The annual Development Academy Winter Showcase ended on Monday and both Impact teams who participated came back to Montreal with two wins and one loss.
Impact U17 rises to the challenge
The Impact U17 lost its first game of the showcase, against the Seattle Sounders FC, by a score of 3-1.
The first half was all Impact, with Woobens Pacius opening the scoring. The Sounders came back strong with three goals in the second half, taking full advantage of defender Zackiel Brault’s ejection after his two yellow cards.
The next day, the U17 defeated Real Salt Lake U17 3-0, a first loss for them this season. Jérémie Omeonga, Woobens Pacius and Sean Rea scored for the Bleu-blanc-noir.
On Monday, for its last game, the Impact U17 won 4-0. After a first half with no goals, Brandon Phelps, Woobens Pacius, Moulay Abdallah Kanzi Belghiti and Calin Calaidjoglu scored to get Montreal the win and end the showcase on a positive note.
“We had five good halves on six and we learnt from the second half against Seattle. It helped us correct some things for the rest of the tournament,” said Impact U17 head coach Nicolas Gagnon. “We have a group that is coming together more and more and that is getting out of its comfort zone in different situations. Everyone is contributing. The two goalkeepers had a clean sheet with important saves and on the eight goals, we had six different scorers. But beyond that, our solidarity is stronger and we are more confident.”
At the mid-season break, the Impact U17 has a 9-4-1 record.
Impact U19 keeps its league in the table
Philippe Eullaffroy’s team started its tournament with a 3-1 win against Sporting Kansas City. Vincent Lamy scored a brace and Mikale Fontaine scored the last one.
In their second game against Real Salt Lake, the Impact U19 had a tough first half that eventually cost them the game. RSL scored twice in the first 45 minutes and Yohan Le Bourhis got a red card. In the second half, both teams added a goal, the Impact’s lone goal coming from Vincent Lamy. Montreal lost 3-1.
In their last game, the Impact U19 won 2-1 against Real So Cal on goals from Protais Mutambala and Vincent Lamy.
“In general, we are satisfied with the way it went, at different levels, depending on the games,” said Impact U19 head coach Philippe Eullaffroy. “We played a quality game against Kansas City and controlled the game for 90 minutes. Against Real Salt Lake, our first half was mediocre, but our reaction in the second half was good. We have some regrets from that game. On the last one, against Real So Cal, we played a really good first half and dealt with the second half well. This moment of the season is always important because our opponents are in playoff mode and play with a lot of intensity. It’s always tough physically, tactically and mentally when you face three very different opponents in a four-day span. We are disappointed to have lost our first game of the season in the showcase, but we still managed to take some points from direct rivals like New York City FC.”
After the first half of the season, the team has a 11-1-2 record.
The three Montreal Impact teams will be back in action on March 11, against FC Westchester Armour’s teams, in Purchase, New York. The U15 team will play at 9:30am, the U17 at 11:45am and the U19 at 2pm.
The Academy teams will keep training during the three months off in the regular season and will play some friendly games to keep in shape.