Did you know? – Montreal is the same latitude as Venice, Italy. Perhaps that is why the Montreal Impact have attracted no less than four Italians to join their roster — Andrea Pisanu (31 years old), Matteo Ferrari (33), Alessandro Nesta (36), and Marco Di Vaio (36). In addition to being a great place for aging Italians to retire, Montreal was also the home of one of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s week long bed-ins back in 1969. Take that, Club Sesso!
Familiar Faces – Montreal downgraded its goalkeeper position last season when it acquired Troy Perkins. The Impact also have former University of Portland midfielder Collen Warner on their roster. He scored two goals in six matches for the Portland Timbers U23s back in 2009. We should also mention Sanna Nyassi who once played for the Timbers in an exhibition match against the Morelia Monarcas while he was on trial for the Seattle Sounders. He scored and the Sounders ended up signing him. It was like Mikael Silvestre in Arizona but in reverse.
Speaking of Seattle – Montreal pulled off a shocker last week when they defeated the fishing village from the north 1-0. Like a certain unnamed expansion team with which you might be familiar, Montreal struggled on the road in their debut MLS season. They brought a winning game plan into Seattle last week, playing a compact 4-1-4-1 formation that limited Seattle’s scoring opportunities. A sweet first half goal from Davy Arnauld proved to be the difference. Here’s how it happened.
The New Boss – Montreal dumped Jesse Marsch after one season and have the Swiss Miss, Marco Schällibaum, running the show. At the tender age of 50, Montreal is the 10th club that Schällibaum has managed. It is the first one outside of his native Switzerland. He has been reunited with the Brazilian midfielder Felipe who he coached at the Italian-Swiss club Lugano.
Old Man Bernie – One of the top players on the Impact roster a season ago was midfielder Patrice Bernier who finished with 9 goals and 8 assists. This is actually his second stint with Montreal. He played for the Impact back in 2001-02 when he was a spry 21-year-old. He was one of the better players in the old A-League and quickly moved overseas where he spent nearly a decade tolling for high level teams in Scandinavia.
Future Timbers Transfer Target – Midfielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic didn’t get the memo that all former Akron Zips are required to sign with the Timbers.
We meet again - Andrew Wenger was Montreal’s top pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. Back in 2010 he played for the Reading United PDL team that lost to the Portland Timbers U23s in the national semifinals. Sporting KC’s C.J. Sapong was also on that Reading team, which was a very strong side if my fuzzy memory recalls.
Why you should hate Montreal, Part 1: Back in the A-League/USL era the Montreal Impact and Rochester Raging Rhinos ruled the roost because they basically gave away tickets and had high attendance figures. That meant that they pretty much got to make a schedule to their liking. As a result, they tried their best to avoid traveling anywhere west of the Mississippi. It wasn’t until the 2005 season that we got to practice our high school French swear words on Montreal players in person. Coincidentally, that frog over there on the left began making an appearance. Frogs. French. Get it? How utterly clever we were.
There’s also the story about their Ultras burning a scarf, but we won’t get into that here.
Why you should hate Montreal, Part 2: Seemingly every time the Timbers have played in Montreal there has been a nasty injury. The great Solomon Islander hope Benjamin Totori blew out a knee there. Cameron Knowles essentially ended his career there. Troy Perkins had his face rearranged there last season. I once had too much to drink and twisted my ankle going down to the subway. I blame the eleven men who will wear their colors on Saturday for each and every one of these injuries.
Why you should hate Montreal, Part 3
Why you should hate Montreal, part 4
Did you know, Part 2? – You are probably aware that French and English are both widely spoken in Montreal, but what is the third most spoken language? Give up? It is Arabic. Montreal also has the largest number of Spanish speakers of any city in Canada.
Just another Manic Nickname
The Man in the Middle - This week’s display of incompetency will be provided by referee Edvin Jurisevic. A 37-year-old computer consultant who was born came to Omaha, Nebraska as an exchange student from Croatia, Jurisevic has been the referee for four previous Timbers matches, three games against Columbus and one against Chivas USA. The Timbers are 2-1-1 in games he has officiated.
Montreal as a city has many things going for it, including a decent beer scene. 5mTKO’s much coveted beer endorsement of the week goes to Aphrodisiaque brewed by Dieu du Ciel. What does it taste like, you ask:
Black ale with aromas and flavours of vanilla, dark chocolate, bourbon and roasted malt. The vanilla and cocoa marry nicely, without out-competing each other, to produce a surprisingly well balanced beer. This beer is mildly hoppy, but the cocoa introduces a touch of bitterness. Its colour may be intimidating, but it is a very smooth beer within reach of most beer drinkers. This highly appreciated dessert beer is brewed with organic fair-trade cocoa and first rate vanilla beans.
We’re not intimidated by its color nor its colour. Yum and Yum. Buy Nevets a beer.
Previews (Updated as they come)
- Beating Montreal [Slide Rule Pass]
- Former Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins is happy playing in Montreal [Oregonlive]
- A look inside the Timbers Army with Sherrilyn Rawson [Mount Royal Soccer]
- Troy Perkins Returns to Portland [NASN Portland]
- Perko’s Return (and unrelated matters) [The Axe]
- Opponent watch – New faces, same goals [Montreal Impact]
- Portland Timbers vs. Montreal Impact Preview: Better Defense Please [Stumptown Footy]