Montreal Impact Archive

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PLASTIC PITCH has launched! Canadian Soccer. Canadian Stories.

PpitchPLASTIC PITCH is ready for download! The app has been approved and the first issue is set to be enjoyed on your smartphone, tablet or device of your choosing. (OK, not totally of your choosing; you couldn’t use an old Commodore PET.)

Right now, the app is available for all Android-ready devices. You can find it Amazon’s app store. You can find it in Google Play. It should launch on Apple in the coming days. The app download is free, issues are $4.99 (five bucks in Canada, we got rid of the penny, didn’t we?) each or a one-year sub (for issues) is $14.99 ($15).

For those who supported this new and unique Canadian soccer magazine through our Kickstarter campaign or other advance subscriptions, the e-mail address you provided is the key. When you download the app, your subscription will be unlocked by that address.

If there are any issues, please contact teamworkpress@rogers.com as soon as possible, and we’ll work to resolve them. As this is the launch of the app and the first issue, we can’t possibly expect to everything go 100 per cent smoothly.

For those who haven’t subscribed, we invite you to download the app and try the first issue. We think you’ll find it filled with fresh voices, interesting art and, most importantly, no cheerleading. Magazine quality hasn’t been sacrificed. You can still subscribe for as little as $15 for a year (four issues). That’s about the price of a beer and a snack at the stadium.
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New Voyageurs’ Cup sked: For NASL teams, short-term pain for long-term gain

PHOTO: CANADA SOCCER/Bob Frid

PHOTO: CANADA SOCCER/Bob Frid

If you’re a fan of FC Edmonton or Ottawa Fury, the Canadian Soccer Association’s announcement of the coming scheduling changes to the Voyageurs’ Cup may have you slightly perturbed. Or angry. Or furious.

That’s because, to accommodate the change to a new summer schedule for the Voyageurs’ Cup, no NASL team will be able to try and qualify for the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League.

But you shouldn’t be angry. Anything but. Really, the new scenario is the best thing the NASL teams could have asked for.

OK, let’s backtrack to the announcement made earlier Friday. To try and make more the Amway Canadian Championship — which has been plagued by poor ratings and terrible gates as it went head-to-head with the NHL playoffs — more fan-friendly, the CSA is moving the tournament to the summer, starting next year.

This year’s tournament, which begins April 23 with the first of a play-in two-game series between FC Edmonton and Ottawa, will go ahead as normal. The winner of the five-team tourney gets the Canadian spot in the upcoming CONCACAF Champions League.
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Ongaro won’t be with FC Edmonton in 2014

Jordan Ongaro

Jordan Ongaro

Jordan Ongaro’s bid to join his hometown NASL team has been unsuccessful.

FC Edmonton confirmed Friday afternoon that Ongaro’s trial has come to an end, and that no contract was offered to the PAC-12′s leading scorer from the most recent NCAA campaign.

Ongaro arrived back in his hometown two weeks ago after he was released by the Montreal Impact. He was a fourth-round SuperDraft selection of the Impact, but was let go before the Impact headed down to Florida to take part in the preseason Walt Disney World classic.
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After being cut by Impact, Jordan Ongaro returns home to try and crack the FC Edmonton squad

Jordan Ongaro

Jordan Ongaro

He was released by the Montreal Impact only weeks after being taken in the fourth round of the MLS SuperDraft.

Now, Jordan Ongaro will try and crack the lineup of his hometown pro team.

Ongaro is now on trial with FC Edmonton, and was at the Commonwealth Fieldhouse Tuesday as the Eddies began their preparations for the 2014 NASL season.

Ongaro wasn’t the only trialist on hand; former United States U-20 midfielder Brandon Manzonelli, who played his youth soccer with Spanish side Villarreal, is also with the Eddies, trying to impress coach Colin Miller enough to earn a contract.

Ongaro would be a massive feel-good story for the Eddies; his uncle, Ross, played with the Edmonton Drillers of NASL 1.0. Ross Ongaro also coached the Edmonton Aviators, the Edmonton Drillers of the National Professional Soccer League and is currently the head coach of the Chinese national beach soccer team. Jordan Ongaro represented Canada at the 2012 CONCACAF Futsal championship (CLICK HERE), and that team was coached by former Driller Sipho Sibiya. And, Sibiya played under Ross Ongaro.
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1

Canada announces roster for Czech Republic and Slovenia friendlies

Karl Ouimette

Karl Ouimette

Karl Ouimette will have the chance to earn his first national-team cap.

The inclusion of the Montreal Impact defender was the most notable item on national team coach Benito Floro’s roster for friendlies against the Czech Republic (Nov. 15) and Slovenia (Nov. 19).

The roster, announced Friday, also features three unattached players — all-time Canadian leading scorer Dwayne De Rosario, who had his contract option declined by D.C. United last week, Issey Nakajima-Farran and Stefan Cebara.

“From here to the first official games [qualifying matches], it’s important to focus on our level of play,” said Floro in a release issued by the Canadian Soccer Association. “It is necessary to pay attention in how we defend and attack so for me the best result is to take it step by step to improve our level.”
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Impact coach Schallibaum: “Season as a whole was a good one”

Marco Schallibaum

Marco Schallibaum

Following Tuesday’s team postmortem with President Joey Saputo and Sporting Director Nick De Santis, on Wednesday it was the Impact players as well as head coach, Marco Schallibaum, who shared their impressions of the 2013 season with the media.

