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With the 2014 season kicking off this weekend, the Montréal Impact are looking to accomplish a second stellar season.  Making the playoffs in only their second MLS season was nothing short of extraordinary. There is no doubt that the Impact can go equally as far this year as well.

Here are a few players to keep an eye on; 

1-      Marco Di Vaio

The skepticism surrounding the signing of Di Vaio to the Impact was short lived, and for all the right reasons. The prolific striker scored a whopping 20 goals in 27 games in his first full season with the Impact, placing him on the league’s top striker podium. This amounts to 4 times the number of goals scored by any other Impact player in 2013. Playing with the offside trap in order to fall off the opponent’s radar is undoubtedly one of his favorite tactics. Don’t stop reacting to runs because he was caught offside 3 times in the last 10 minutes; he’ll slip in through the center when the flag stays down, and you just lost 3 points. With nearly half of his total shots registered on target last year, you know this striker means business. 


2-      Troy Perkins

From one end of the field to the other, Montréal has it covered. Perkins is minding the Impact net again this season, and if last year’s performance serves as evidence, the Impact will have nothing to worry about in regards to the back. His league high 109 saves in 2013 may hint towards certain defensive issues, but it ultimately means one thing; rain or snow, he’s there when you need him. Leadership, composure, and proper command of the back four are the exact qualities you look for in a keeper, and Perkins possesses each of these listed. Free kicks, corner kicks, counter attacks; bring it on. Perkins is no stranger to flying bullets.


3-    Patrice Bernier

Captain my captain! Ready for action, the versatile midfielder Patrice Bernier is looking to lead his squad to the playoffs for a second year in a row. The ‘general’ never misses the net from the penalty spot and with a team high 8 assists last season, you see why he was chosen to sport the armband. Leader by example, the Impact made the right decision to select him as team captain for the 2014 campaign. His emphasis on progression and attention to detail, specifically in the transition game, make him the ideal candidate to lead the ball hungry Impact to victory.    


The Montréal Impact will be in action on Saturday 20:30 eastern time, when they kick off their season away against FC Dallas at the Toyota Stadium.