Skip to content

MLS Rivalry Week backstories: Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact

Mar 15, 2013, 7:30 AM EST

If we examine the back stories on how rivalries achieve their deliciously acrimonious state – real rivalries, that is, and not the manufactured ones fans tend to sniff out and disregard with extreme prejudice – they usually check the box on one or more of the elements you see in the box below.

Here we look at the Montreal Impact-Toronto FC rivalry, and which boxes get checked on this clash between Canada’s two largest cities:

The teams meet at 4 p.m. ET Saturday at Stade Olympique.

source:

The backstory:

The sporting animosity extends beyond just soccer in this bit of MLS bitterness. When it comes to Toronto and Montreal, Canada’s two largest cities, Impact vs. TFC is but one slice of this piping hot rivalry pie.

A lot of this is about hockey, of course; the Canadiens–Maple Leafs rivalry is the stuff of skating legend. It’s also about cultural conflict, the tension between primarily English-speaking Toronto and primarily French-speaking Montreal, with all the rancorous undertow that accompanies it. That hot mess has been on the boil for more than 200 years.

Since Toronto has been part of MLS since only 2007, and since Montreal is just a sophomore MLS side, this one will need some time steep. (Just don’t try telling that to former Impact coach Jesse Marsch of former Toronto assistant Bob De Klerk, who had to be separated after one emotionally charged meeting a year back.)

As for soccer, as with some other MLS rivalries, this one pre-dates MLS involvement.

Back in the 2009 Canada Cup, Toronto came into Montreal in need of a four-goal victory. Only that less-than-likely result would spare the Reds the ignominy of being an MLS side eliminated from the country’s cup competition by a lower-tier outfit. And against the odds, TFC kicked up a historic 6-1 win at Stade Saputo. The habitually rebuilding Reds, still without an MLS playoff appearance, haven’t any many nights to celebrate like that one.

The hockey teams have met more than 700 times through the years.  So, a little patience please; I’m sure someone will twist off soon enough and get this Impact-Reds clash where it needs to be.

source:

Saturday’s match:

Montreal is a pleasant surprise of the young 2013 season, as new manager Marco Schallibaum has won two on the road to launch his MLS account (and the team’s second MLS season). Watch for holding midfielder Patrice Bernier, one of the better players too many MLS fans still know little about.

No one around Toronto is too displeased with the Reds first two matches under yet another newbie MLS manager. (In fact, Ryan Nelsen (pictured) is spanking new to the coaching business in general; he was still playing for Queens Park Rangers just two months ago.)

This one will take place at Montreal’s Stade Olympique rather than the club’s usual home ground, the smaller and more weather exposed Stade Saputo.

MLS on NBC makes its 2013 debut when Arlo White and Kyle Martino call New York Red Bulls against D.C. United at 12:30 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Network carries two contests after that (Sporting KC vs. Chicago Fire, then Seattle vs. Portland). In between, “The Breakaway” will show goals from foursome of matches NBC is not carrying.

ProSoccerTalk’s series of Rivalry Week backstories:

  • FC Dallas-Houston Dynamo
  • LA Galaxy-Chivas USA
Latest Posts
  1. Jonny Evans to fight spitting charge in trial, Papiss Cisse accepts allegation

    Mar 6, 2015, 6:10 PM EST

    Newcastle United v Manchester United - Premier League Getty Images

    Jonny Evans will contest the FA charge against him for spitting at Newcastle United forward Papiss Cisse, who has already accepted a seven-game ban for the incident.

  2. LA Galaxy add former PSV midfielder Mika Vayrynen

    Mar 6, 2015, 5:25 PM EST

    745142_w2 Getty Images

    LA Galaxy fill an international roster spot with the addition of Finland’s Mika Vayrynen.

  3. Five storylines heading into FA Cup quarterfinals

    Mar 6, 2015, 4:50 PM EST

    BradfordCity Getty Images

    Storylines from the FA Cup, with the quarterfinals taking place over the next few days.

  4. Premier League Preview: QPR vs. Tottenham Hotspur

    Mar 6, 2015, 3:45 PM EST

    Nacer Chadli AP

    Preview of QPR v. Tottenham on Saturday.

