MONTREAL – Quietly, and with eight games to spare, the Impact broke two records last weekend.
Reaching 45 points with their 4-2 win in New England has not only brought the Impact beyond their first-year tally of 42 points; it also bettered the Canadian record of 43 points in MLS established last season by the Vancouver Whitecaps – who will likely surpass it as well in 2013 but might not qualify for the playoffs as they did the year before.
Asked about these landmarks on Tuesday, both Jeb Brovsky and Patrice Bernier admitted that they hadn‘t really been on their minds. But the fact that they broke the records at this point of the season does motivate the team, as it leaves plenty of room for more fireworks.
“You always have to best yourself, I think,” Brovsky told MLSsoccer.com. “We look at what we did last year, and we felt that we had a good season. But it wasn’t a great season. And now, we look at New York and Kansas City and wonder what did they get and how we top that. We have to make sure that we do something with these two games in hand.”
Like securing a playoff spot as early as possible, Bernier suggested.
“We don't know what's going to happen in the remaining eight games, but if you qualify after the fourth game, you can then go for home advantage,” Bernier told MLSsoccer.com. “But finishing first [overall] would be really special for a newer team like us in MLS.”
And though Bernier stresses that the Impact should wait until after they make the playoffs to focus on other such objectives, there seems to be a perception that the team’s 2013 season can leave a lasting imprint on the club – and on Canadian soccer.
“With eight games to play, we could set some kind of benchmark for the following seasons,” Bernier said. “You never know – the team could change a lot next year or over the next few years –, but this season could be special not just if we reach the playoffs, but also with what comes next. We’re currently the best Canadian team, and 2013 could go down as a key season for the Montreal Impact and the Canadian teams in MLS.”