The Forecast urges Montréal to pick its first MLS coach with care and sorts through the weekend slate.
The time for Montréal to name its new MLS coach is fast approaching.
Montréal sporting director Nick DeSantis told the Montréal Gazette on Thursday that the Impact is winding down its search process and could hire the coach expected to lead the club into MLS by the end of the month.
Two words of unsolicited advice for the Impact: choose wisely.
If DeSantis needs a cautionary tale, he can look to his Canadian brethren. Toronto FC has failed to recover from the calamitous choice to hire Mo Johnston as its first coach and then turn over its personnel department to him after one season at the helm. Vancouver handed Teitur Thordarson a one-year deal to shepherd the Whitecaps from USL to MLS, but that tenuous arrangement only lasted through May and left the squad in disarray as it slid down to the bottom of the table.
DeSantis and the Impact brass must choose someone who they believe can run the club for the short- and the medium-term. While Montréal probably needs to put a coach in place in the not-too-distant future to sort out collegiate and domestic scouting during the next few months and wade through the wreckage of the current side from a safe distance, the Impact must place more importance on locating a figure it can trust to guide the squad through the next couple of years.
The task isn't an easy one given the difficulty of the road ahead. After suffering through a terrible campaign in its final season in the second division and watching Toronto FC and Vancouver falter in the American top flight, Montréal can't afford to err on this decision as it prepares to make the leap to MLS next season.
Last week: 3/8 (38%)
For the season: 53/136 (39%)
Chivas USA @ Sporting Kansas City – 7:30p.m. (Galavision)
The Red-and-White desperately needed its 2-0 victory at San Jose on Wednesday, but this particular affair presents a more difficult challenge for Robin Fraser's side. Sporting settled for 1-1 draw against Colorado at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in midweek, but its recent form (unbeaten in nine) suggests that a win could be on the cards here if it can disrupt Chivas USA's rhythm through midfield.
Prediction: Sporting Kansas City win.
D.C. United @ New York – 7:30p.m.
These two rivals recently swapped midfielders – both Dwayne De Rosario and Dax McCarty look more comfortable at their new addresses, it must be said – and the deal could add a bit of extra heat to this match. New York's comprehensive attacking performance against Toronto FC in midweek should serve it well here against a United side still prone to mistakes at the back.
Prediction: New York win.
Toronto FC @ Houston – 8:30p.m. (GOL TV Canada)
Daniel Cruz? Danny Cruz? How will Dynamo fans keep track of the Colombian-born, Belgium-based trialist (the former) and the pesky right winger (the latter)? TFC's visit – right on the heels of its 5-0 drubbing at New York on Wednesday night – gives Houston a bit of time to ponder such problems, though the Dynamo would be wise not to approach this trap game too lightly.
Prediction: Houston win.
Vancouver @ Colorado – 9:00p.m.
If the Rapids can't pull out three points at home (even after a 1-1 draw at Sporting Kansas City midweek and without the services of the suspended Pablo Mastroeni) against the lagging Whitecaps (sans the suspended Shea Salinas), then it's probably time to review their credentials as a Western Conference power.
Prediction: Colorado win.
FC Dallas @ Real Salt Lake – 9:00p.m.
Much of the focus this season has fallen on FCD's speedy attacking options, but its underrated defensive core will have to shoulder the load in this game. It's always a hard slog at Rio Tinto Stadium even if the home side – admittedly, a group that has scored eight times in its past three games – isn't in peak form right now. If FCD can keep it tight at the back, it could hit a Claret-and-Cobalt side stripped of defensive rock Nat Borchers (suspension) on the break.
Chicago @ Los Angeles – 10:30p.m. (FOX Soccer)
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena must deal with a couple of selection concerns – A.J. DeLaGarza (head/face trauma) and Omar Gonzalez (hip pointer) are both listed as questionable after picking up knocks in Monday's 0-0 draw with Seattle – ahead of this match. After failing to score in its past two matches, Los Angeles must focus on breaching an in-form Fire rearguard in order to pick up the required three points here.
Prediction: Los Angeles win.
Philadelphia @ San Jose – 10:30p.m.
It's an odd time to disrupt the defensive chemistry in Philadelphia. Will Jordan Harvey's departure to Vancouver – and the move or two likely to follow with the allocation money acquired for his services – inspire a wobble or two from the Union? San Jose will need to concoct an alternative route to goal with Steven Lenhart suspended and muster some sort of command performance after its disappointing reverse to Chivas USA on Wednesday to take advantage of any missteps by the visitors.
Prediction: San Jose win.
Seattle @ Portland – 4:00p.m. (ESPN/ESPN Deportes)
All bets are off when these Pacific Northwest rivals meet. Portland snatched a draw at then-Qwest Field earlier this season. The smart money probably expects in-form Sounders FC to do the same in a robust affair at JELD-WEN Field.
Kyle McCarthy writes the Monday MLS Breakdown and frequently writes opinion pieces during the week for Goal.com. He also covers the New England Revolution for the Boston Herald and MLSsoccer.com. Contact him with your questions or comments at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter by clicking here.
Keep updated with Major League Soccer by visiting Goal.com's MLS page and joining Goal.com's page.