Some of a leader’s most important qualities are trustworthiness and humility. So when Vancouver’s Camilo went in hard on Montreal’s Patrice Bernier during the Impact’s 3-0 defeat to the Whitecaps on Friday, Davy Arnaud did not hesitate to step into the line of fire for his teammate – and got a yellow card for his efforts.
When asked about the incident, Arnaud insisted it was not just him adopting such a spirited approach, but the entire group.
“It looked like a bad tackle to me, and you could tell by Patrice's reaction that he thought so as well,” Arnaud told MLSsoccer.com over the phone from Orlando, Fla. “Tackles like those happen in the heat of the moment and, as a group, we want to stand up for each other on the field.”
In trading Seth Sinovic and allocation money to Sporting Kansas City for Arnaud, the club secured not only a competitor but also a leader – Arnaud was SKC's captain – on and off the field, qualities of which head coach Jesse Marsch is very much aware.
In fact, the first potential captain Marsch identified by name when talking to reporters was "Davy."
Arnaud wore the armband on Friday night, a decision, he said, that came about “during a meeting before the game.” The 31-year-old has long been considered a candidate for the actual captaincy, but he sees leading the team as a collective effort.
“Captain or not, everyone wants to battle, compete and fight for each other,” Arnaud explained. “There are a number of veteran guys who are all leaders here, and it’s important for the older guys to be leaders on and off the field. In this respect, things have gone well and the team has good chemistry.”
The Montreal Impact will have to improve on their sharpness in the final third going into Sunday’s game against Arnaud’s former club, where he had played for his entire professional career before being traded. The midfielder had a good game against Vancouver, making clever runs into the box to support the forwards, and is eager to make those count against Kansas City.
“I had the chance to say hi briefly after their game against Houston Dynamo, to give some hugs," Arnaud said. "There are a lot of guys on the other side whom I played with for quite a long time, a lot of them are good friends. And when you play against good friends, you want to win even more.”