Samuel Piette, the man with records
It’s the year of records for Samuel Piette, who achieved another against the Columbus Crew at the beginning of the month.
The midfielder played his 152e match in the CF Montreal jersey in the MLS era, surpassing his former teammate Patrice Bernier.
Last March, he eclipsed Nacho Piatti in minutes played with the club. Piatti had accumulated 11,428; Piette now has 11,972.
He now has another goal in mind: to seek another record held by Evan Bush, who is the player, all positions combined, to have played the most matches with the team in MLS, i.e. 176.
“For sure I want to catch Bush and then stretch the records to make it harder for the next guy. But I know that it won’t be unattainable,” says Piette with a broad smile.
He was far away
Samuel Piette arrived at the Bleu-Blanc-Noir at the age of 22, in 2017. He is in his seventh season with the team. He’s not exactly the same person as at the beginning.
“When I arrived in Montreal, it was so far away for me. I just wanted to play here, please my bosses, my teammates and be happy with my game.
Being a Quebecer playing for a Montreal team offers a special flavor to the adventure. The public gives them love.
“At the beginning, you want to please your immediate environment and then you become a more important member of the Quebec community and of sport. That’s when you start to realize that there are other things than performing for your teammates.”
Through this process, Piette has become a veteran of the team. After all, he will be 29 in November. What is surprising is that he quickly obtained this status. Faster than we thought.
“I arrived in Montreal in 2017 in a group that was quite old and it was the end of the cycle. I was the little guy full of energy who runs everywhere, who fights for the team, who doesn’t say a word except to say what the world wants to hear to make friends in the locker room.
“The following year, Mauro (Biello) was no longer there, it was the arrival of Rémi Garde and there was a turnover of players. I had to help the new guys and the role happened that way.”
Now he finds himself captain of a team that has only two 30-year-olds, Victor Wanyama and Romell Quioto, who are 32 years old. The average age is 24 years old.
“Of course, with a locker room like ours, I feel a little old.
I’m one of the oldest, I’m the captain and I’ve been here a long time so when I think about when I’ll be 29, I feel like it’s more than that.”
Piette likes to speak his mind, so he addressed some criticisms that have been leveled at him in the past.
“If I have these records, it’s because I like the coaches who come here, I’m available and I fit into the system. I’ve always played quite a bit and I see comments coming through, I know that not everyone agrees, some find me old.
“But I’ve been here six years and I play all the time, there must be something wrong. I think I was able to adapt each time and meet expectations.”
Piette is not wrong. In 2017, he played 11 games out of the team’s 12 remaining when he arrived. Between 2018 and 2022, he never played fewer than 22 games, playing all 34 games of the season in 2018. This season, he has nine games under his belt, an injury having forced him to be inactive for several weeks .
When we ask Samuel Piette if he has until now the career he had imagined, he answers candidly and you have to read to the end to understand that it is far from being a bad thing that she took an unexpected tangent.
“Honestly no because when I left for Europe, I saw myself staying there. I saw myself doing like Pat Bernier and coming back towards the end. I kept telling myself that I had a respectable career in Europe and that I could always come back to Montreal when I was 30.
“But I wouldn’t do anything different. It was a nice surprise to come back early. I look at the life I’ve had since I arrived here, there have been so many things that I hadn’t thought of when I came back to Montreal later.
“I hadn’t thought about having my family here with my boyfriend and my girlfriend, seeing my friends, being able to go play golf with friends, see my parents whenever I want.”
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