Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Final Thoughts on the 2014-15 CCL

1. We can win this thing! Montreal made it to the CCL Final and led both legs against Mexico's Club América despite playing with arguably their fourth string goalie and with multiple starters (Justin Mapp, Víctor Cabrera, Hassoun Camara, Cameron Porter) out with injuries. Despite everything, they were one half away from bringing home a championship before the walls came crashing down. This is an Impact team that won only 6 games out of 34 last season in MLS and remains winless in 2015. This isn't a team that's going to be confused with the Sounders or the Revs or the Galaxy, and yet THEY almost won the Champions League. I hope other teams are paying attention at what happens if you actually try to win this tournament because we're long overdue for brining home a title.

2. The Impact did all this with one Designated Player. Ignacio Piatti is the only designated player on the Impact's roster right now (they have two empty DP roster slots). Piatti scored the goal in the opener and assisted on both Impact goals tonight. Just think if Montreal had two more guys like him that they could've put onto the field. Maybe then you aren't starting Nigel Reo-Coker out of position in a CCL Final. I understand it's often an issue of money, but if you have the option to bring in high-priced talent, ESPECIALLY knowing you had the Champions League ahead of you, I think you're foolish not to if you want to be taken seriously as a franchise. Look at what Canadian counterparts Vancouver and Toronto have done. The Caps' Octavio Rivero is tied for the league lead with five goals while Toronto's Jozy Altidore has four and his teammate Sebastian Giovinco is an unreal talent. Big name players are often difference makers, and with the Montreal roster thinned out due to injuries, the Impact just didn't have the depth or talent to stay with their Mexican counterparts.

3. As an MLS Fan, I'm proud of these guys. I mean how could you not be? Despite the wheels coming off in the second half, they kept fighting, even grabbing a late goal. In the end it didn't make a difference, but it was great to see an MLS club go out there and claw and scratch for every inch in this tournament. They knocked out Pachuca, the New York Red Bulls and Alajuelense, and had to put a good scare into América tonight. In a tournament where we saw three MLS clubs (Sporting KC, Portland and the Red Bulls) fail to make it out of group play, and DC United's defense go to pieces in Central America, it was great to see somebody represent the league well. Great job, Montreal, you've gained a fan.

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