Even though the team lost 1-0 against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night, Impact supporters still had something to cheer about in the 63rd minute: Academy product Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla has rewritten a chapter in the club’s record book by becoming, at the age of 17 years and 338 days old, the youngest Impact player to have played MLS minutes. While some might say it’s a dream come true, the Montreal winger says, in the contrary, that it’s only the start of a dream.
“I am happy to have gotten my first minutes [in San Jose this Saturday night], it was nice,” said Tabla. “At the same time, the result was a bit disappointing. It’s annoying not to have the ball and not being able to do what I can do, but if it’s to prevent another goal against us, I prefer to defend. I am satisfied with what I did and with the task the coach gave me. I was surprised to enter the game so quickly. I thought I would get called closer to the end, but the coach wanted me to go in earlier with how the game was going.”
“Ballou continues to progress,” said Impact head coach Mauro Biello. “He continues to accumulate minutes and experience, which is a good process for him right now. He is a player who can bring something with his attacking quality, if we need to push the game. He had a good preseason. This is the plan, as we move him along, by integrating him in games and at the same time, he gains experience.”
Impact supporters could have the chance to see Tabla make his home debut on Saturday, as the MLS Cup champion, Seattle Sounders FC, is in town to face the club at Olympic Stadium (TICKETS – TVA Sports, 98,5fm & TSN Radio 690).