Even though it made it to the MLS playoffs for the first time since 2016, the Montreal Impact has not had an extraordinary season. Far from there.
Brain cramps, home goals and red cards practically cost the post-season tournament to Thierry Henry’s troop.
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In addition, some players were greatly disappointed by not meeting the expectations of fans.
But other Montreal representatives were able to take their game up a notch, creating quite a surprise, both for the Impact and on the Garber circuit. These players have also enabled the eleven from Montreal to finish ninth in the East, but also to prepare for 2021, a year that is likely to be extremely interesting for the Impact!
Here is a list of six players who have surprised this season with the Impact.
1. Romell Quioto
Who would have thought that a player traded for Victor Cabrera would become the club’s top scorer? Acquired from the Houston Dynamo on November 20, 2019, expectations were not necessarily high for the Honduran international. Renowned for being an excellent ball distributor, Quioto rather made the eyes widen in 2020 by finding the back of the net eight times, notably scoring the Impact’s first goal of the season at the Olympic Stadium.
A true offensive machine, Quioto was responsible for the majority of the Montreal’s scoring chances in addition to being constantly dangerous in the last third. His six assists in the regular season are proof of that. Quioto thus finds himself in the first rank of the club (tied with Saphir Taïder) in this chapter.
While several supporters of his former club criticized him for having a bad attitude and a bad work ethic, the striker simply shone with the Bleu-Blanc-Noir. The 29-year-old winger has enjoyed the best season of his career since joining MLS in 2017.
His performance did not go unnoticed by his trainer. Indeed, Thierry Henry trusted him throughout the year by establishing him 17 times.
The only thing Bleu-Blanc-Noir fans can really blame Quioto for this season is his red card on October 20 against the Philadelphia Union. An individualistic gesture at the origin of a heavy defeat of 4-1.
2. Amar Sejdic
No one had seen that one coming. A second round pick at SuperDraft takes advantage of the many injuries in the Montreal camp to obtain precious minutes of play.
The German attacking midfielder did not disappoint at all and managed to score two magnificent goals in as many games. The 23-year-old has won Henry’s trust and could take on more responsibility next year.
However, Sejdic will need to improve his intensity and maintain the same energy for 90 minutes of play if he is to become a significant asset. One thing is certain, his left foot could greatly help the Montreal eleven in the near future.
3. Luis Binks
The former Tottenham nugget arrived at the start of the year with one goal in mind: to play. Binks did better than that. He dominated. The 19-year-old center-back has shown he can put the brakes on the best forwards on the Garber Tour. His calm and efficiency in the defensive zone convinced several European teams. It is finally in Serie A, in the uniform of FC Bologna, that Binks will play his future seasons.
The Impact will have the luxury of counting on Binks next season, already considered a defensive pillar. With Binks’ loan extended until December 2021, the Montreal organization has plenty of time to find a defender to replace the young Englishman as it wouldn’t be surprising if he made the jump to Italy in 2022. .
4. Zachary Brault-Guillard
After Binks, it could very well be Olivier Renard’s next sale. “ZBG” has shown exceptional technical qualities during the season, which has enabled him to secure a starting role throughout the season.
Spark plug of the offensive of Thierry Henry, the right side served magnificent deep passes in addition to going from several tasty centers in the area.
The product of Olympique Lyonnais succeeded Bacary Sagna brilliantly during this campaign by obtaining an assist in 1789 minutes of play. Responsible in his zone, the 21-year-old Canadian international will form a good range of young defenders. next year with Luis Binks and Mustafa Kizza. It only remains to know the identity of the central defender who will accompany these young wolves.
The expectations for the Catalan were and still are great. After a quiet start to the season with the Impact, Bojan finished the regular season with a bang. Author of a mind-boggling goal against the New York Red Bulls in addition to contributing greatly to the Impact’s qualification for the playoffs, Thierry Henry’s former teammate has proven that he will be able to participate in the team’s success in 2021.
Developing chemistry with a teammate has been difficult for Bojan this season, however. Will Renard or Henry find the device that will allow Bojan to shine?
6. Emanuel Maciel
It is still early to say, but the small sample that Emmanuel Maciel gave is promising. With an exceptional vision of the game, the Argentinian has collected three assists in 11 games. Acquired from San Lorenzo in the transfer of Ignacio Piatti, the 23-year-old midfielder could carve out a place in the starting XI.
Maciel will however have to develop his consistency, he who had a slightly more difficult end to the season if we compare him to his debut in the Impact uniform.
The Quebecois’ first goal should not be overlooked in the Impact uniform. Now occupying a slightly more offensive role, the new dad opened his counter by finding the back of the net for the first time this season!
If he continues to contribute so much in the final third, chances are more goals are to come!