After a nightmare of an MLS season, it was fitting, then, that the Impact, class of 2014, break from a mini post-season camp on the afternoon of Halloween. Brent Barry Jersey . Like they did at the conclusion of their 2012 season, the club would have much preferred conducting the more meaningful post-season tour - most likely, following Joey Saputo’s considerable investment in Bologna FC, to have travelled to what is now absolutely the club’s spiritual home - Italy. The CBA, though, prevents any clubs in the league from conducting post-season tours. Monday afternoon, following their first post-season training session, the Impact conducted their formal post mortem. This also signalled the final time as a professional footballer that Marco Di Vaio would face the microphone and camera glare and spotlight. Some players used this opportunity to defer responsibility in favour of airing excuses of an MLS season gone pear-shaped. We heard of leadership voids and locker room divisions. Really? Don’t buy it, whatsoever. If leadership voids and locker room divisions were the root causes, then the much better effect would have been to have dealt with them as they occured. Players could have taken the lead of Matteo Ferrari, who hadn’t even caught his breath following the first formal day of training camp in late January, to let the media know his thoughts on the 2014 squad. Laying it all out, the defensive veteran let it be known that he was of the belief the squad was not as strong as 2013’s. Ferrari wondered aloud why key players, who had been lost at the end of the 2013 campaign, had not been replaced in the off season. With long-run predictions like that, a lucrative career in the financial and investments field awaits the 34-year-old Italian when he finally hangs up the boots. We all know now, of course, on an individual player and collective team basis that the Impact were not able to fully grasp coach Frank Klopas’s new system. A pitiful seven-game winless streak to start the season saw them collect only three paltry points from the 21 on offer. There would be no recovery. The club had to wait to the very end of April to record their first victory of the season, a very fortuitous one at that, in a 1-0 victory at home to the Philadelphia Union. By then, 2012’s first-overall pick from the MLS SuperDraft, Andrew Wenger, had been offloaded to the Union, his hometown club. During the rain-sodden match, Wenger had a gilt-edged opportunity to do what he rarely did in an Impact shirt and for what he was paid significant compensation: stick the ball in the back of a Stade Saputo net. Sans surprise, Wenger once more fluffed his lines from right in front of the Ultras. No matter who the Impact shipped in and out during the course of the season, the starting XI rarely played to script. Disjointed and dispirited performances plagued the team most of the MLS season. This all changed when a diminutive 29-year-old Argentine showed up. Although Ignaccio Piatti’s season was severely curtailed by injury, which limited him to appearing in only six league matches, his mere presence in town was enough to spread and provide a proper buoyancy throughout the squad, something of which had been sadly absent until the point Piatti stepped on the pitch in an Impact shirt for the first time in a home match against the Fire. Played on a mid-August Saturday evening, it was no surprise Di Vaio scored the only goal. Also unsurprisingly, torrential rain would yet again feature at a home match. Don’t ever let me hear again someone telling me it always rains in London. Blue skies in the morning and afternoon, come kick-off time, the only brightness in the sky came courtesy of the floodlights. Ultimately, the Impact posted only six wins from 17 home matches, hardly the stuff to instill fear in any opponent on their Stade Saputo travels. As for the Impact’s travels, they go down as one of the worst road records in the league’s entire history. With a return of only five points gathered, all coming from drawn matches, a winless season on the road is not something for the Impact annals. A trick of an MLS season was more than compensated, though, with the Impact retaining their Voyageurs Cup title. An almost perfect record in the group stages of the CONCACAF Champions League and a first return since 2008 to the knockout stages provided the icing. The mere fact that a Voyageurs Cup and passage through to the final eight of the Champions League were achieved against the backdrop to the 19th franchise in MLS finishing, not only bottom of the Eastern Conference, but with the worst record in the entire 19-club league makes these accomplishments all the more valuable. Much credit for this must go to the much maligned technical staff for dusting off MLS woes and, in doing so, ensuring the players were purely focused on the task at hand. On Monday, we also learned the recipient of the 2014 Giuseppe Saputo Trophy and Andrés Romero was fully deserving of his MVP Award. Week-in, week-out, the 28-year-old Argentine wide-playing attacking midfielder bought a guile, craft and energy to the pitch, which was wanting so often in way too many of his teammates. In late August, the Impact let it be known they were keen on making Romero’s second season-long loan from Tombense in Brazil a permanent deal. Romero, himself, is also keen for this to happen. Another player who should return is the currently soon to be out-of-contract Patrice Bernier. As much as Habs fans might like the concept of the NHL’s most-winningest team going through the season without a captain, I’m not sure the legions of Impact supporters will be too happy if Bernier is not re-signed. Although Bernier did not play to his usual high standards in 2014, when he was supported by a proper cast, we saw more than enough evidence that there is still much more to come from the local lad. In the middle of the month, Bernier told