Miracles on the pitch


If there’s one thing my Italian grandparents taught me when I was young, it was not to throw money out the window. It is better to be patient and shop around for bargains than to go for the first object that shines.

I wonder if Olivier Renard also had grandparents who taught him the same thing.

The low-budget CF Montreal team continue to thumb their noses at the more affluent MLS teams, who are not shy about spending, without really approaching the success of the Impact this season.

Tuesday night we had another example. The 11 players thrown into the fray by Wilfred Nancy at the start of the match against the Fire total, all together, a total payroll of $3.1 million this season.

It is the colleague Gavino De Falco of IMFC Radio who did the calculation.

On the other hand, Chicago, languishing at the bottom of the standings, had a player on the field who alone was earning almost triple that amount. Midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri receives $8.15 million.

Result of races, Shaqiri scored two goals on « penalty », but on the merits of the game, CF Montreal dominated their opponent winning 3-2.

The insult to the insult

Not only did the Impact win, but the one who made the difference by scoring two goals and collecting an assist was Kei Kamara. He is 38 years old and only pocketed $96,000 this season!

At the start of the season, due to several injuries, CF Montreal hired the veteran striker as an emergency measure. He was only to play a reserve role, but he eventually became a fixture for coach Wilfried Nancy.

He has 8 goals and 7 assists this season and his 138 career goals make him the 3rd leading scorer in MLS history.

« He’s still there, » Nancy said after the game. What interests me the most is his attitude, from the very beginning. Whether he plays 5 minutes or a full game, he does what he has to do to help us. He’s a competitor, you know, and he’s showing it again. »

How did Renard manage to convince this MLS legend to come and play in Montreal for so little money? It must be said that in 2021, no MLS team made him an offer and he was forced to sign a contract for a Finnish team.

Kamara has never hidden his desire to come and play in Montreal, it dates back to the years when his good friend Dominic Oduro played here.

After Tuesday’s game, the dean simply said he was happy to have accepted the club’s offer last winter, despite the meager salary that came with it.

“I’m just trying to enjoy this moment. I feel privileged to be here with this group. Playing in Montreal was a long-time dream for me, so I will try to make the most of it. »

When informed that the other two-goal scorer last night, Shaqiri, was earning more than $8 million per season, he joked, eyes widening, that he would have to speak to his agent.

The club has an option year on his contract and he says he is still able to play at least a few more seasons.

Without knowing if a salary increase is provided for in the agreement for next year, it would be well seen for the club to offer him one, in recognition of his good work this season. Because let’s face it, at $96,000 per season, it’s almost embarrassing.

It’s fine to save money, but you also have to give credit where credit is due, especially when the work greatly exceeds expectations.

Kamara has never won the MLS Cup, and recognizes that this year could be the right one. It is without a shadow of a doubt the bargain of the year in MLS.

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