Homegrown midfielder earning good minutes with first team
It’s been a rollercoaster of a few days for the Montreal Impact’s most recent signing, Mathieu Choinière. Just a day after the 19-year old signed his first ever professional contract with the Bleu-blanc-noir, he played his first minutes at Stade Saputo in the first leg of the Canadian Championship semi-final against the Vancouver Whitecaps while his team was defending a fragile 1-0 lead.
A few days later, with a few minutes left in the team’s road game in Portland, at Providence Park – a very difficult place to play –, Choinière was called upon by the coach again, this time to help the team close out the game at 2-2 and come away with a vital road point.
“There were a lot of emotions in the first two days, especially in the game against Vancouver in the Canadian Championship,” said midfielder Mathieu Choinière. “One can say that it’s a bit of a dream come true.”
Just a week later at Stade Saputo against the best team in the league, Atlanta United FC, Choinière was subbed in at the 65th minute. 10 days after signing his contract, he had already featured in three different games.
“I’m having a lot of fun since I joined the group,” said Choinière. “The guys welcomed me right away, although I had been training with them for quite a while. The transition was very natural. It was the obvious next step.”
Adapting to MLS play
Like any young player entering the league, a certain amount of time is always needed to adapt to the professional game.
“I’m getting more and more used to the crowd,” added Choinière. “It isn’t something I was used to before. Every time I enter a game, I try to be as comfortable as possible and try to take advantage of every minute the coach gives me.”
Mathieu’s brother, David, who signed his Homegrown contract with the Bleu-blanc-noir in 2016, is recovering from having undergone ankle surgery earlier this year. But the thought of one day sharing the pitch with his older brother still looms large for the young midfielder.
“We’ve been thinking about a moment like that for a long time, since we were kids,” said Choinière. “You could say that’s my parents dream. It would be a very special moment if it happens one day.”