Impact sweating potential loss of injured Porter


Cameron Porter, right, in action for the Montreal Impact. (Ryan Remiorz/CP)

There might not be another sport that is able to produce the same breadth of emotional extremity that soccer can—at least not with the same regularity.

However, it is less common, and as a result more shocking, to see a player go through these great highs and lows within such a short span of time and at so early a stage of a career as Cameron Porter has for the Montreal Impact.

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He was drafted by the Impact in the third round of this year’s MLS Superdraft, and the highest point for Porter was scoring a goal which, even if he played for another 100 years, he probably wouldn’t eclipse—the extraordinary goal he scored, after coming as a substitute, in the last second against Pachuca which put Montreal into the Champions League semifinals.

And that was little more than two weeks ago.

Then, on Saturday, in the first half of what ended in a 0-0 draw between the Impact and the New England Revolution, Porter had to endure what is probably the worst nightmare of any professional soccer player. After leaping in the air to head the ball, he landed badly—very badly. From the replays, his left ankle, knee and leg appear to twist violently all at the same time against the turf, and he was quickly stretchered off the field, visibly in terrible pain.

The Impact have yet to officially confirm the exact severity of the injury, but the fear, and the likelihood, is that Porter tore ligaments in his left knee, which would put him out for the rest of the season.

Coach Frank Klopas is trying to remain optimistic.

“Let’s keep our fingers crossed,” coach Frank Klopas said after the game. “I don’t want to speculate. Hopefully we can get some good news when we get back to Montreal and he’s seen by the doctors”.

Losing Porter would be a big blow for the Impact, already without Justin Mapp through injury for the next few months. Montreal doesn’t possess very many attacking options at the moment, and the 21-year-old Ohio native has been impressive in all the games he has participated in.

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Aside from his heroic goal against Pachuca, Porter was excellent in the Impact’s semifinal opening leg against Alajuelense, where he was granted his first professional start ahead of his more seasoned counterpart Jack Mcinerney. The energy and determination Porter showed was tremendous—his maturity and reading of the game in many difficult situations remarkable.

But most striking of all was his contribution to the Impact’s opening goal. How many rookies, in the first ten minutes of their first professional start, and in a game of such magnitude, would consider dummying a pass in the box instead of eagerly opting for a shot on goal?

That’s the mark of a special player, and it makes his injury all the more tragic.

Hopefully it’s not as bad as it looks.

Nick Sabetti is a Montreal-based writer. Follow him on Twitter

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