Team President Saputo made a brief appearance to award the Giuseppe Saputo Cup to Marco Di Vaio, voted the Player of the Year by the club’s season ticket holders and then gave way to Schallibaum who, as he has done all year, took questions rather than make an opening statement.

As was the case yesterday the queries concerned his uncertain future with the Montreal organization.

“I think it’s perfectly normal,” he replied. “When you have a season that stats well and finishes as poorly as ours did, there are questions that arise. Nick and Joey have questions and they need answers. I’m not worried, I have questions too.

“You have to say that the season as a whole was a good one. We may not have achieved everything we wanted but it’s normal. We’re going to have some serious discussions. It’s important for the future that the club move forward and that everyone is going in the same direction.”
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Saputo: Impact has not made a final decision on Schallibaum’s future with the club

Joey Saputo, left, and Nick De Santis PHOTO: MIKE WYMAN

Joey Saputo, left, and Nick De Santis PHOTO: MIKE WYMAN

In what was billed as a postmortem to the Montreal Impact’s 2013 season, club President Joey Saputo and team technical director Nick De Santis spoke to and with the media for about 45 minutes this afternoon. Given Friday’s Sports Illustrated assertion that recently retired defender Alessandro Nesta had been handed the reins for next season, the bulk of the conversation centred on the matter of head coaches.

“I’m happy to tell you that we achieved our prime objective, namely to take part in the playoffs, and as a bonus, to take part in the CONCACAF Champions League thanks to winning the Canadian Championship. But after a first half of the season that was exceptional, the second half of the 2013 campaign was less than acceptable,” said Saputo in his opening remarks.

“Even if we did reach our goal, I’m disappointed in the way we got into the playoffs. Since we were in the chase for the first place in our conference until the month of August I didn’t think I’d have to watch to see if three other teams would lose after we were defeated in Toronto to find out if we would qualify or not. While we had our fate in our hands we were not dominant late in the season, particularly at home,” he continued before apologizing for the Impact’s final game.

“And our performance in Houston last Thursday, especially our behaviour at the end of the match, was not worthy of the Montreal Impact,” he said, referring to the mass confrontation and multiple expulsions that ended the Impact’s playoff participation.

“On behalf of the team I would like to say I’m sorry to our supporters following our conduct in Houston. A particular apology on my behalf to the MLS family for the way we conducted ourselves in Houston last Thursday night. This is not the image we want to project. There was a lot of frustration but that does not excuse such behaviour.“
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Suspensions for Impact playoff meltdown have a familiar ring to them

Marco Schallibaum

Marco Schallibaum

The Montreal Impact’s flameout in Houston will have lasting repercussions.

The Impact lost its MLS Eastern Conference play-in game by a 3-0 count Thursday, but also endured the embarrassment of finishing the game with just eight men. Nelson Rivas saw two yellows, while both Andres Romero and star Designated Player Marco Di Vaio were sent off for an 89th-minute incident, instigated by Romero kicking at the Dynamo’s Corey Ashe, who was down on the field.

The league’s disciplinary committee has decided that both Romero and Di Vaio will serve another two games each on top of the automatic one-game bans. So, each player will be banned for the first three games of the 2014 regular season.

The Impact have been fined $25,000 and Impact coach Marco Schallibaum is out another $2,500. Di Vaio got dinged $1,000, while Romero got a $250 fine.

Houston coach Dominic Kinnear was banned for one game because he came onto the field of play. He will serve that in the Dynamo’s playoff match this weekend against New York.
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Impact sees red as Dynamo runs riot in Eastern Conference playoff

Nelson Rivas: First start of season, first ejection of season, season comes to an end.

Nelson Rivas: First start of season, first ejection of season, season comes to an end.

The Houston Dynamo, with a 3-0 win over the visiting Montreal Impact, will play the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference semifinal on Sunday. The Impact players return home having reached the objective they set for themselves at this point last year, but nonetheless ended the 2013 season as somewhat of a disappointment given their early successes.

Head coach Marco Schallibaum rolled the dice and started Nelson Rivas on the back line.

“I’ve seen him for the last two weeks,” said Schallibaum on RDS before the game got underway. “He’s got experience and he may not be 100 per cent, but even at 80 per cent, he’ll help the team.”

Making his first start of the year following knee surgery late in the 2012 season and an extended recovery period that had the Colombian defender the subject of so many Tour de France jokes that the club asked local media to tone it down, the rugged Rivas gave a good accounting of himself but left at he behest of referee Mark Geiger in the 70th minute.

He would not be the only Impact player sent off. Montreal would have only eight men left when the final whistle blew.
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Montreal Impact: The pressure is off, it goes into Houston as the team with nothing to lose

mlscupshotThe Montreal Impact has backed into the MLS playoffs.

The Impact needed one of three results to go its way Sunday. But both the New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo won their matches, leaving it up to the third and final game to decide if the Impact’s season would be over or not.

And, after surrendering the first goal of the game to the Chicago Fire’s Mike Magee, the New York Red Bulls roared back with five unanswered goals — based on the strength of three assists from Peguy Luyindula — and took the game 5-2.

Chicago’s loss allowed the Impact to cling onto the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

As well, the fact that Marco Di Vaio (20 goals) is in the playoffs, while Magee (21 goals) isn’t, may influence the MVP vote.
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