Mar 23, 2013, 8:39 PM EST
Two Eastern Conference clubs are generating lots of March chatter around MLS, but for very different reasons.
The Montreal Impact’s impressive 4-0 start has to be the surprise story of the young MLS season. The Impact did well as an expansion team last year, but nothing like this.
The team’s 1-0 victory Saturday over the New York Red Bulls is just the latest evidence. Patrice Bernier (pictured) was exceptional once again, providing a wonderful assist on Marco Di Vaio’s second goal of the young season. Bernier’s early ball out of midfield caught New York’s center backs just a little bit asleep, and it looked like the balls Shalrie Joseph once played with an early menace out of New England’s midfield when he was the league’s top central midfielder.
The Impact shutout, by the way, came without veteran center back Alessando Nesta, who wasn’t quite ready to start after last week’s injury. So the team isn’t even at its best. The fans around Montreal have certainly noticed something going on; the Impact’s two home matches have combined to draw almost 65,000 this year.
Saturday’s draw might have been even better but for Thierry Henry’s injury absence. That was just more bad news for Mike Petke’s side, now winless in four matches of 2013 – hardly the way the Red Bulls’ popular rookie manager wanted to launch his head coaching career.
New York did have opportunities in this one; Henry’s finishing was sorely missed on a couple of instances.
More on Petke around the corner at ProSoccerTalk; for now, here are Saturday’s highlights:
- NWSL: Houston becomes second MLS franchise to place team in women’s professional league 0
- MLS Re-Entry Draft: As predicted, Portland find a way to get Steve Zakuani 3
- Early approval: Klinsmann extends contract, will serve as U.S. head coach, technical director through 2018 3
- MLS announces Bayern Munich as opponent for 2014 All-Star Game in Portland 4
- WATCH: Can Tottenham stop Luis Suarez and can City beat Arsenal? 0
- UK Twitter chat in 2013 dominated by soccer. Good thing or bad thing? 2
- 2014 World Cup Draw: Recapping the event (43)
- 2014 World Cup Draw: USA in Group of Death with Germany, Portugal, Ghana – Schedule, times, venues (34)
- Now that we know the U.S. opponents, which 23 players should Jurgen Klinsmann bring to Brazil? (21)
- Sporting Kansas City crowned 2013 MLS champions after 10 rounds of penalty kicks (16)
- U.S. national team discussion: The Alejandro Bedoya conundrum (14)
- Giovani: "We Were Over Criticized"
- Watch Out Netherlands! Chile-Clan Ain't Nothin' to Mess With!
- Messi on Safe Track to Full Recovery
- The Argentinian Armada, Favorites for Brazil 2014
- Brazil 2014: A Look At South America
- Arena de Amazonia: Host of USA vs CR7
- USA Will Advance in Brazil
- You Can't Beat German Sachlichkeit
- Group B: No Walk In The Park
- Analyzing The Draw From An Azzurri Viewpoint