Montreal Impact fires head coach Remi Garde, hires Wilmer Cabrera

Another MLS coach has been ousted, the third in 11 days and sixth of the season, tying the record for the most coaching changes during a season set in 2018.

The decision by the Montreal Impact to fire Frenchman Remi Garde was not entirely a surprise. The Impact is 1-6-1 in its last eight games, but it still began the day in seventh place, tied with Orlando City and Toronto FC on points but above them in the race for the final playoff berth thanks to its advantage in the first tiebreaker (total wins).

What is surprising is the name of the Impact's successor: Wilmer Cabrera, who was fired as the Houston Dynamo head coach eight days ago.

Assistant coach Wilfried Nancy and goalkeeper coach Remy Vercoutre will remain in Cabrera's coaching staff. Former Impact star Patrice Bernier will also join the first-team staff as assistant coach, while assistant coach Joel Bats and fitness coach Robert Duverne have departed.

Bats, the former French World Cup goalkeeper, had spent 17 years on the coaching staff at Lyon, where Garde had been the head coach. Duverne had also worked with Garde at Lyon as well as at Aston Villa.

In 2018, the Impact finished seventh in the Eastern Conference, falling out of contention for the playoffs on the final day of the regular season. This year, seventh place will get you a spot in the post-season, but the Impact's record is only 9-13-4.

Remi Garde in MLS:
2018: 14-16-4 (seventh place)
2019: 9-13-4 (seventh place)

"Because I have so much respect for Remi as a person and as a professional," said Montreal Impact president and CEO Kevin Gilmore said in a statement. "It was a very difficult decision to make and it was well thought, but our latest series of failures in the past couple of months and the way the team acts on the field led to that change. We hope to bring back confidence to this group of players for the last stretch of the season, to get a playoff spot and to perform in the Canadian Championship final. I would like to sincerely thank Remi Garde for his commitment and his professionalism with our club since he joined in November 2017. I wish him only but the best in the future."

Montreal is Cabrera's fourth stop in MLS. He was an assistant coach with the Colorado Rapids during the 2012 and 2013 seasons and the head coach at Chivas USA for its final season in 2014. He joined the Dynamo as head coach for the 2017 season after serving as the head coach at Rio Grande Valley FC, its USL team.

Cabrera's first game will be Saturday at Toronto FC. The Impact will also face TFC in the two-leg Canadian Championship final in September.

Montreal Schedule:
Aug. 24
at Toronto FC
Aug. 28 Vancouver
Aug. 31 D.C. United
Sept. 14 FC Cincinnati
Sept. 18 Toronto FC (Canadian Championship)
Sept. 21 at LA Galaxy
Sept. 25 at Toronto FC (Canadian Championship)
Sept. 29 Atlanta United
Oct. 6 NY Red Bulls.

2 comments about "Montreal Impact fires head coach Remi Garde, hires Wilmer Cabrera".
  1. Bob Ashpole, August 21, 2019 at 10:59 p.m.

    Best wishes to all the coaches. Easier to replace a coach than a team.

  2. frank mascaro, August 22, 2019 at 7:13 a.m.

    Another panic move by the Impact. 6th coach in 8 years. If I am not mistaken, only San Jose has had more coaching changes during the same period. The problem is organizational culture. I had hope that the new president would have been able to change it. Guess the old guard in upper management still has influence.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications