Montreal Impact 2017 MLS season preview: Roster, schedule, national TV info and more

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To start the season, the Impact are putting their trust in the players that brought them deep into last season's playoffs.


GOAL 2017 MLS SEASON PREVIEW

The Montreal Impact will be hoping to make the MLS playoffs for a third straight year in 2017, but this time they'll have to do so without the services of Didier Drogba, whose contract with the Impact expired at the end of last season. 

They will, however, get to count on the same starting XI that brought them to the Eastern Conference finals, where they ultimately fell to Toronto FC 7-5 on aggregate. Winger Andres Romero, who missed all of last year with an ACL tear, will also be available from the start of the season. 

MORE: Montreal Impact ready for life after Drogba

Though the Impact have made very few roster additions this winter, the biggest changes will come in the summer. Swiss international midfielder Blerim Dzemaili has already been tied down to a designated player contract and will arrive in July from Serie A side Bologna on a free transfer.

As was the case in past years, the Impact's playoff fate might only be decided in the final days of the season, but should they get into the playoffs, beware: This experienced Impact team knows how to step up its game when it matters most.


How did the Montreal Impact perform in 2016?


Mauro Biello Montreal Impact

2016 finish: Fifth in Eastern Conference (11-11-12), eliminated in conference final

There were a lot of ups and downs throughout the season, but the Impact still managed to make the playoffs for a second straight year. Few expected them to get past D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls and reach the conference final, but too many defensive lapses on set pieces cost them in the end against Toronto FC. 


Montreal Impact's key offseason losses


Didier Drogba Montreal Impact MLS 11222016

Didier Drogba is gone and he averaged a goal every other game during his one and a half seasons with the Impact. But after falling out with coach Mauro Biello, he was reduced to a substitute role and the Impact showed they could make do without him. 

The club also moved attacking midfielder Harry Shipp, Costa Rica international Johan Venegas and young designated player Lucas Ontivero all players who didn't perform as hoped. 


Montreal Impact's key offseason additions


Chris Duvall New York Red Bulls MLS 07132016

It wasn't just the shortest offseason the Impact ever had, it was also the quietest by some margin on the transfer front. The only new signing, other then the players acquired in the MLS draft, was defender Chris Duvall.

But Montreal did announce the signing of Swiss international Blerim Dzemaili, who will join the club in July. And it's very likely that the Bologna midfielder won't be the only arrival this summer. 


How will the Montreal Impact starting lineup look in 2017?


GFX LINEUP 2017-02-15 Impact

The same starting eleven that played in the Eastern Conference final three months ago will likely be the one coach Biello uses in March, but expect things to change as the season progresses. 

In preseason, Biello has begun experimenting with the 3-5-2 formation, but we probably won't see that in effect until later in the season.

Aside from Dzemaili taking up one of the spots in central midfield later on this year, we could also see some of the Impact's exciting attacking academy products challenge for minutes. Keep an eye out for Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Ballou Tabla and David Choiniere. 


Full Montreal Impact roster entering the 2017 season


Montreal Impact

Goalkeepers: Evan Bush, Maxime Crepeau, Eric Kronberg

Defenders: Victor Cabrera, Hassoun Camara, Laurent Ciman, Chris Duvall, Kyle Fisher, Wandrille Lefevre, Ambroise Oyongo

Midfielders: Louis Beland-Goyette, Hernan Bernardello, Patrice Bernier, David Choiniere, Marco Donadel, Calum Mallace, Ignacio Piatti, Andres Romero, Shamit Shome

Forwards: Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Matteo Mancosu, Dominic Oduro, Michael Salazar, Ballou Tabla

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Montreal Impact's national TV coverage schedule


Ambroise Oyongo Marco Donadel Montreal Impact

San Jose Earthquakes - Montreal Impact Saturday, March 4, at 10 p.m. ET on TSN
Chicago Fire vs. Montreal Impact - Saturday, April 1, at 3 p.m. ET on CTV
LA Galaxy vs. Montreal Impact - Friday, April 7, at 10:30 p.m. ET on TSN
Montreal Impact vs. Atlanta United - Saturday, April 15, at 1 p.m. ET on CTV
Montreal Impact vs. Vancouver Whitecaps - Saturday, April 29, at 3:00 p.m. ET on CTV
Montreal Impact vs. D.C. United - Saturday, July 1, at 7 p.m. ET on TSN
Montreal Impact vs. Chicago Fire - Wednesday, Aug. 16, at 7:30 p.m. ET on TSN
Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC – Sunday, Aug. 27, 4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, TSN
Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact – Wednesday, Sep. 20, 7:30 p.m. ET on TSN
Montreal Impact vs. New York City FC – Wednesday, Sep. 27, 7:30 p.m. ET on TSN
Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact – Sunday, Oct. 15, 3:00 p.m. ET on TSN
New England Revolution vs Montreal Impact – Sunday, Oct. 22 4:00 p.n. ET on TSN

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