After 17 games - Midseason Report Card
Despite a disappointing loss versus TFC Wednesday night, there are a lot of positives that Major League Soccer’s newest side can draw from going forward as it reached the midpoint of its inaugural season.
Impact's most convincing win
MTL 4, SEA 1
Record through 17 games
The Montreal Impact has amassed a record of 5 wins, 9 losses and 3 draws for 18 points at the midpoint of the 2012 MLS season, on pace for a 36-point season. Even if the club is not considering itself as an expansion team, it’s an impressive statistic when examining its Canadian counterparts in their expansion years. The Vancouver Whitecaps in 2011 and Toronto FC in 2007, managed just 6 wins over the entire season. The Whitecaps finished their first season with a record of 6-18-10 for 28 points, while TFC managed a record of 6-17-7 for 25 points. The Impact currently sits in 8th place in the Eastern conference. Its Canadian neighbours both finished dead last in their respective conferences in their MLS debut seasons.
At the beginning of the season, Impact head coach Jesse Marsch stressed that he wanted his team to be strong down the middle, and statistics at the halfway point of the season demonstrate just that. Quebec native Patrice Bernier, captain Davy Arnaud and Brazilian workhorse Felipe have been every bit as good as Marsch had hoped. Each of the midfielders has three goals, tied for second overall on the team. Add five assists for Bernier (1st), four for Arnaud (2nd) and three for Felipe (3rd), and they are the top three point getters for the team. Bernier’s five helpers puts him tied for third in the entire league.
Leading goal scorer Bernardo Corradi’s contributions (4 goals) will definitely be missed over the second half of the year as he went down with a season ending ACL tear in his right knee. Impact supporters hope the Impact’s new Designated Player, Marco Di Vaio, could pick up some of the slack as he made his debut Wednesday night.
Speaking of injuries
Defender Nelson Rivas has been limited to seven games, and is currently out of the lineup due to a light knee injury. He’s been on the injured reserve list three times in 2012, but has been really solid when on the pitch. Defender Matteo Ferrari is lost for four to six weeks due to a right quad contusion, but through 14 appearances, the former Roma-man was the general of the Impact’s backline. Frenchman Hassoun Camara, who has also missed significant action (5 GP) due to injury, is expected to slide into that role and hopefully take over some of their responsibilities.
Felipe has also been a standout in terms of appearances, playing every single minute of regular season action. Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts has played in every game, missing just 24 minutes due to an injury on May 26 against Colorado.
Defending the North
The TFC loss aside, the Impact has an overall record of 4-2-2 at home, and has looked like a playoff team, playing in the friendly confines of Olympic Stadium and Stade Saputo, having scored 15 goals at home in eight games. On the road, the team has managed nine goals in as many games, winning just once. The trend continues defensively as the Impact has allowed 18 of 29 goals against on the road.