Three things to know about Montreal Impact ahead of 2020 MLS season

Montreal Impact head coach Thierry Henry conducting a practice. (Ryan Remiorz/CP)

All eyes are on the new man in charge in Montreal after three straight years of the Impact missing the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Montreal owner Joey Saputo turned to one of the greatest strikers in the history of soccer over the winter in Thierry Henry to coach the team after parting ways with both Remi Garde in August and not bringing back his replacement, Wilmer Cabrera, at season’s end.

Henry and his stature will garner a lot of attention this year as he tries to turn around a franchise in need of change.

Here are three things you need to know about the Impact when they open their 2020 MLS season on Saturday against the New England Revolution.


The former Arsenal and Barcelona striker — along with the New York Red Bulls — takes over a team that went 12-17-5 last season and finished in ninth place, four points out of a playoff spot.

It’s the second head coaching job of Henry’s post-playing career after a rough 20-game spell at Monaco in 2018-19.

One positive going in Henry’s favour is Montreal did win the Canadian Championship last year and are already off to a good start with a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League’s quarterfinal against Olimpia.

But questions will remain as to how Henry can pick up more points on the road after a 4-11-2 record away from Stade Saputo in 2019.

Will a four-time Premier League Golden Boot winner be the charm they need to get back into the post-season?


Montreal lost a major piece of its team earlier this month when Ignacio Piatti and the club agreed to terminate his contract so he could re-sign with his former club San Lorenzo in Argentina.

Piatti was a cornerstone of the franchise in his six MLS seasons with the club . He leaves the Impact with 78 goals and as the all-time leading goal-scorer in all competitions. He’s also atop the team’s history with 130 regular-season starts.

How Henry will find a replacement for Piatti’s skills remains to be seen. He does have leading goal-scorer Saphir Taïder back this season after the French midfielder scored nine times last year. Orji Okwonkwo is back on loan from Bologna while Ballou Tabla returned to Montreal on a permanent basis from Barcelona.

England youth international defender Luis Binks also joined the team on a free transfer from Tottenham earlier this month.


• Luis Binks (D)
• Emanuel Maciel (M)
• Steeven Saba (M)
• Zachary Brault-Guillard (D)
• Joel Waterman (D)
• Romell Quioto (M – Trade with Houston)


• Ignattio Piatti (M)
• Bacary Sagna (D)
• Victor Cabrera (D – Trade with Houston)


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