Wednesday, April 22, 2015

5 Thoughts on Leg 1 of the Champions League Final

1) MLS still has a ways to go. How is it that we have an MLS team in a continental championship match in a stadium with like 100,000 screaming fans and the best we can do is Fox Sports 2. Not even Fox Sports 1. Fox Sports... TWO. COME ON!!!

2) There's a saying the first and last five minutes of each half are the most important. Montreal is here because they scored in the 94th minute against Pachuca, and they led 1-0 until the 89th minute tonight before finally surrendering the equalizer. There will be lots of woulda, coulda, shouldas, but the reality is, a 1-1 result in Mexico is nothing to be ashamed of. And a 0-0 tie next week will still be enough to give the Impact the title. Still, you've got to think they'd like another crack at those closing minutes.

3) Dominic Oduro: Distributor. With the assist on Piatti's goal, Oduro now has four assists in five Champions League matches. The 2014 seasson, in which Oduro played in 35 matches for Toronto and Columbus, is the only one in his MLS career - a career that dates back to 2006 - in which he's had more than four assists (he had five).

4) Evan Bush is my unsung hero. Outshot 28-4 and facing 16 corner kicks, Bush made 8 saves and nearly pulled off a miraculous shutout. No shame in walking away from an onslaught like that with a 1-1 draw. Let's face it, we just saw Herediano go into Azteca and lose 6-0, surrendering five goals before halftime. What the Impact accomplished tonight was no small feat. The only question that remains is, can they do it again in a week?

5) Who knew Montreal had so much depth? No Justin Mapp, no Cameron Porter, no Marco Donadel, and no Víctor Cabrera, and this group still survived 90 minutes in hostile territory, but put themselves in a position to win the Champions League. This is the same Montreal that won all of five games in 2014, and has yet to win an MLS match in 2015. Truly unbelievable. Leg 2 is in seven days, get excited Montreal! Everyone in MLS is rooting for you.

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