender Luis Binks (on loan from Bologna)   England
6 Midfielder Samuel Piette   Canada
7 Defender Rod Fanni   France
9 Midfielder Bojan   Spain
11 Forward Anthony Jackson-Hamel (HG)   Canada
13 Forward Mason Toye (GA)   United States
14 Midfielder Amar Sejdič   Germany
15 Defender Zachary Brault-Guillard   Canada
16 Defender Joel Waterman   Canada
17 Midfielder Ballou Tabla (HG)   Canada
18 Midfielder Orji Okwonkwo (on loan from Bologna)   Nigeria
19 Midfielder Steeven Saba   Haiti
21 Midfielder Lassi Lappalainen (on loan from Bologna)   Finland
22 Defender Jukka Raitala   Finland
23 Goalkeeper Clément Diop   Senegal
24 Defender Karifa Yao (HG)   Canada
25 Midfielder Emanuel Maciel   Argentina
26 Defender Jorge Corrales   Cuba
27 Defender Clément Bayiha (HG)   Canada
28 Midfielder Shamit Shome (GA)   Canada
29 Midfielder Mathieu Choinière (HG)   Canada
30 Forward Romell Quioto   Honduras
33 Defender Keesean Ferdinand (HG)   Canada
34 Midfielder Tomas Giraldo (HG)   Canada
37 Forward Maximiliano Urruti   Argentina
40 Goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois (HG)   Canada
41 Goalkeeper James Pantemis (HG)   Canada
Defender Mustafa Kizza   Uganda

Retired numbersEdit

12Club Supporters (the 12th Man)
20Mauro Biello, forward (1993–98, 2000–09)

ManagementEdit

As of January 28, 2019[33]

Coaching staffEdit

As of July 7, 2019[34]

Head coach recordsEdit

As of October 14, 2020[citation needed]
Coach Nation Tenure Record1
G W L T Win %
Jesse Marsch   United States August 10, 2011 – November 3, 2012 36 12 17 7 033.33
Marco Schällibaum    Switzerland January 7, 2013 – December 18, 2013 43 17 17 9 039.53
Frank Klopas   United States December 18, 2013 – August 30, 2015 83 25 31 27 030.12
Mauro Biello   Canada August 30, 2015 – October 23, 2017 93 36 35 22 038.71
Rémi Garde   France November 8, 2017 – August 21, 2019 67 28 30 9 041.79
Wílmer Cabrera   Colombia August 21, 2019 – October 24, 2019 9 3 5 1 033.33
Thierry Henry   France November 14, 2019 – present 19 6 11 2 031.58

HonoursEdit

ContinentalEdit

CONCACAF Champions League

Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic

NationalEdit

Canadian Championship

 Prior to MLS, the previous team had competed in USL and the NASL which has been recognized by the franchise.

FriendlyEdit

CapCity Cup

Team recordsEdit

Year-by-yearEdit

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Impact. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Montreal Impact seasons.

Season League Position Playoffs CC Continental Average
attendance
Top goalscorer(s)
Div League Pld W L D GF GA GD Pts PPG Conf. Overall Name Goals
2015 1 MLS 34 15 13 6 48 44 +4 51 1.50 3rd 7th QF RU DNQ 17,750   Ignacio Piatti
  Didier Drogba
12
2016 MLS 34 11 11 12 49 53 –4 45 1.32 5th 11th SF SF 20,669   Ignacio Piatti 21
2017 MLS 34 11 17 6 52 58 –6 39 1.15 9th 17th DNQ RU 20,046   Ignacio Piatti 19
2018 MLS 34 14 16 4 47 53 –6 46 1.35 7th 15th SF 18,569   Ignacio Piatti 16
2019 MLS 34 12 17 5 47 60 –13 41 1.21 9th 18th W 16,171   Saphir Taïder 10

^ 1. Avg. Attendance include statistics from league matches only.
^ 2. Top Goalscorer(s) includes all goals scored in League, MLS Cup, Canadian Championship, CONCACAF Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, and other competitive continental matches.

All-time continental competition win/lossEdit

As of March 10, 2020[citation needed]
Club Pld W D L GF GA GD
  Alajuelense 2 1 0 1 4 4 0
  América 2 0 1 1 3 5 −2
  FAS 2 2 0 0 4 2 2
  Heredia 2 1 0 1 2 1 1
  New York Red Bulls 2 1 1 0 2 1 1
  Olimpia 1 0 0 1 1 2 −1
  Pachuca 2 0 2 0 3 3 0
  San Jose Earthquakes 2 0 1 0 2 2 0
  Saprissa 2 0 2 0 2 2 0
Total 17 6 6 5 22 23 −1

