The Montreal Impact is an enigma wrapped in a riddle.
The Impact is well behind the Whitecaps and Toronto FC when it gives to offering playing time to Canadian players. But, out of those three Canadian MLS organizations, it leaves TFC and the Whitecaps in the dust when it comes to giving domestic players time on the pitch at the USL level. As the stats below show, FC Montreal — even though it’s awfully early in the season — is far more likely to play Canadians than WFC2 or TFCII.
In the end, the effectiveness of the academy program is determined by how many of its products earn first-team opportunities or develop into players who have solid careers elsewhere. With the USL programs still being in their infancies, it’s too early to judge them.
Here are this week’s rankings… USL stats are ranked separately because NASL and MLS have similar rules when it comes to treating Canadians as imports on the U.S.-based teams; meanwhile, USL treats Canadians as domestics, no matter if they’re signed to American teams or clubs north of the border. If you look at the number of Canadians playing for Orlando City B (three, including former FC Edmonton striker Michael Cox, who scored his first USL goal this past weekend) or Swope Park Rangers (four Canadians have appeared in game for coach Marc Dos Santos), it’s hard to argue that allowing Canadians to be treated as domestics does nothing but increase job opportunities for this country’s players.