Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Montreal Impact best team in Canada

Toronto FC's slump continued last night as they only managed a 1-1 tie against the USL's Montreal Impact. With the point, the Impact won the Nutrilite Canadian Championship and earned a trip to the CONCACAF Champions League Cup, which begins next month.

Now the question is will this win have an effect on a possible move to MLS by Montreal? Impact head coach John Limniatis thinks it does.
The platform (for entering MLS) was already set...

I think, obviously, this helps. This just shows we're capable of competing ... From what I understand, we're aiming for the start of the 2011 season to be in the MLS.
The Impact organization has a lot going for it (stadium, rich owners, good fan base) and adding solid play against top-tier teams will only help them in their quest to land in MLS.

However, this failure by Toronto as well as the defeats suffered by MLS teams in the US Open Cup points to a very different issue, player salaries. With just around $2.5m to spend on a full squad MLS teams are very limited in the depth that they can bring in, thus the difference between the two divisions is not as pronounced as it should be. If MLS did up their pay level to around $5m a year, it helps elevate this issue.

Some might think that it is not a big thing that MLS teams often get toppled by USL clubs, however I disagree. League officials are usually quick to claim MLS as a world-class league, however what fan is going to believe them if top-level teams are consistently dropping games to lower-level opposition? In the perception race, these upsets need to become a rare bread.

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Blogger ERic said...

MLS has a very good record against the USL-1. I don't think you can take Toronto's failure to win this tournament as an accurate measure of how close the leagues are.

And I'm not even sure you can use the Open Cup, either.

Just look at who was in the FA Cup semifinals and final. Does that mean that the Premier League isn't the top English league?

10:16 AM  
Anonymous lucastds said...

Don't forget that the USL-1 Vancouver Whitecaps also beat Toronto FC and tied them in their two-game piece of the Nutrilite Championships.

Vancouver also beat and tied the Galaxy.

The national rivalry between the three Canadian clubs has the possibility of making MLS HUGE in Canada, if the league ever gets their act together (and Vancouver gets a proper stadium built, as they have been trying to do for years).

11:43 PM  
Blogger kovo said...

They are a force to be reconned with, but I don't think they match up to the MLS champs.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Montreal has a VERY strong team, could compete in MLS...

8:56 PM  
Blogger The Wanderer said...

Well I personally don't like the way MLS works, so I think that if Vancouver and Montreal jump to the MLS they would be seriously selling out. I think USL teams are much better than MLS teams because, as the Puerto Rico Islanders and montreal Impact have proven, USL teams fare much better in the CONCACAF Champions League than the MLS teams. MLS doesn't care about the CONCAChampions, which is pretty much pathetic when you consider the media outlets, and the experience players can gain playing other teams from different leagues around the conference.

MLS needs to change their format and make it more like the European leagues, but keeping the playoffs format. Dividing the teams into conferences is a big mistake, players don't get the experience and stamina needed for long flights and hard games. No wonder the islanders tied in Costa Rica and defeated Alajuelense in Bayamon.

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