After a start to the season marked by three consecutive losses, who would have thought that CF Montreal would now target the top group of the MLS Eastern Conference?
Let’s face it, the season started off ominously with those three straight losses followed by a 3-3 tie in Atlanta where the team was up 3-1 and lost their lead while playing with a extra man, in the second half.
After this match, there were many doubts, and with good reason.
But since this meeting, Wilfried Nancy and his band have suffered no setbacks.
This draw in Atlanta marked the start of a six-game unbeaten streak (4-0-2), which allowed the team to climb to 4and ranks in the Eastern Conference with 14 points, four behind first-place Philadelphia.
Among the good
What seemed like a poor start to the season turned into a first quarter where the team went 4-3-2 with 14 points.
It’s one of the team’s strong starts since joining MLS in 2012.
Only the 2019 (18 points) and 2013 (17 points) editions did better. The team also had 14 points in its first nine games in 2016 and 2018.
As the sporting director, Olivier Renard, mentioned earlier this week, we must remain cautious since these figures do not indicate a particular trend.
In fact, in its two best starts, the team reached the playoffs half the time. And the same thing in the case of the first quarters of 14 points, we played beyond the regular season half the time.
Like a star
Much has been made of Djordje Mihailovic’s very good season in 2021 and expectations were high this year.
The American midfielder is doing everything to prove that he has enormous potential with a harvest of four goals and four assists in nine games.
He’s been playing as a Designated Player since the start of the season and his four goals already equal his 2021 production. He seems to be fueled by the challenges thrown at him by Wilfried Nancy.
If he continues his momentum, he will be a very serious candidate for the title of most valuable player in MLS. He will also be a very serious candidate for a very lucrative transfer to Europe in the off-season, especially if the American national team calls on his services during the World Cup.
Mihailovic’s contribution took some pressure off the shoulders of Romell Quioto, who was the team’s main sniper last year.
With 16 goals in 9 games, the team relies mainly on 9 different scorers, which is more than satisfactory.
Hired to compensate for the many injuries in attack, veteran Kei Kamara makes a great contribution with two goals and an assist. His experience and his aura are also very important in what he brings to the team.
In addition, we note that three goals were scored by defenders, which indicates a better success rate on offensive set pieces.
Defensive play was a concern early in the season. The 18 goals against are there to prove it.
However, the team has allowed only one goal in each of its last four games, which suggests progress even if the game leaves something to be desired.
We also wonder about Sebastian Breza, who sent signals that are difficult to decode. He had some tough games, but last Saturday he shone. What is his real personality?
His save percentage is only 55%, which isn’t great. He is young, we can be patient, but he must display more serenity.
Through a message posted on social networks on Wednesday evening, the club indicated that it will soon unveil a new logo which will be used from the 2023 season.
CF Montreal after nine games
- 2022: 4-3-2 14 dots
- 2021: 3-3-3 12 dots
- 2020: 4-4-1 13 dots
- (**) 2019: 6-3-0
- 18 dots 2018: 4-3-2
- 14 dots 2017: 2-3-4
- 10 dots 2016: 4-3-2
- 14 dots 2015: 2-4-3
- 9 dots 2014: 1-5-3
- 6 points 2013: 5-2-2
- 17 dots 2012: 2-5-2
*Team played four home games in Florida
** Pandemic year marked by the MLS Is Back tournament
journaldemontreal Fr Sport