As Montreal Impact's season has gone, so has newcomer Alejandro Silva's

Alejandro Silva - Montreal Impact - close-up

MONTREAL -- Alejandro Silva’s performance in his first MLS season with the Montreal Impact has mirrored his team’s results.  

“From the day I got here the objective for the team was to make the playoffs,” the 29-year-old Uruguayan international said earlier this week. “Obviously the first games that I was here we lost quite a few in a row. It wasn’t going very well. But the objective is the same, to make it to the playoffs. Now we’re in a position where we can make the playoffs.”

Silva’s 10 assists puts him among the league leaders, and is second to Ignacio Piatti (13) on the Impact. He has scored four goals, including two in Montreal’s come-from-behind 4-1 win in Philadelphia on Sept. 15.

The Impact (12-14-4) are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 40 points, five behind the Union. Saturday, they will play their first game at Audi Field against seventh-place D.C. United (9-11-8), who are five points behind, with two games in hand, in what is being billed as a proverbial "six-pointer" in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs race (7pm ET | TVAS - Full TV & streaming info).

“We have basically three finals to play right now,” Silva said. “We have a very important game this weekend that we know if we win we have a very good chance of making the playoffs. And if we don’t, then we have a very small chance of making the playoffs. That’s the way we’re approaching it. It’s three finals and the team is doing good right now and we’ll see what happens.”

Impact left back Daniel Lovitz believed that the Impact had acquired a quality player from the moment he began training with Silva in January.

“We were outside, it was on the turf, it was still freezing cold and I knew right away that the guy was going to be able to contribute and be very dangerous in this league,” Lovitz said.

Silva’s play has solidified Lovitz’s first impression.

“He’s a nightmare for other teams to have to defend,” Lovitz said. “He works hard, both sides of the ball. He really enjoys playing and he runs incredibly hard when we win the ball. And you look at the Philadelphia game, he was instrumental in the goals that we were able to score on the counter and he’s so dangerous with the ball at his feet. It’s been a huge help for us, and he’s been a huge help.”

As he struggled to find his place with the Impact while the team floundered early in the season, Silva seized an opportunity to make a measurable contribution.

Confident that he was going to score, Silva asked Piatti to take a penalty kick. He delivered from the spot to seal Montreal’s stunning 2-0 win against Sporting KC at Stade Saputo on June 30.

“Obviously scoring a goal gives a player a lot of confidence,” Silva said. “From that point on the confidence was there, I kept adding to what I was doing in terms of goals and assists. But yeah, if there was a point in the season where things turned the other way, it was that point.”

Silva has found his place on the right up front with Piatti and Quincy Amarikwa.

“At the beginning I didn’t have a real position on the starting XI,” Silva said. “I played right back a little bit, I played a little more in the middle after and I ended up going to the wing up front later on in the season. It just happens that we lost a lot of those games when I was playing a little bit more back, more defensive, and then we started winning the other ones.

“If we would have won all those games when I was playing right back then I would probably still be a right back right now or playing in the middle. Those are things that happen and it just happened that way. But right now the confidence that the coaching staff and the players around me are giving me, it’s helped me a lot and I feel very confident right now where I am and what I’m bringing to the team.”

Silva credited the acquisition of Amarikwa as a key addition to the Impact’s attack.

“Since Quincy arrived he definitely added something to the team,” Silva said. “Now teams are probably focusing a little bit more on me and Quincy, which gives Nacho a little bit more time and space. Nacho is the one who basically carries this team so we’re just there to try and help him get space and try to sometime score goals just to help him and keep complimenting each other the way that we’re doing right now.”