MONTREAL, QC – Today, the CF Montreal record-breaking season ended on Sunday at Saputo Stadium in the 2022 Audi MLS Playoffs in the East semifinal against NYCFC.
After a season where the team recorded 20 wins for the first time in team history and 11 of those on the road, it all came to an end on Sunday. Costly mistakes and timely errors were able to help NYCFC return to the East final and two wins away from defending their MLS Cup title.
The CF Montreal Record-breaking Season Comes to an End
Marque finale.#CFMTL pic.twitter.com/2H1v7zKKjD
— CF Montréal (@cfmontreal) October 23, 2022
What Is Next for CF Montreal?
The question is what comes next for a club that basically broke every record imaginable in a season that had a cinderella story written all over it?
“The point, when I took the team, was to get players and try to improve them and to be clear about what we want.”
That was CF Montreal sporting director Olivier Renard earlier in the season when asked what was his main objective for the club.
When asked who was coming back head coach who is nominated for MLS coach of the year Wilfried Nancy answered “At the end of the day, I don’t know who’s going to come back or not. But the team will stay here and the objective is to restart again.”
CF Montreal Players Likely To Leave the Team
On donne tout 👊
46' Second half kicks off at Stade Saputo. #CFMTL pic.twitter.com/4jVhfFivi9
— CF Montréal (@cfmontreal) October 23, 2022
Someone we know who is leaving is Djordje Mihailovic who will begin his career in January with AZ Alkmaar in the Eredivisie and was seen walking off the field in tears along with Canadian Kamal Miller. For them, it felt like this year was a win now season and it was going to be the last crack.
Victor Wanyama also said in a media scrum a couple of weeks ago that he is a free agent after the season ends and will most likely be leaving as well. Another shining star is Ismaël Koné who excelled in his first full season with the club and even has a great chance to represent Canada at the World Cup in Qatar next month.
He had such a good first season he started getting attention during the season and was almost transferred to Europe which could happen if he makes the World Cup roster and plays well. Another question mark is Alistair Johnston who has been a breath of fresh air for Montreal.
Wilfried Nancy and Samuel Piette
Nancy said today in his post-match press conference that he had seen tremendous improvement and that he is a way better player now than at the beginning of the season. Speaking of Nancy he is also a question mark as he has an option year left on his contract.
He laughed at a question from the media asking if he was staying or not:
“The game just finished, give me a chance to breathe and I will let you know.”
Samuel Piette who was a big leader this season wearing the captain armband says he wants Nancy to stay.
“I want Wilfried and his staff to stay here in Montreal, what we’ve built with him since last year is remarkable, I think. You can tell that players take pleasure in playing for him, there is now a culture within the club and especially on the field that’s very clear.”
New York City FC’s Nick Cushing on Wilfried Nancy and the 2022 FIFA World Cup
A leadership that shines through. ✊
Who has earned the Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year award? pic.twitter.com/J5utMw96Q0
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 13, 2022
Even the opposing head coach of NYCFC Nick Cushing who is currently the interim head coach had high praise for Nancy.
“As long as Nancy is here I have no doubt they will become a winning team, I’ve come here twice and both times we got dominated and suffered and I couldn’t have more praise for him.”
It was an amazing season for CF Montreal, who had the third-best regular season record in MLS play, and also got an MLS Cup Playoff win over Orlando City SC. NYCFC faced CF Montreal three times this year, with Montreal having two losses and a draw against New York City FC that took place back on July 31.
For five CF Montreal players the season isn’t over and the concentration gears towards a World Cup for Samuel Piette, Alistair Johnston, Kamal Miller, Joel Waterman, and Ismael Kone who will look to book their spots on John Herdman’s roster for Qatar.
For Renard and Nancy, the off-season begins tomorrow and time will tell what this roster should look like next season but we shall find out soon enough.
Photo Credit: CF Montreal’s Twitter Account on October 23, 2022.