Mathieu Choinière steals the show

Impact seals victory in last preseason game through Choinière stunner

The Impact couldn’t have asked for a better ending to its 2019 training camp. Leading 2-0 against D.C. United in second half stoppage time at Al Lang Stadium, young Bleu-blanc-noir midfielder Mathieu Choinière put the game to bed in the most spectacular of ways. Just see for yourself.

Not the worst way to score your first pro goal, and in your hometown club’s colours.

“Right before Bush cleared the ball, I spoke to Jackson-Hamel and he told me he would flick the ball towards me,” said Choinière. “It’s exactly what happened and I was ready for the bounce. I just took my shot and it ended up in the back of the net.”

A humble description of the wonder goal witnessed in St. Petersburg, Florida, last Saturday night. The Impact’s head coach, Rémi Garde, however, was a little more descriptive than the scorer himself.

“I got shivers,” said head coach Rémi Garde. “When you love football, it’s truly a magnificent goal. He didn’t think. We work hard to bring the ball into the final third and after that, it’s all about talent. He had some on the play and I couldn’t be happier for him.”

The young Quebecer came on in the 73rd minute, replacing Argentine Nacho Piatti on the left wing. He wasted no time making his presence felt, dribbling past his defender on the flank a few minutes later and finding Maxi Urruti alone in the box. The Argentine looked up, took a touch, and calmly beat goalkeeper Bill Hadid to his left.

“Mathieu is such a technical player,” added Samuel Piette. “He’s worked so hard during this camp. I’m happy for him. You saw how effective he is. He came in for 20 minutes and added an assist as well as that goal. Hats off to him.”

Reactions from the bench

Of course, such a spectacular goal is especially wonderful to watch from a distance, and some of the Impact’s players were still in awe following the strike.

“I was surprised,” said midfielder Clément Bayiha. “I didn’t think he would try it, but he did. It was incredible. What a goal.”

“It was 100% luck,” joked midfielder Samuel Piette. “He said it himself, he closed his eyes and just hit the ball.”

Choinière immediately ran behind the net where a few of the Impact players, including his brother, David Choinière, were warming up, embracing his teammates after scoring his first Impact goal.

“If I would’ve scored a goal like that, I would’ve had the same reaction,” added Piette. “I was surprised, but he has the quality to score goals like that, and I don’t think it will be the last one we see.”