The Impact made the playoffs for the first time last year, but a lack of new signings this offseason could be their downfall in 2014.THE BIG STORY: It’s been an oddly quiet offseason for the Montreal Impact, where the only major change has come on the bench. Despite leading the Impact to their first MLS postseason apperance, Swiss native Marco Schällibaum was replaced by former Chicago Fire coach Frank Klopas in December.
Klopas will also have to make the playoffs this season and with essentially the same roster. Alessandro Nesta and former Captain Davy Arnaud are the notable absentees, and defender Eric Miller and Uruguayan forward Santiago Gonzalez are the only new additions.
Considering the fact that they only just made the playoffs last season, the Impact’s lack of movement in the transfer window this offseason does not bode well for them this year.
THE BIG QUESTION: Who’s going to score the goals this season? Marco Di Vaio scored 20 of the Impact’s 50 goals last year, but it is unlikely that the 37-year-old will be able to manage as many this campaign. Di Vaio will also miss the first three games to the season with a suspension.
Can Andrew Wenger and Gonzalez contribute offensively? The Impact sure hope so.
EXPECTED OUTCOME: The Impact’s fate will likely hinge on whether they can add some quality pieces over the course of the season. For now, they’re still fragile in defence (they had one of the worst defensive records last season), don’t have enough options in attack, and lack quality depth in most positions.
With a lack of new signings and the Eastern Conference getting significantly stronger, Montreal will likely miss out on the playoffs.
PROBABLE FORMATION (4-2-3-1):
GK: Troy PerkinsRB: Hassoun Camara
CB: Matteo Ferrari
CB: Adrian Lopez
LB: Jeb Brovksy
CM: Patrice Bernier
CM: Hernan Bernardello
RM: Justin Mapp
LM: Andres Romero
FW: Marco Di Vaio
ACQUISITIONS: Eric Miller (Draft), Santiago Gonzalez (Sud America)
DEPARTURES: Alessandro Nesta (retired), Davy Arnaud (D.C United), Andrea Pisanu (A.C. Prato), Daniele Paponi (Bologna), Zarek Valentin (Bodø/Glimt), Maximiliano Rodriguez (Argentinos Juniors), Paolo DelPiccolo (New England Revolution)