As the 2012 MLS season is reaching its two and a half month home stretch, the playoff push will be getting a lot tougher. Among the teams in the Eastern Conference who are in the hunt happen to be the expansion Montreal Impact. They currently are five points behind the Chicago Fire for the fifth and final playoff spot, however Chicago do have three games in hand. If the Impact want to become the first expansion team to make the playoffs since the Seattle Sounders in 2009, here is what they are going have to do if they want to achieve that dream.
I kind of find that the 2012 version of the Impact reminds me of the 2006-2007 Calgary Flames. Both teams were very great at home but did not do to well on the road. While the 06-07 Flames managed 13 wins, the Impact only have one win and one tie away from home. If they are going to gain some sort of traction in the standings, the team is got to find some way to get wins on the road vs teams like New England, Houston, Columbus and Chicago. Teams that also happen to be competing for that final playoff spot.
The other way that the Impact will make the playoffs is that the big guns need to step it up. While we have seen breakout performances from guys like Felipe, Patrice Bernier and Sanna Nyassi, Marco Di Vaio has to step it up. In the eight games that he has been in the lineup, he has had chances but he only has one goal and two assists to show for it. Di Vaio has to play the way he did in Bologna in order for the Impact to succeed. If he does not play to his superb abilities, well then how will the Impact get chances to score to win games.
So from a fans perspective, I obviously believe that the Impact will make the playoffs. From a realistic standpoint however, the only way that they can make the postseason is of course the big names stepping up and getting those crucial victories on the road. It should be an interesting two and a half month battle to see who will be participating in the playoffs.