TSN 690 that he absolutely wants to be back in 2015. Just on Wednesday, Impact technical director Matt Jordan disclosed to TSN 690 that contract discussions had indeed commenced. Jordan, though non-committal on disclosing a percentage on Bernier trotting out at Stade Saputo in 2015, certainly sounded optimistic. On the flip side, a player we now know will not be returning is Matteo Ferrari, with the Impact announcing earlier this afternoon that they would be declining his 2015 option. Even for the most down-heartened, there is though much to be upbeat and optimistic about in 2015 when MLS will celebrate season 20. No, I’m not counting when Chelsea legend Frank Lampard brings his new boys in blue up from Yankee Stadium for a visit, or possibly two, to Saputo Stadium. For one, the Impact’s splendid-looking, brand spanking new training facility will open its doors. A significant investment in nurturing and nourishing future talent, the facility will be a home for all of the Impact’s teams from the very youngest all the way up to the senior team. As response to the discontinuation of the MLS Reserve League, early last month, the Impact launched FC Montreal. Amalgamating their current Under-18 and Under-23 sides, FCM will take its bow in the USL Pro league next spring. Long before that, though, 50,000 and more of the Impact brethren will congregate one frigid evening in very early March over at the Olympic Stadium in anticipation of replicating one of the most extraordinary tales in club history. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, punch the words, “Montreal Impact February 25th, 2009” into your search engine. I suggest you bring your F1 and Osheaga ear plugs. It’s going to be extraordinarily loud. See you there. Click here for Oranges @ Half-Times chat with Mauro Biello Click here for Oranges @ Half-Times chat with Matt Jordan Click here for Oranges @ Half-Times chat with Grant Needham Michael Cage Jersey .Connor Graham, Alex Lintuniemi and Sam Studnicka also scored for Ottawa (11-8-2). Liam Herbst made 21 saves for the win.Brendan Lemieux had both of Barries (10-10-2) goals. Derrick McKey Jersey . Omar Rahou made the discriminatory gesture several times while celebrating scoring a goal against Romania at Antwerp in January, UEFA said. The sanction was double the five-match ban Nicolas Anelka received from an English Football Association independent tribunal last week for the same act.SAN ANTONIO -- Georges Niang scored 24 points, but also broke his foot will miss the rest of the NCAA tournament, as Iowa State pulled away from No. 14 North Carolina Central in the second half for a 93-75 win Friday night in the East Region. The Big 12 tournament champions found themselves in an early struggle with a program making its first NCAA tournament appearance in just its third year as a full-time Division I program. But the Cyclones quickness and balance eventually took over. Iowa State (27-7) had five players score in double figures. Niangs two 3-pointers early in the second half keyed Iowa States run that put the game away. After the game the Cyclones announced on Twitter: "Georges Niang has a foot fracture and will miss the remainder of the season." Jeremy Ingram scored 28 for North Carolina Central (28-6), which came in on a 20-game win streak and won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Matched up against a tournament newcomer, Iowa State players said they wouldnt look past the Eagles. As this years tournament has shown, hubris breeds upsets and the Cyclones werent taking any chances, especially after a first half in which the Eagles took an early lead and stayed within five at halftime. The Cyclones were wary of a team that dominated its league, even a lightly-regarded like the MEAC. The Eagles also had notched an upset win over North Carolina State and nearly took down Wichita State, the nations only undefeated team and the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Regional. Earlier in the day, North Carolina Central saw their neighbours from Durham, perennial power Duke, get knocked off by Mercer in one of the tournaments biggest upsets so far and ddreamed of making some magic of their own in their tournament debut. Cheap Thunder Jerseys. Iowa State tried to show some muscle at the start when the Cyclones opened the scoring with an alley-oop reverse dunk by Melvin Ejim. If it was a play meant to scare the Eagles, it didnt work. North Carolina Central opened the game with a flurry of 3-pointers and put bodies on the Cyclones on every rebound. Karamo Jawara scored 10 points in the first half and tied it 30-30 on a soft jumper. Iowa State appeared to get the game under control with an 8-0 run punctuated by Ejims fast break dunk. The Eagles rallied with a 9-2 run of their own before Iowa State took a 45-39 lead into halftime. North Carolina Central simply couldnt sustain it. Over 40 minutes, the Cyclones were just too fast, too strong and too balanced. There were just too many Cyclones doing too many things. Ejim, the Big 12 player of the year, scored 17 points. DeAndre Kane, the MVP of the Big 12 tournament, scored 14 with seven rebounds and five assists. Dustin Hogue and Monte Morris each scored 15. In one sequence, Hogue ripped a rebound out of the arms of an Eagles player, passed to Monte Morris, who whipped the ball to Ejim for a another dunk. And then there was Niang, whose 3-pointers pushed Iowa States lead to 11 early in the second half. Niang made four of Iowa States nine 3-pointers. North Carolina Central coach LeVelle Moton should have at least had a chance to enjoy some of his big week. But two days after the NCAA tournament bracket was announced, Bracketts 1-year-old son was hospitalized with burns after a coffee spill accident and his family didnt make the trip with him to San Antonio. ' ' '
then, that the Impact, class of 2014, break
then, that the Impact, class of 2014, break