  5. Who is the most underrated player in MLS? MLS stars weigh in, but who’s your pick?

    Mar 6, 2015, 3:14 PM EST

    Benny Feilhaber, Sporting KC Benny Feilhaber, Sporting KC

    Every team has one — or two, or three — guys that don’t get the credit they deserve. Who’s the MOST underrated player in MLS?

  6. Brazilian legend Ronaldo dismisses “nonsense” rumors (that he started) of comeback in NASL

    Mar 6, 2015, 2:22 PM EST

    Ronaldo, Fort Lauderdale Strikers Ronaldo, Fort Lauderdale Strikers

    Can it really be considered a “rumor” if you’re the one who said it first? Either way, no comeback for Il Fenomeno.

  7. USWNT 3-0 Switzerland: Morgan, Rodriguez, Wambach rescue USA at Algarve Cup

    Mar 6, 2015, 2:00 PM EST

    Abby Wambach, USWNT Getty Images

    It wasn’t pretty until late, but three points is three points. Improvement still needed before the World Cup.

  8. Louis van Gaal: I “have a very bad relationship” with Ryan Giggs — just kidding!

    Mar 6, 2015, 11:49 AM EST

    Ryan Giggs & Louis van Gaal, Manchester United FC Ryan Giggs & Louis van Gaal, Manchester United FC

    LVG is tired of your faux-controversies, British press. So much so he’s resorted to going along with them.

  9. FIFA Women’s PotY Nadine Kessler needs knee operation, could miss 2015 World Cup

    Mar 6, 2015, 10:38 AM EST

    Nadine Kessler, Germany Nadine Kessler, Germany

    A bitter blow for last year’s world’s best women’s player. An advantage to the rest of the field.

  10. MLS Week 1 preview: Sounders vs. Revs, Timbers vs. RSL headline First Kick weekend

    Mar 6, 2015, 9:52 AM EST

    Obafemi Martins, Seattle Sounders Getty Images

    Picking which six MLS games to watch this weekend was going to be really tough, so we did the dirty work for you.

  11. FA Cup preview: Wembley trips on the line as Man United, Arsenal, Liverpool shoot for semis

    Mar 6, 2015, 8:22 AM EST

    Wayne Rooney, Manchester United FC Getty Images

    Man United haven’t won the FA Cup since 2004. Is this finally their year?

  12. PHOTOS: 2015 MLS jerseys have been unveiled — Which is the best? Worst?

    Mar 5, 2015, 10:22 PM EST

    MLS logo MLS logo

    Because who doesn’t love to critique and compare every team’s new jerseys?

  13. WATCH: Mohamed Salah’s 60-yard dribble and wondergoal; Juventus 1-2 Fiorentina

    Mar 5, 2015, 8:53 PM EST

    Mohamed Salah, ACF Fiorentina Mohamed Salah, ACF Fiorentina

    The dribble was a thing of beauty, but he still had to apply the finish. Not a problem for Salah.

  14. Now that it’s happening, MLS’s 20th season is sure to be the best one yet

    Mar 5, 2015, 8:15 PM EST

    Kaka, Orlando City SC Kaka, Orlando City SC

    The season is officially on. Here’s a few reasons to get excited, in case you’re not already. (You should be.)

  15. 2015 MLS season preview: Real Salt Lake

    Mar 5, 2015, 7:00 PM EST

    Real Salt Lake logo

    Jeff Cassar impressed in year one, but can he rebuild RSL and make them his own in year two?

  16. 2015 MLS season preview: LA Galaxy

    Mar 5, 2015, 5:00 PM EST

    LA Galaxy logo

    Bruce’s boys are back, and once again, rebuilt. This changes little for a team with more championship aspirations.

  17. 2015 MLS season preview: Portland Timbers

    Mar 5, 2015, 4:00 PM EST

    Portland Timbers logo

    Caleb Porter’s final foray in the Rose City? He’ll need the playoffs this year, otherwise…

  18. 2015 MLS season preview: Seattle Sounders

    Mar 5, 2015, 3:19 PM EST

    Seattle Sounders logo

    After winning two of three titles last season, can the Sounders finally clinch that pesky MLS Cup?