The Montreal Impact may have needed a little help on Sunday to ensure its first ever playoff appearance, but over the entire 34-game stretch of the 2013 regular season, the Impact was never out of a postseason spot.
“We got into the playoffs off of our performance over the 34-game season,” said Impact captain Davy Arnaud. “Our performances as of late have not been where we wanted, but you finish where you are supposed to finish at the end of an entire season. We were a playoff team all year long and that’s where we belong.”
There are 10 other teams on the outside looking in right now that would gladly trade places with the Impact if it meant a shot at the postseason. And the Impact is in just its second season in Major League Soccer.
“It’s a big step,” added the veteran of 15 MLS playoff games, scoring four goals. “We have to be proud of the fact that in just our second season as a group, we’ve made the playoffs. At the end of the day, we still have chance to be playing on the last day of the season.”
And with a first half of the year spent mostly as the league’s best side, the team feels they have the veteran leadership to make a solid run.
“There isn’t a single team that we haven’t beaten at least once in the Eastern Conference this season,” said goalkeeper Troy Perkins, who has played five postseason games over his career. “I’ve been waiting three years to return to the playoffs and I’m really excited to be back."
“It was our goal to start the year to make the playoffs, so we’re looking forward to the game in Houston,” added Arnaud. “There is no better time to turn a corner and get on a good run than right now."