Statement from Joey Saputo
Today, we are here to conduct a post-mortem of our first season in MLS.
Before our MLS adventure started, our goal was to be competitive and battle for a playoff spot.
I would like to say that I am pleased with things as we attained our objective of being a competitive team in our very first season, but at the same time, I am not satisfied because I felt that we are not a 7th place team.
Our objective for 2013 is to qualify for the playoffs.
However, the task will again be a difficult one as we will be playing road games in San Jose, LA, Seattle, Portland and Kansas City twice.
As the 2012 MLS season has concluded for us, we have already begun the process of analysis in order to start the 2013 season on the right foot as we are determined to find the solutions to improve in our second season.
The trip to Italy will be a good opportunity to continue the analysis.
On the field, we believe we can improve on certain levels.
And if you were to ask Nick, Matt or Jesse, I am sure that would tell you the same thing.
Now we will have to sit down with the staff to determine what will be the best way to improve.
We will also have to conduct some analysis of all the coaches within our club, including the Academy and with the sports-etudes program, all the way through to the coaches in MLS.
Some of the highlights for us in 2012 include:
- We attained our objective in terms of ticket sales with an average of almost 23,000 spectators per game, good for third overall in the league.
- We played to sellout crowds in four of the final six home games, averaging 19,656 spectators over that span.
- Two record crowds of 58,000 and 60,000 spectators at Olympic Stadium.
- The incredible atmosphere at all of our home games, thanks to the exceptional backing of our supporters, we became a difficult team to play at home.
Here are few things we don’t want to repeat in 2013:
- We don’t want to be close to the playoffs, we want to qualify for the playoffs.
- We look to attain our objective for season ticket sales (10,000).
- A drop in attendance as seen in our first few games at Stade Saputo from this season.
- Avoid losing points in the standings by allowing late goals.
I am pleased to announce that the nucleus of the team will be returning next season:
- Your MVP, Patrice Bernier,
- Captain Davy Arnaud
- Our Designated Player Marco Di Vaio
- Alessandro Nesta
- Matteo Ferrari
- Nelson Rivas
- Troy Perkins
- Andrew Wenger - just to name a few.
I’ve read and heard certain rumours and I would like to tell you that there is no discord between our players or coaches on this team.
Yes, there will always be difference of opinions, especially in the heat of the action, but all of our players respect the club and have respect for one another.
Bringing together a group of players from 20 different clubs with distinct personalities is never an easy task.
We have a good group of players, both young and veteran, with players having experience in MLS or elsewhere in the world.
Despite certain injuries, we showed that we have depth within the club.
However, we are always looking for players who can help make a difference for this team. We continue to look at all available options:
- Within our club, in our Academy;
- Through our options in the SuperDraft;
- Scouting abroad, without targeting a particular market;
- Or through the signing of a potential DP, if that were to be what’s best for the club.
I’d also like to acknowledge our Academy, where our U21 team had a successful season in the CSL.
Led by Philippe Eullaffroy, the team lost just three games over the regular season and played in the championship game. The future for us looks bright.
I am also extremely pleased to announce today that our Communitarian Award winner as selected by the media and club supporters is Patrice Bernier.
On top of the great work he did on the field, Patrice was involved in community initiatives all season long and was a great example of how we want to remain accessible, even in MLS.
Thank you to all our supporters for a great first season full of emotions, and it is with great optimism that we kick off Year 2 and the 20th anniversary of the club.