Home and away: six key matchups in 2018

The Montreal Impact announced its full 2018 schedule last Thursday, and like every year, there are a few matchups that garner more attention than others.

Impact Media analyzed the Bleu-blanc-noir’s schedule and chose three home games you absolutely cannot miss, while also highlighting three away games the Impact faithful would love to attend if the opportunity presented itself.

March 4 - Vancouver Whitecaps FC –  6pm ET - BC Place

Christmas is over, and the New Year is here, which can only mean one thing: our focus has shifted to the first game of the 2018 season. And after a 2017 that left much to be desired, we cannot wait to get back to work, especially against a Canadian rival.

The first game of the season is always a big one, especially when it’s against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. This will mark the third time in its MLS history that the Montreal Impact will begin its season at BC Place, having won the matchup 3-2 in 2016. The Impact also played its inaugural MLS game against Vancouver in 2012, losing by a score of 2-0.

Best out of three, anyone?  

April 28 – Atlanta United FC – 1pm ET - Mercedes-Benz Stadium

If there is one away game that is a must-see in 2018 for Impact supporters, it would probably be the game against Atlanta United FC. Its first MLS season was exemplary to say the least, finishing fourth in the Eastern Conference while playing a very exciting brand of soccer under head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino, before unexpectedly falling to the Columbus Crew SC in the knockout round of MLS Cup Playoffs.

But other than the team on the field, it’s the stadium, and the ensuing atmosphere, that makes this game so appealing to attend. Mercedes-Benz Stadium cost a whopping $1.5 billion to build and is the sort of venue you would build in your dreams.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium roof animation 2

October 28 – New England Revolution – 4:30pm ET – Gillette Stadium

For the second straight year, the Montreal Impact will close out the regular season against the New England Revolution, this time in Foxborough, Massachusetts, and not at Stade Saputo. Although last year’s matchup meant nothing for both clubs, the last game of the season can often be the most important one, depending on where both teams sit in the table.

If the Impact finds itself in a position of importance come late October, I can think of no better road trip to end the season on a high note.

March 17 – Toronto FC –  3pm ET - Olympic Stadium

Not much more you can add to this one. The Impact’s home opener in 2018 will be against the defending champion and its fiercest rival, Toronto FC. These games never tend to lack any excitement, and both teams will be eager to write the newest chapter of what is becoming one of the best MLS rivalries.

It will also be the first time Raheem Edwards faces his old team, after being selected by LAFC in the expansion draft, and then being traded to Montreal on the same day.

April 21 – Los Angeles FC –  1pm ET - Stade Saputo

This matchup has been dubbed by many of the Impact faithful as THE game of the season thus far, most notably because it will also be defender Laurent Ciman’s return to Stade Saputo after having spent three seasons with the Bleu-blanc-noir, before being traded to LAFC.

Although the greeting will be warm for Le Général, it will be short-lived, as Montreal will be looking to beat the expansion side in its first ever game against the club. 

May 21 – LA Galaxy – 3pm ET - Stade Saputo
A game on a Monday? Oh yes. First of all, it’s National Patriots’ Day, so everyone calm down, you won’t have to sneak out of the office to watch this one. Let’s just say we’ll have a few surprises in store as well for this special Monday game.

Although they had a less than impressive season in 2017, the five-time MLS Cup Champions and the Montreal Impact always put on quite a show when they go head-to-head. The last time they played at Stade Saputo in 2016, Didier Drogba’s free-kick in the 94th minute gave the Impact the 3-2 lead in what has become a very memorable night in Montreal.