The decision to move on from Remi Garde is not one the Montreal Impact took lightly and the club will continue to hold their now-former coach in high regard.
Montreal announced Wednesday that Garde had been relieved of his duties and replaced by Wilmer Cabrera, who had been let go by the Houston Dynamo just last week. Garde and the Impact had just one win in their last eight matches, though remained tied for the Eastern Conference final playoff place and are in the Canadian Championship final.
“Sometimes you have to make tough decisions that hurt really good people," Impact president Kevin Gilmore told reporters at a news conference Thursday. "I made a decision that hurt really good people; Remi, [departing assistant coaches] Joel [Bats] and Robert [Duverne]. I have an enormous amount of respect for Remi, his professionalism and work ethic is second to none. He’s raised the bar for what we will expect from coaches moving forward, he’s raised it high. It’s his legacy to this organization.”
Gilmore confirmed that the club had been in negotiations over a new, long-term deal with Garde up until a week and a half ago.
With a huge Canadian Classique match this weekend against Toronto FC (Saturday, 7:30 pm ET | TVAS, TSN in Canada, MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US) -- one of the clubs level on points with Montreal for that final playoff place in the Eastern Conference -- the timing took many by surprise. So, why now?
“We were left with two choices: We could sit on the sidelines, as we’ve done for the past month and a half hoping things would change, or we could act," Gilmore explained. "For the betterment of this club, I decided it was time to act.”