Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Montreal Impact Defying Expectations

From CBC:

The USL-1 club needs to earn a draw in its final two games to qualify for the quarter-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League

They weren't supposed to get this far.

When the Montreal Impact lost 1-0 to Toronto FC in the opening game of the Canadian club championship back in May, it supposedly confirmed what every soccer fan in the country already knew: The Impact, who play in United Soccer Leagues First Division, couldn't possibly compete against a team from Major League Soccer, the top pro soccer league in the United States and Canada.

But it was the Impact who emerged as the winner of the three-team round-robin competition, beating out Toronto and the Vancouver Whitecaps, also of the USL-1, as they were crowned the club champions of Canada.

In doing so, Montreal earned the right to serve as Canada's sole representative at the inaugural CONCACAF Champions League, a 16-team tournament featuring the best clubs from across North and Central America, and the Caribbean.

It's been five months since suffering that loss to Toronto, and Montreal has kept proving the doubters wrong. With three wins and tie in four games, the Impact currently sit in first place in Group C of the Champions League with 10 points, ahead of Mexican powerhouse Atlante (five points), Olimpia of Honduras (four points) and Trinidad and Tobago's Joe Public FC (three points).

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