At the same date last year, the XI Montreal entered a whirlwind of announcements and news that would disrupt the start of the season (or even the whole year).
A year later, COVID is still rife, but the team has a coach on duty to stay and the arguments over the club’s name and image have faded (but not gone away).
As bizarre as it may sound in times of lockdown and curfew, there is some semblance of normalcy in the resumption of activity as the next MLS season approaches.
Compared to 2021 at least.
Formula to review
Three hours of our lives that we will never see again. This is how I would describe the SuperDraft 2022 experience.
An endless first round, a forced enthusiasm and players presented as if they all had the level to reach the top of the football planet gave a feeling of boucane show.
The global nature of the sport and the evolution of academies in North America mean that the MLS draft doesn’t have the same value as it used to be and certainly not the same importance as in the NFL or the NHL.
With a few exceptions, the most promising young players are no longer produced by American universities. They are trained in-house by the clubs themselves or come at a high price from abroad.
Talk about a life-changing moment for a player (and their family) when drafted at 18e or 20e rank has become a gross exaggeration. The exercise itself still has its uses, but the SuperDraft formula and the language used in it absolutely need to be reviewed.
Otherwise, it becomes outright bogus advertising serving only the interests of the sponsors rather than those of the educated supporters who take the time to sit in front of their computer screens to take an interest in such a nested annual event.
CF Montreal was back on the field Wednesday morning at the Olympic Stadium.
Apart from the absence of Djordje Mihailovic (in selection with the United States), as well as those of Mason Toye, Robert Orri Thorkelsson, Ahmed Hamdi and Bjorn Johnson (COVID protocol of the MLS), the group was complete.
More than half of the players present at the camp are from Quebec. When launching the Academy more than 10 years ago, Philippe Eullaffroy (director) said that his goal was to have a pro team made up of 50% of players trained in Montreal. It seemed a bit far-fetched at the time, and yet … here we are!
Among the technical staff, the presence of Kwame Ampadu is to be put in the chapter of the good news. Last November, Wilfried Nancy’s deputy was asked about his future in the Metropolis. He had preferred not to come forward since the season was still underway.
His return is excellent news for two reasons.
His experience is first of all invaluable for a group of coaches that are still green. Although he is deputy, he serves as a father figure for the group. His contribution on the stopped phases also helped CF Montreal to reach a milestone in 2021. An offensive area where the club has struggled a lot since its arrival in MLS.
As of this writing, 71 days have passed since Kevin Gilmore left.
At the time, several people (myself included) saw it as a perfect opportunity if the organization wanted to make adjustments to its rebrand polarizer of the month of january.
More than two months later, we have to admit that the club did not have this intention. If so, things would have changed before the start of training camp.
At this point, the status quo seems much more likely than a branding reversal that will celebrate its first anniversary on Friday.
Regarding the case of the next president, the mystery remains unresolved. Both on the timeline for announcing it and its identity as such.