There might not be any sports team more happy for the success of another than the Montreal Impact’s love for the Montreal Canadiens right about now.
In Montreal, where hockey is king, everything else gets pushed to the backburner – especially during the playoffs. It’s what contributed to some apathy towards the Montreal Expos and it’s what is taking some attention off of the Impact’s very slow start to the season.
The Impact, dating back to last season, have only one win in their last 15 regular season Major League Soccer games. New head coach Frank Klopas has yet to win as the team is in a seven game winless streak with a record of 0-4-3 to start the season.
They are already five points back of a playoff spot and would have to double their point total just to match the team immediately in front of them.
But when talk radio is busy talking about the Canadiens, it’s beneficial for the Impact who are opening their outdoor home schedule on Saturday. They open Stade Saputo against the Philadelphia Union.
Slow starts are not a death blow to a season and last year’s Impact season should show that’s it is almost as important to have a good finish. Everybody is saying the right things from Klopas taking responsibility to Troy Perkins and Patrice Bernier. Even team owner Joey Saputo took to Twitter.
The team did miss their best player Marco Di Vaio for the first three games, and since then the team is 0-1-3. The loss happened to be a 4-0 loss to the defending champions from Kansas City.
It doesn’t help that the perception of the Impact offseason was that they didn’t do anything when their rivals in Toronto made a significant push. The Impact are rumored to get a designated player push in January, but until then the help must come from within.
The acquisition of Jack McInerney helps improve the team right now and the fact their Olympic Stadium schedule is completed also helps as the team has historically been better at Saputo than the Big O.
There’s not much pretty about the Impact’s start but there are a couple of silver linings. The first is that there is still plenty of time in the season. The second is that there isn’t much revolt from casual fans as most of them are still focusing on hockey.
However, with their Saputo opener this weekend, and the attention that comes with it, they need to hope things get turned around quickly.