SAN JOSE, Calif. – The Montreal Impact sent three players to the MLS All-Star Game, a larger contingent than any other team can boast.
To Impact center back Laurent Ciman, one member of that glittering trio, that speaks not only to the quality of Montreal stars like Didier Drogba and Ignacio Piatti, but also to the club’s depth throughout its roster.
“The team is not depending on two or three players – Didier or me or Nacho,” Ciman told MLSsoccer.com Wednesday, through the translation of fellow Belgian All-Star Jelle Van Damme (LA Galaxy). “There’s more players than two or three guys. Everybody’s important. … That’s also a reason we’re here: The other guys, they do a good job as well in the games.”
That being said, there’s little question the Impact would like to put their top triumvirate back together for the first time in months. Montreal haven’t had all three players available to start since May 14. Interestingly, the Impact haven’t won this season when starting Ciman, Drogba and Piatti; they are 0-1-4 in such games. Nevertheless, Montreal are just four points off the lead in the Eastern Conference, with games in hand on all three teams above them in the table.
Ciman hasn’t played since leaving the Impact’s July 14 match against Portland and according to one report, he is still dealing with some swelling in the ankle, even though he did train this week with coach Dominic Kinnear’s All-Star side.
If Ciman can make an appearance Thursday against Arsenal, it could be a boost for Montreal, which also bolstered their roster by bringing back Argentinean midfielder Hernan Bernardello this week. All of that might make games such as Montreal’s 5-1 win over Philadelphia on Saturday more of the rule going into the latter half of the season, rather than the exception.
“It was one of our best games of the season,” Ciman said. “I hope we’re going to keep going on that same level, winning games.”