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International games at Stade Saputo

Montreal Impact v. Haiti national team – July 1, 2009

Final: 0-0

Not often does a national team play against a club. This rare occurrence took place at Stade Saputo on July 1, 2009, when Haiti came to face the Impact during an international mini-tournament that also included the Syrian national side. Despite the scoreless draw, the Haitian fans brought colour and energy to the stands: “It is the first time in my life that I play in front of such an electrifying crowd,” noted Haiti native Elkana Mayard. “It was very special playing tonight.”

 

Montreal Impact v. Syria national team – July 8, 2009

Final: 2-1 (Aaboubou OG 9’, Donatelli 66’, Brilliant 78’)

Montreal’s other game in this tournament, this time against the Syrian national team, provided the crowd in the stadium with three goals and a 2-1 home win. “We knew that Syria was a team able to circulate the ball well and they caused many problems this way,” noted then-head coach Marc Dos Santos. “However, the club gradually came back during the match and adapted. We were able to build on our opportunities.”

 

Montreal Impact v. Girondins de Bordeaux – July 28, 2009

Final: 1-2 (Saivet 37’, Donatelli 66’, Gouffran 80’)

The third international game at Stade Saputo in July 2009 was a prestigious one. French champion Bordeaux is in town for the Trophée des champions (French Super Cup) against Guingamp and takes the opportunity to also face the Bleu-blanc-noir, still in North America’s second division at the time. In spite of the evident gap in quality between both squads, the result is more than respectable for Montreal. “The Impact showed a good calibre tonight,” mentioned Girondins de Bordeaux head coach Laurent Blanc. “I think that the Impact would have its place in French Ligue 2. To be sure, they would need to play against French clubs more often. We got a great welcome from our Canadian friends and we can say that our stay here went really well.”

 

Montreal Impact v. River Plate – August 4, 2009

Final: 1-1 (Fabbiani 21’, Brown 64’)

In 2009, the Impact made friends all over the globe. For real – starting with Santos Laguna in the CONCACAF Champions League. In early August, it was Argentinean club River Plate’s turn to visit Quebec’s metropolis. The result, a 1-1 draw, raised the club’s profile. “It was exciting to play against an Argentinean team,” mentioned midfielder Leonardo Di Lorenzo, who was named the Impact Player of the Match. “We tied the game after playing a good game and that is the most important thing. We showed that we can play against a team of any level. If we play like today in our league matches, we’ll do well.”

 

Montreal Impact v. Fiorentina – May 23, 2010

Final: 1-1 (Agourram 8’, Seferovic 63’)

In 2010, it was the Viola’s turn. The Italian club faced a tough opponent in the Montreal representatives. “The Impact played an aggressive game and that surprised us. I also didn’t expect it to be such a physical match. We were actually scared of losing at one point,” said goalkeeper Sébastien Frey. “I’m now convinced that the Impact is a top-notch club. On my behalf and on behalf of Fiorentina, I wish them much success for the future.” The Florentine captain declared: “We saw the whole difference between a club finishing its season, mentally and physically tired, and one that is starting its season.” His name? Marco Donadel.

 

Montreal Impact v. AC Milan – June 2, 2010

Final: 1-4 (Pato 12’, Testo 17’, Inzaghi 25’, Seedorf 58’, Ronaldinho 81’)

Days later, the Olympic Stadium welcomed one of Europe’s most famous clubs, AC Milan. With Ronaldinho, Seedorf, Inzaghi, Nesta and Pato, the Rossoneri gave a footballing lesson to the Impact, with the score ending 4-1 to the visitors. But the result did not matter all that much: with 47,861 people in the Big O, Montreal proved it was a soccer city and left good memories to the Milanese. “Montreal gave us a warm welcome. This is a beautiful soccer city and it was obvious tonight with the stadium’s atmosphere during the match,” said AC Milan interim head coach Mauro Tassotti. “The players played with a lot of intensity, the teams had respect for each other and it was an excellent way to finish our season.”

 

Montreal Impact v. Olympique Lyonnais – July 24, 2012

Final: 1-1, 2-4 after penalty kicks (Pied 28’, Wenger 39’)

The first international game of the MLS era pitted the Impact against Olympique Lyonnais, Coupe de France holder. 19,225 people in attendance broke the Stade Saputo record to watch Hugo Lloris, Clément Grenier, Bafétimbi Gomis and co. This was also Alessandro Nesta’s debut in Bleu-blanc-noir colours. “I think the difference tonight was the athleticism, as we are still in preseason and they are already in midseason,” said OL head coach Rémi Garde. “But I wasn’t surprised at the level. Soccer in North America is getting better and better.” The 1-1 result illustrates that.

 

Montreal Impact v. A.S. Roma – August 3, 2016

Next Wednesday, Totti, De Rossi, El Shawaawy and company will be in town. Don’t miss this new international chapter and book your tickets for the game at Stade Saputo right now!

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