By Douglas Smith @DFresh39 on March 10, 2014
After one week of play in MLS, the Montreal Impact are already looking up at the rest of the Eastern Conference. The opener felt different than the end of the 2013 season as Montreal created chances and exploited the FC Dallas back line. What did not change was allowing a lot of goals. Last season was about an aging team being gutted by opponents despite having a strong attack. The 2014 Impact are hoping to change that under Frank Klopas.
The Impact drafted Eric Miller in this year's SuperDraft and he was starting on opening weekend. It will be up to Miller to infuse some youth into the defensive side of the Montreal team. He started at outside back, but could end up more in a defensive midfield role.
If the team wants to build any attack from the back, they will need to rely on Hassoun Camara. He has the instincts to get forward in attack, but was called upon to play center-back in the opener. The Impact would prefer him being on the outside, so recent signee Heath Pearce could help make that happen.
The Impact might not have a lot of chances if they can't figure out their back four, so any set piece they get must be used for good. Hernan Bernardello will be the primary free kick taker this year. His passing is great and he showed promise in the second half of 2013. Bernardello should play plenty of minutes this season.
Marco Di Vaio was the sole target for a very direct attack last year. He is suspended for the first three matches of this season but will be called upon to score. Once he returns, Montreal will need his goals to stay in games until the defense comes around.
Patrice Bernier is now the captain of the Montreal Impact, and they need a leader on the field to help relay messages from the new coach. Bernier did not complain when he was dropped from the starting squad in 2012 and has worked his way back through his play.
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