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Montreal Impact

From Academic Kids

Template:Football club infobox The Montreal Impact (French: Impact de Montréal) is a soccer team in the North American USL First Division. Founded in 1993 by the Saputo family following the demise of the Montreal Supra and its league (the Canadian Soccer League), the Impact was dominant in the American Professional Soccer League (1993-1996) and the A-League (1997-2004). It did not compete during the 1999 outdoor season. Its main rivals are the Rochester Raging Rhinos and the Toronto Lynx. It plays its home games at Centre Sportif Claude-Robillard, which has a capacity recently increased to 9,500 to reflect increasing ticket demand. The team also hopes to have a new soccer-specific stadium completed by 2007.

Following a lackluster first year, the Impact surprised the defending champion Colorado Foxes (1-0) on October 15, 1994 to claim its first league title. Subsequently, the team finished first or tied for first during the regular season in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2003 without making it back to the final. The Impact lost to archrivals Rochester in first four playoff encounters, in 1996, 1998, 2002 and 2003 before finally defeating them in 2004 on route to their second title. The team also won the inaugural Voyageurs Cup in 2002 and successfully defended its title in 2003 and 2004.

In 2004, the Impact finished first in the A-League's Eastern conference before disposing of Rochester (1-0, 1-0), Syracuse (2-0, 1-1) and Seattle (2-0) to capture its second championship, 10 years after its first. The final, held in Montréal, saw an all-time record 13,648 fans cram into Centre Sportif Claude-Robillard Stadium (whose seating capacity for the day was adjusted 10,100). The MVP was Mauricio Vincello who scored the winner at the 33rd minute of play. Fredrick Commodore sealed the game with a goal at the 78th minute.

At the gate, the Impact had always been solid within the league before 1999, with average crowds of 4,000-5,000. After disappointing seasons in 2000 and 2001 (where the average gate was between 2,000 and 3,000 people), the team had new record attendances in 2002 (5,000+ on average), 2003 (7,000+ on average) and 2004 (9,000+ on average). The all-time high is the 13,648 attendance for the 2004 final.

In 1999, the owners had a conflict with the league and withdrew the team from competition. After resurfacing in 2000, the club went bankrupt during the 2001 season when the then-owners were Ionian. Administered until the end of the season by one of the original pillars, Joey Saputo, the club rose from its ashes in 2002, set up as a non-profit organisation owned by the Quebec government, Hydro-Quebec and Saputo. It also attracted many big-time sponsors such as the National Bank of Canada, Bell Canada and Coca-Cola, among others. The team's mandate is to develop local talent and to serve as a representative of Montreal for tourism.

The Impact also played indoors in the NPSL (at the Bell Centre, then at Centre Sportif Claude-Robillard) with many of the same players from 1997-1998 to 1999-2000.

Key players over the years: Patrice Ferri, Rudy Doliscat, Patrick Diotte, Mauro Biello, John Limniatis, Nick Desantis, Lloyd Barker, Jean Harbor, Paolo Ceccarelli, Pat Harrington, Grant Needham, Paulinho, Onandi Lowe, Lyndon Hooper, Nick Dasovic, Nevio Pizzolitto, Eduardo Sebrango.

Current stars (2004): Mauro Biello (Captain), Greg Sutton, Gabriel Gervais, Nevio Pizzolitto, Eduardo Sebrango, Zé Roberto, Sandro Grande, Patrick Leduc.

All-time leaders (1993-2004):

  • Goals: Mauro Biello, active, (60).
  • Games played: Mauro Biello, active, (236).


Coaches:


Titles:


External links

Template:United Soccer Leaguesfr:Impact de Montréal es:Montreal Impact

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