Team Profile: CF Montréal
Updated: Feb 25
Year founded: 1993.
First season in MLS: 2012.
Stadium: Saputo Stadium, Montreal, Quebec.
Honors: Canadian Championship (2013-14, 2019, 2021).
2023 highlights: one suspects Hernán Losada has marked April 15th on the calendar, as that is the day CF Montréal hosts D.C. United. Losada's time as head coach of D.C. was terminated two months into last season, his second season in charge. Montréal fans will also be looking at the visit of Columbus Crew on September 2nd. Columbus is now led by Wilfried Nancy who was head coach in Montréal for just under two seasons before moving to Ohio in December. The season starts with three on the road, not that this will phase Montréal who achieved an incredible 11 away wins last season. They begin at Inter Miami on February 25th, before trips to Austin FC and Nashville SC, returning for their home opener against the only team better than them in the Eastern Conference last season, Philadelphia Union, on March 18th. Western Conference road trips start in Austin (March 4th), then include Vancouver (April 1st), and Sporting KC (April 29th). Two of their three matches in October are at home, but they finish at Columbus Crew on October 21st.
Head Coach: Hernán Losada.
Players to watch: Victor Wanyama, Romell Quioto.
George Campbell (trade from Atlanta) Aaron Herrera (trade from RSL) Ilias Iliadis (free signing) James Pantemis (re-signed)
Jules-Anthony Vilsaint (signed from Royal Antwerp) Victor Wanyama (re-signed)
Zorhan Bassong (option declined) Sebastian Breza (option declined) Gabriele Corbo (loan expired) Keesean Ferdinand (option declined) Tomas Giraldo (option declined)
Bjorn Johnsen (option declined) Alistair Johnston (transfer to Celtic)
Kei Kamara (traded to Chicago Fire) Ismael Kone (transfer to Watford) Djordje Mihailovic (transfer to AZ Alkmaar) James Pantemis (option declined)
Joaquín Torres (trade to Philadelphia) Karifa Yao (option declined)
2022 summary: Wilfried Nancy's first (and last) full season in charge of Montréal was the best ever for the Canadian club. They finished a franchise-high second in the Eastern Conference, only two points behind LAFC and the Philadelphia Union, but it did not start well. They lost the first three games and were winless in the opening four. That draw in game four was the start of an eight-game unbeaten run (6-0-2). A loss at Nashville in mid-May was the first of five losses in eight games, though the other three results were all victories. From that point on, the remaining 15 games showed Montréal as one of the teams to fear, as they posted an 11-1-3 record to storm into the postseason. In the first round of the playoffs, they defeated Orlando City 2-0 at home, but fell at the next hurdle, 3-1 to NYCFC at Saputo Stadium.
Facts and Stats: Romell Quioto's career-high 15 goals were the most by a Montréal player in an MLS season since Ignacio Piatti scored 16 in 2018. Quioto has been the club's leading scorer the previous three seasons, but this was his first time in double figures since landing in the league in 2017 (he was at Houston Dynamo from 2017-19).
In what was a record-setting season for CF Montréal, they reached new heights in goals scored (63), points (65), wins (20), and road wins (11). The previous record for goals scored was 52 in 2015, the same season they also amassed the most points (51), and most wins (15). They had never managed more than four road wins, which they had achieved in five of their previous 10 seasons. Only two teams have ever won more than 11 away games in a season, and both did so in the shootout era, before ties were allowed. Los Angeles Galaxy and D.C. United won 13 on the road, in 1998 and 1999 respectively.
Milestones in 2023: Kei Kamara, who was originally drafted in 2006, is nine games away from 400 regular season appearances. He has 139 regular season goals, which places him third all-time, just six behind Landon Donovan. Chris Wondolowski is the man to catch with 171.