Monday, January 13, 2014

Montreal Impact

The Impact were fighting to be the face of Canadian soccer. With Toronto and Vancouver battling in the top league, Montreal took it upon themselves to take the lead. They matched Vancouver's 5th seed in the playoffs in 2013, tying them for the farthest a Canadian club has ever made it in the MLS. This was not good enough. Montreal continued to build a team at the pro level, then used the success there to establish the youth system. In 2016, the Quebecois made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, only to lose to Sporting. The idea to compete, while remaining uniquely Canadian was a crazy idea, but the Impact did it. Players from all over the province went to the city to try to make the squad. The team continued consistent success, but still didn't have any major hardware, other than Canadian Cups. That changed when a French midfielder, formerly a starter of Lyon, was signed in the prime of his career. This was the missing piece. In 2021, with their Frenchman, a tough Scot in defense, and almost half of the starters on the National Team, the Impact went on to win the East, and the MLS Cup over the Galaxy. Things cooled off after the cup run, in 2023, the team missed the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. The Canadians they helped bring up went to play for stronger English sides, helping the national team, but leaving Montreal out to dry. The Impact still have a group of 4 or 5 youth players yearly that can compete for a first team squad, or loaned to Halifax for later. A very streaky team with a whole province behind them, a top half finish in 2030 is the goal for the boys at Saputo Stadium. The black striped look is way better than plain blue, so I wanted to make that the home. Add black and blue striped socks to it, and that was the resulting home uniform. The away is really similar to the set they had in 2013, but that is because it's a great look. Fleur de lis on a stripe up the middle, with some designs on the underarm.

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