While players and fans from MLS's only Canadian outpost will be watching from afar in Toronto, USL titleholders the Montreal Impact will be watched by a sea of blue (shirts) that could number
50,000 when they host Mexican club Santos Laguna at the indoor Olympic Stadium in the first leg of its CONCACAF Champions league quarterfinal round series on Wednesday.
But as the
Toronto Sun's Graham Wheeler is quick to point out, Montreal's moment in the spotlight is hardly some overnight success, as the Impact has long been one of the highest-drawing and consistently
strong teams in USL-1 (formerly the A-League) across the last decade.
To that point, Wheeler wonders "whether holes in the expansion bids of other potential cities, combined with an
unclear economic climate, will make Garber re-think his expansion strategy," in which Montreal was recently eliminated from the running for an MLS team in 2010. Wheeler goes on to ask the
$40-million-dollar question of "which cities are most capable of building and sustaining successful and profitable MLS franchises?" and makes the case that "based on history and setup alone,
Montreal is a no-brainer."
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