International resultsEdit

As of March 10, 2020[citation needed]
International results
Year Competition Club Nation Venue Result Attendance
2012 Pre-season Friendly Guadalajara   Mexico Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico D 0–0
Tecos W 1–0
ITESO W 7–0
Atlas D 1–1
BK Häcken   Sweden Lake Buena Vista, Florida, United States W 1–0
Friendly Lyon   France Montreal, Quebec, Canada L 1–2 (P.K.) 19,225
Post-season Friendly Bologna   Italy Bologna, Italy L 0–1 1,839
Fiorentina Primavera Florence, Italy W 4–1
Fiorentina W 1–0
2013 Champions League San Jose Earthquakes   United States Montreal, Quebec, Canada W 1–0 15,115
Heredia   Guatemala Guatemala City, Guatemala L 0–1
San Jose Earthquakes   United States Santa Clara, California, United States L 0–3 6,128
Heredia   Guatemala Montreal, Quebec, Canada W 2–0 13,703
2014 Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic Fluminese U23   Brazil Lake Buena Vista, Florida, United States W 1–0
Champions League FAS   El Salvador Montreal, Quebec, Canada W 1–0 9,209
San Salvador, El Salvador W 3–2
New York Red Bulls   United States Montreal, Quebec, Canada W 1–0
Harrison, New Jersey, United States D 1–1
2015 Pre-season Friendly Cruz Azul   Mexico Mexico City, Mexico L 0–1
W 1–0
Cuautla W 6–0
Champions League Pachuca   Mexico Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico D 2–2 12,000
Montreal, Quebec, Canada D 1–1, W 3–3 agg. (a) 38,104
Alajuelense   Costa Rica W 2–0 33,675
Alajuela, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica L 2–4, W 4–4 agg. 17,895
América   Mexico Mexico City, Mexico D 1–1 56,783
Montreal, Quebec, Canada L 2–4, L 3–5 agg. 61,004
2016 Friendly Roma   Italy Montreal, Quebec, Canada L 0–2 20,801
2020 Champions League Saprissa   Costa Rica San José, Costa Rica D 2–2
Montreal, Quebec, Canada D 0–0, W 2–2 agg. (a) 21,505
Olimpia   Honduras Montreal, Quebec, Canada L 1–2
San Pedro Sula, Honduras

Player recordsEdit

Top appearances (MLS Regular Season games only)Edit

As of October 19, 2020[citation needed]
# Pos. Name Nation Career Appearances Ref
1 Goalkeeper Evan Bush   United States 2012–2020 176 [36]
2 Midfielder Patrice Bernier   Canada 2012–2017 151 [37]
3 Midfielder Ignacio Piatti   Argentina 2014–2019 135 [38]
4 Defender Hassoun Camara   France 2012–2017 134 [39]
5 Forward Andrés Romero   Argentina 2013–2017 95 [40]

Bolded players are currently on the Montreal Impact roster.

Top goalscorers (MLS regular season games only)Edit

As of October 19, 2020
# Pos. Name Nation Career Appearances Goals Ref
1 Midfielder Ignacio Piatti   Argentina 2014–2019 135 66 [38]
2 Forward Marco Di Vaio   Italy 2012–2014 76 34 [41]
3 Forward Didier Drogba   Côte d'Ivoire 2015–2016 33 21 [42]
4 Midfielder Saphir Taïder   Algeria 2018–2020 76 20 [43]
T5 Midfielder Patrice Bernier   Canada 2012–2017 151 15 [37]
T5 Forward Dominic Oduro   Ghana 2015–2018 89 15 [44]
T5 Forward Anthony Jackson-Hamel   Canada 2014– 77 15 [45]

Bolded players are currently on the Montreal Impact roster.

Top Assists (MLS Regular Season games only)Edit

As of October 19, 2020
# Pos. Name Nation Career Appearances Assists Ref
1 Midfielder Ignacio Piatti   Argentina 2014–2019 135 35 [38]
2 Midfielder Patrice Bernier   Canada 2012–2017 151 25 [37]
3 Midfielder Felipe   Brazil 2012–2015 93 24 [46]
T4 Midfielder Justin Mapp   United States 2012–2015 82 21 [47]
T4 Midfielder Saphir Taïder   Algeria 2018–2020 76 21 [48]

Bolded players are currently on the Montreal Impact roster.

Giuseppe Saputo TrophyEdit

The Giuseppe Saputo Trophy is awarded to the club's Most Valuable Player.

Year Name Nation Ref.
2012 Patrice Bernier   Canada [49]
2013 Marco Di Vaio   Italy [50]
2014 Andrés Romero   Argentina [51]
2015 Ignacio Piatti   Argentina [52]
2016 Ignacio Piatti   Argentina [53]
2017 Ignacio Piatti   Argentina [54]
2018 Ignacio Piatti   Argentina [55]
2019 Orji Okwonkwo   Nigeria [56]

Golden BootEdit

Montreal Impact's Golden Boot is awarded to the club's leading goal-scorer.

Year Name Nation Goals Ref.
2012 Patrice Bernier   Canada 9 [57]
2013 Marco Di Vaio   Italy 20 [58]
2014 Marco Di Vaio   Italy 9 [59]
2015 Didier Drogba   Côte d'Ivoire 11 [60]
2016 Ignacio Piatti   Argentina 17 [61]
2017 Ignacio Piatti   Argentina 17 [62]
2018 Ignacio Piatti   Argentina 16 [62]
2019 Saphir Taïder   Algeria 9 [62]

Note: Only MLS regular season goals count.

Defensive player of the yearEdit

Awarded to the club's best defender.

Year Name Nation Ref.
2015 Laurent Ciman   Belgium [63]
2016 Hassoun Camara   France [64]
2017 Daniel Lovitz   United States [64]
2018 Evan Bush   United States [64]
2019 Bacary Sagna   France [64]

Club captainsEdit

Dates Name Nation Ref.
2012–2013 Davy Arnaud   USA [65]
2014–2017 Patrice Bernier   CAN [66]
2018–2019 Ignacio Piatti   ARG [67]
2020- Jukka Raitala   FIN [68]

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Club founded in 1992. MLS franchise granted in 2010.

ReferencesEdit

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  67. ^ "Piatti n'est pas à l'entraînement". Le Journal de Montréal. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  68. ^ Pro Soccer USA https://www.prosoccerusa.com/mls/montreal-impact/montreal-impacts-jukka-raitala-honored-to-be-named-team-captain/. Retrieved February 22, 2020. Missing or empty |title= (help)

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