The Impact are blighted by injuries at the worst possible time, as the next four games will determine whether the team will take part in this year's postseason.
However, from the outset, it was clear that if the Impact were going to have a good run in the playoffs, or get there at all, they were going to need all their key players healthy and fit. An injury to 37-year-old Marco Di Vaio alone would spell disaster.
Moving into the very last stretch of the season, the Impact are out of sorts. They’re winless in four games and are having to deal with injuries to key players.
Though Alessandro Nesta and Hernan Bernardello will return to the lineup for Saturday's fixture against the New England Revolution, fullback Jeb Brovsky will be out for the next two weeks with a broken toe. With Hassoun Camara suspended for yellow card accumulation, midfielder Davy Arnaud might have to slot into right fullback. Homegrown player Maxim Tissot, who hasn’t played a whole lot in MLS so far, will likely have to start on the left.
Patrice Bernier and Di Vaio did sustain slight injuries last week, but should be back for Saturday’s fixture, though they most surely won’t be at 100 percent. Justin Mapp and Daniele Paponi's availability is also in doubt.
It’s far from an ideal situation for a game of Saturday’s importance, where the Revs will be desperate for a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Beating the Revs on Saturday would give the Impact the opportunity to rest players in their ensuing midweek make-up game in Los Angeles against the Galaxy so as to preserve them for their home game the following weekend against the Philadelphia Union – another team that’s in the running for a playoff spot in the Eastern conference.
For the Impact, it’s going to be a race against the clock to get everyone fit again. To make the playoffs, they might just have to limp across the finish line.
Fall is the best time for a game of soccer
In Quebec, as Patrick Leduc points out in a column at La Presse, soccer is a sport which tends to be practiced predominantly during the summer and not so much before or after.
Now that fall has arrived, youth soccer leagues have all but come to an end. Nets at public parks start being removed and goals put away, while sports enthusiasts shift their focus to hockey and football. Perhaps it’s time to get one’s skates sharpened.
But fall is really the ideal season to play the beautiful game and it’s a shame to see parks empty up between September and November. Soccer was never meant for the scorching heat of July.
It’s a habit that needs to change.
The Impact are battling with this cultural tendency as well, as they’ve offered a series of ticket promotions in a bid to fill up Stade Saputo for Saturday's matchup with New England.
It’s the biggest game of the season for the Impact as a win would almost guarantee them a place in the playoffs should the Chicago Fire lose to FC Dallas later the same day.
With the Impact hurting from injuries and suspension, they will need all the help they can get.
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