It’s half-time. The first half of the Development Academy season is almost behind us. But just before we get there, the traditional Winter Showcase will be held from November 30 to December 4. In this annual occurrence, the participating teams will play three games in a four-day period. The challenge is huge for the players and for the technical staff, who will needto ensure the team fitness levels are good, while offering performances that meet the Bleu-blanc-noir’s expectations. All results will count in the standings as regular season games.
“In terms of preparation, we spent the week controlling the workload and maintaining the fitness,” said Academy assistant fitness trainer Jules Gueguen. “The goal is to go to the showcase with healthy players. Each team plays three important games against high-level teams.”
The teams travel two days before the first game to be able to recover from the flight and find their pace. Everything is calculated to maximize the players’ fitness levels, whether it’s the snacks, the naps, the ice baths or the activations.
Just like the U17, the Impact U19 will face opponents that have a lot of success this season.
The first game will be played on Thursday, November 30, at 1pm, against Sporting Kansas City, who has a 6-2-0 record since the start of the season. The team also won its last four games and is in second place of its group. Forward Wilson Harris scored eight goals in seven games.
Montreal will follow up with against Real Salt Lake on Friday, December 1, at 3:15pm. The team has a 7-1-0 record and its only loss came in its first game of the season against the Portland Timbers. Midfielder Sebastian Soto stands out with 17 goals in eight games and is the best scorer in the league.
The Impact U19 will end its Winter Showcase on Sunday, December 3, at 9am, against Real So Cal. The Californian team holds a 3-5-3 record and scored only seven goals this season.
About the Impact U19
The Impact U19 has quite a start to the season, being one of the only five unbeaten teams in the league so far. Philippe Eullaffroy’s squad has a 9-0-2 record and is top of the league for goals scored, with 50. Unlike other teams, goal production comes from everywhere for the Bleu-blanc-noir. The best scorers so far are Vincent Lamy (10), Daniel Kinumbe (9), Mathieu Choinière (7), Protais Mutambala (7) and Clément Bayiha (6).