The Montreal Impact may be new to MLS, but they’ve already outstripped their 18 peers when it comes down to participation points in 2012.
Whereas teams such as the Houston Dynamo and Chicago Fire have only played four games so far this season, the Impact have already taken part in double that number of matches, making them the busiest team in MLS.
Aching muscles and sore joints – and some squeaky briefcase wheels – will now get a bit of a rest following a 1-1 draw against D.C. United on Wednesday, as the Impact wait 10 days before returning to MLS action on April 28 when the Portland Timbers visit Montreal’s cavernous Olympic Stadium.
HIGHLIGHTS: DC 1, MTL 1
One look at “Sporting Kansas City” and “Canadian Championship semifinal” on the Impact’s May schedule would seem to confirm head coach Jesse Marsch’s impression: the club’s last game in April will kick off what should be a decisive month for his protégés.
“We need to give them some time to recover mentally and physically to get ready for what the month of May will be, because that will be a very crucial month for us,” Marsch told reporters earlier this week. “We’re going to use [the break] to build up some fitness and some sharpness and to make sure that we have a full complement of guys that are ready soccer-wise, physically and mentally for what we’re going to need.”
For midfielder Patrice Bernier, the hiatus is an opportunity to correct the flaws in his team’s game, mainly the difficulties they’ve encountered closing out the last 15 minutes of matches.
“These past two weeks were cut in halves [by midweek MLS and reserve league games], it seems,” Bernier told MLSSoccer.com on Wednesday. “The training sessions are not the same: the guys who played the most try to recuperate and focus on the next game. We now have 10 days to work on what went wrong in the last games, especially the leads we’ve been losing.”