Fixture Congestion be Damned: Impact Impress Again
photo from CDSOCCER.com
Roberto Brown was not good enough for Fernando Clavijo. But he’s been good enough for Montreal of the second flight, USL leading the Impact to the league semifinals and now more importantly scoring two goals to give the Impact a huge road three points in Honduras against Olimpia in the CONCACAF Champions League. This was the third game in a stretch which will see Montreal play six games in eleven days, all the matches being either Champions League or USL playoff games. This point is precisely why when MLS fans complain about fixture congestion I cannot help but laugh at them.
Throwing out the result of a dispirited and quite frankly completely overmatched DC United team who right now is the laughing stock of the Champions League, Matchday three was very good for MLS and USL sides. (DC did play much better tonight than they have in the previous two Champions League matches but I recall a time not so long ago where DC would automatically get a result at home in an international competition. Besides Cruz Azul was playing its second eleven) Houston became the first MLS team ever to get a result in a competitive match in Mexico City with a 4-4 draw at Pumas. Puerto Rico continued an unbeaten streak of 17 games with a hard fought 2-2 draw in Guatemala against Municipal, and as discussed above Montreal beat Olimpia on the road.
Back to Brown. For my money he was the Rapids most dangerous player early last season. I saw him in person at DSG Park and was amazed by his skill off the ball. But for whatever reason, after making a big deal about signing him, Clavijo let him go after about 10 matches. Rather than go back to Panama, he latched on in USL with Montreal (as by the way many quality foreign players who get waived in MLS have in the past) and he has made a remarkable impact, no pun intended on the Quebec based club.
As things stand now, three MLS/USL teams have a very good chance of advancing to the knock out stages of the event. That’s something we all can be proud of.