MONTREAL – Following his first goal of the season last weekend, Didier Drogba is rounding into starting form and looking forward to making more big contributions to the Montreal Impact's early success.
Drogba came on in the 50th minute on Saturday and scored his first goal in two appearances so far this season to help send Montreal on to a 2-1 victory at the Chicago Fire.
The Ivorian striker plans to extend the 40 minutes he played in Chicago and possibly be part of Impact coach Mauro Biello's starting 11 against Toronto FC at Saputo Stadium on Saturday (4 pm ET, TSN4/RDS in Canada, MLS Live in US).
"It was good to play all these minutes but now I need to push like I'm doing in the training sessions and make sure I'll be ready to start and give another option to the manager," Drogba said after practice Wednesday.
Drogba was named a finalist for MLS Newcomer of the Year in 2015 after scoring 11 goals in 11 regular season games following his mid-season arrival in Montreal.
Regardless of whether or not he starts against Toronto, Drogba is encouraged by the Impact's strong start. Montreal (4-2-0) lead the Eastern Conference with 12 points after winning their first two home games at Olympic Stadium while splitting four road games.
"I think we see already we started well with the squad we have and even the games we lost, we displayed some quality," said Drogba. "In Seattle and even in Dallas, we didn't play that well but we didn't look foolish either, and we're still at the top of the table."
Drogba, who is signed through the end of the season, was asked about comments he made on Quebec's top-rated talk show Sunday about whether he would see his contract through to the end. When asked on the "Tout le monde en parle" TV show how he would react if the Impact added a significant player in September, Drogba said he'd be even more inclined to stay because it would improve Montreal's chances of winning a title.
"I played in Chelsea and every season we had more players, more good players, more value, like [Andriy] Shevchenko came, Hernan Crespo came, and you played together, and later on [Fernando] Torres came and we played together, and that's high level, that's how a club improves as a team and as a competitor, so we need that," Drogba said. "So if we bring strikers, midfielders, defenders from better level with better quality than what we have now, it's always good for a team."
Drogba said he would leave those decisions in the hands of management. For his part, Biello knows that there's no guarantee of striking gold in landing a big-name player, and he can appreciate when it does work out for the best.
"It's not easy to pick the right [Designated Player] and people automatically assume that, he plays in Europe and he's going to come in and he's going to be that player that everybody thinks," Biello said. "There's an adaptation, there's an adjustment, there's a different culture, there's so much that goes into play. I know that Didier came in and he blew down the house, but that's not easy and that's not always going to be the case."