MONTREAL – In the 87th minute of the Montreal Impact’s 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls at the Olympic Stadium, viewers at home could hear a familiar sound, one they had heard every time the LA Galaxy’s David Beckham got anywhere near the ball the week before: Fans at the stadium were booing.
This time around, though, the former England captain was nowhere to be found. Nor was the Red Bulls’ highest-profile player, Thierry Henry. The jeers were instead directed for the first time this season towards a Montreal player, team captain Davy Arnaud, who had just skied an attempt from outside Ryan Meara’s penalty box.
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Those familiar with the Montreal sports scene were not particularly surprised with the booing, which could also be heard at the final whistle. The city's fans are a notoriously tough crowd, and won’t hesitate to boo their own team when they think it’s justified.
Whether it was justified on Saturday remains open to discussion.
“Obviously, everyone wants to see the ball go in,” head coach Jesse Marsch told the press after the game. “I still think that the fans should be pretty proud of what this team's about and how they've shown their character and their quality at different moments. … I don't worry about that too much. I think it's more about how we continue to move ourselves forward."
Arnaud claimed he did not hear the booing, though he conceded that the Olympic Stadium crowd might have had a point. Montreal, after all, could not find an equalizer against a shorthanded Red Bulls team despite enjoying 65 percent of the possession in the second half.
“If I was a fan, I’d probably be disappointed as well with the result,” Arnaud said. “They have a right to be. … We’re disappointed just like they are.”