MONTREAL – The race for the playoffs is not the only contest in which the Montreal Impact are competing.
The seeding for the 2013 Amway Canadian Championship, which will determine Canada’s representative in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League, will be based on the 2012 MLS standings. Currently, Montreal are two points above the Vancouver Whitecaps, who do have a game in hand, in the “Canadian table.”
Between the two teams, the one that earns the most points in the 2012 MLS regular season will face NASL side FC Edmonton, while the other will take on Toronto FC, who are a lost point away from being mathematically assured to finish third.
Though the playoffs remain the Impact’s short-term objective, the players have been kindly invited to keep Vancouver in the back of their minds, with the top seed in the Canadian Championship representing a possible added bonus for their consistent efforts towards grabbing a postseason spot.
“I actually spoke to the team about that on Tuesday,” Montreal head coach Jesse Marsch said. “Some of them didn't know that, which I was a little surprised about. We’re all aware of it now! We’re going to continue to push at the end of the year, for sure, and we feel like we’re alive on two scenes.”
Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto have sent teams to every edition of the Canadian Championship since its inception in 2008, but FC Edmonton only entered the fray in 2011. Both times, they were eliminated at the semifinal stage, scoring a single goal in the four games they've played in the competition.
“No game in the Canadian Championship is a pushover by any means,” former Vancouver Whitecaps defender Jeb Brovsky told MLSsoccer.com. “But if you can go into the finals with some momentum, then it’s a plus.”
Rivas doubtful for Saturday
There is a possibility that Marsch might have to do without defender Nelson Rivas on Saturday as Sporting Kansas City come to town (1 pm ET; Canada: TSN in Canada, MLS Live in the USA). The Colombian defender, who has not been training at Montreal’s Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard this week, has been carrying a knock on his knee that he perhaps has not taken good enough care of.
“He’s careful about how much he tells about where he’s at because he really wants to play,” Marsch said of Rivas. “We understand that, but we also understand that he’s not helping anybody if he’s not right, so we’ve got to figure out how to get him right.”