If the Montreal Impact can take a page out of the Houston Dynamo’s playbook, they should look to last season as inspiration for a long playoff run.
The Dynamo, despite finishing as the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference standings in 2012, eliminated the Chicago Fire, Sporting Kansas City and D.C. United on its way to an MLS Cup final appearance.
For the Impact, there are a number of similarities between the 2012 Dynamo and the 2013 team from la belle province.
Both sides finished their respective seasons with 14 wins and they were among the top teams in goals for- 50 for the Impact this season compared to Houston’s 48 last year.
In addition, last year’s eventual champions, the LA Galaxy, were also forced to play in the knockout game as the 4th seed in the Western Conference, translating that extra playoff appearance into a championship.
The Western Conference’s Colorado Rapids squeaked into the playoffs in 2010 thanks to a tiebreaker - just ahead of the San Jose Earthquakes - with 46 points, from just 12 wins.
Although the playoff format was a little different, the Rapids did what the Dynamo could not, hoisting the MLS Cup as postseason champions, defeating FC Dallas 2-1.
While the Impact broke out of a winless streak with its win versus the Philadelphia Union in its final home game of 2013, Colorado suffered a similar fate of a seven game stretch without a win in its championship season, while the Dynamo went through a sequence of one win in seven contests in 2012.
Maybe its fate that the Impact is facing the very same club in the knockout game that accomplished last season the feat the Impact hopes to duplicate in 2013.