Impact making the grade? Super-blogger Sardo
Following a bye week (thanks to the Galaxy’s lack of fitness to play a few games in a small time window) the Montreal Impact get ready to take on the Columbus Shaving Cream Dream Team aka the Crew (they are sponsored by Barbasol) in the first game of the season at Stade Saputo on Saturday afternoon.
After 5 games, the Impact still sit at the top of the Eastern Conference standings with 12 points. They are 1 point ahead of Sporting Kansas City and also have 1 game in hand.
Professor Sardo is in the building (@giosardo and @MtRoyalSoccer) red pen ready. It’s time to grade the performances of some of the Impact’s main players. Here we go:
Coach Marco: C+
The Swiss tactician has tasted early success but the Impact were outplayed and outcoached against SKC. This team needs to show that it can come back from being a goal down in order to be a true threat for the MLS Cup. Also, he needs to find the Felipe' of last year because he simply has not been as effective as needed. Finally, he needs to find a solution to get Collen Warner and Andrew Wenger more minutes. Their talent is being wasted on the bench.
Alessandro Nesta: A+
The defensive legend takes control of the game. He is a great communicator and keeps everyone calm. His absence was definitely felt against SKC as no one stepped up and showed the necessary leadership to rally the troops. His health is the key to the Impact’s success in 2013. So far, this defense has been too reliant on his presence/leadership.
Troy Perkins: A++
Top goalie in the MLS. Period.
Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari and Jeb Brovsky: B+
They dropped a letter here just because of the SKC game. Fantastic as a unit when Nesta is in the lineup but someone needs to step up and be the general when the legend is not available. Communication needs to improve and quickly. Other than that, this trio is all heart and hustle and they can be considered one of the best defensive lines in the MLS.
Karl Ouimette: Incomplete
He is simply too young and has not played enough minutes to be properly graded yet. Besides, I don’t want to be too harsh on the kid as he is probably still having Graham Zusi nightmares.
Patrice Bernier & Davy Arnaud: A
Bernier is one of the best midfielders in the MLS. Period. Shut down player who can launch the ball on the counter attack.
Captain Davy has been reborn since Coach Marco put him back in central midfield (unlike Jesse Marsch who played him at almost every position). He is all heart and all hustle. A little less complaining to the referee would be perfect but as long as he remains effective, he can do what he wants.
Marco Di Vaio owes them both at least a fruit basket and a Christmas gift for all their great support and passes so far this season.
Justin Mapp & Andrea Pisanu: D
Both have been disappointments so far. Both have been injured but neither has shown any consistency on the field. Marco Di Vaio’s success relies heavily on the feet of these two players and they have failed to live up to expectations so far. Either they start improving their play or Coach Marco should give Blake Smith a chance.
Andres Romero: C+
Great hustle. He is showing flashes of brilliance. Romero needs to maintain his aggressive style of play for a full 90 minutes.
The Brazilian Midfield Maestro is not the same player that he was last year. He needs to step up his game. Coach Marco needs to find a way to maximize his potential and quickly. He should be one of the league’s best players. He still has a lot of work to do to get there.
Marco Di Vaio: A-
The Italian striker has been considered one of the best players in the MLS so far this season. His goal tally would be more impressive if the service were better. Di Vaio lives and dies on the edge of that offside line and often gets caught when the passes are too late. This needs to improve. The Di Vaio doubters should take a look at his runs and the way he plays off the ball to see his greatness. He does so much more than he gets credit for. Better service = more goals. It’s that simple.
Now that the first report cards have been handed out, it is time to get back to the action on the field. The team is rested and ready to go. It’s time to go get another 3 points!