The funny thing about Montreal’s first goal on Saturday night is that Impact fans weren’t even surprised that Hassoun Camara could pull off such a treat.
With the NASL Impact, the Frenchman had achieved a similar technical feat against the Atlanta Silverbacks back on Aug. 14, 2011. Following a set piece (a corner kick that time), the Silverbacks failed to clear the 18-yard box and the ball fell to Camara, who beat the unsuspecting goalkeeper with a neat bicycle kick that resembed the one he connected on in Montreal's 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers on Saturday.
“Yeah, I remember that goal very well,” Camara told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “Obviously I can’t see the images right now, but tonight, I think I was a bit farther from goal.”
He was indeed. While he was about 12 yards from the frame both times, the angle of his remarkable opener at JELD-WEN Field increased its relative distance. His 2011 goal, the second in a 4-0 thumping, was essentially a straight shot.
In any case, Camara has a knack for spectacular goals and simply getting on the scoresheet is always a welcome bonus for the 29-year-old defender. But more than anything, Camara is just glad that he’s playing from the start of the season after dealing with his share of injuries and knocks over the years.
“Getting off to a good start is always great,” Camara said. “My previous two years with the Impact, I never got to fully prepare for a new season. I always had some physical problem early on. But this season, I worked with Paolo [Pacione, Montreal fitness coach] while I was in Europe. He would contact me to talk physical preparation so that I got to the season in optimal shape.
"That’s what’s paying dividends right now. Everything’s great at the moment, and I’m so happy.”