MONTREAL – Matteo Ferrari hasn’t thought about next year. But he thinks the Impact should.
Ferrari admits that the team has struggled to find its way. Thirteen points stand between Montreal and fifth place in the Eastern Conference with nine games left in the season. The figures speak for themselves.
But the two wins in their last three games suggest that the Impact can at least finish the MLS season strongly. Through several changes – most of all Ignacio Piatti joining the team – Montreal have improved. To Ferrari, if this form continues, the club should take the last quarter of the season and attempt to apply it to 2015.
“If I am the club, I think this is a good moment to prepare the team for the next year,” Ferrari told reporters on Wednesday. “This year, it’s going to be almost impossible to make the playoffs. But you still have nine, 10 games to prepare the team for the next year. I don’t think you need to change all the players here. You can add some players, some quality players, and I'm sure that, next year, it will be different.”
It’s not the first time Ferrari has gone this route. Last January, Ferrari made waves when he said that the team was “not as good as before.” Montreal had just parted with two of its leaders, Alessandro Nesta and former captain Davy Arnaud.
But the message, now, is much more positive. This, Ferrari said, is a good team, a confident one.
“At the beginning of the season, I was saying that because I was in the team, and I saw the quality we had and it was not enough,” Ferrari said. “I’m sorry to say that again; maybe somebody’s not on the same page, but what I saw in the beginning of the season is what the field answered after. Now, we are different, for sure.
“Nobody expected a very poor season like this, but it can happen when you change a lot,” Ferrari continued. “But now, I have a feeling that everything is different. Everything is really different, but the points to fifth place, there are too many.”
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The CONCACAF Champions League, on the other hand, reflects the Impact’s progress, as they have won both of their matches so far. But Ferrari’s contract will be up when CCL reaches its knockout stage next spring. Ferrari, 34, said he hasn’t thought about his future yet, but he’s eager to “finish properly.”
“I would like, at least, to [win] the group in the CONCACAF [Champions League], because it can be interesting, next year, to play the final [stage],” Ferrari said. “It can be a good reason [to stay]. I have an option for another year. We haven’t talked yet about my situation, so I don’t know.”