The Impact had a 2016 season in three stages and if the players make their official record only Friday, Captain Patrice Bernier summarized the team’s hot campaign on Wednesday, a few minutes after the elimination in the final of the East against Toronto FC.
“It’s the character of this team,” he responded after a deep breath, when he was asked what he would retain of the 2016 season. The mid-season was not easy. Many people thought we were eliminated, and once in a row they did not see us coming here. We have an elderly team and so there were a lot of things against us. But we have faced adversity. “There is a lot of resilience in this team and I am proud of the character of this team.”
No one will be able to contradict Bernier, while the Impact has often been at its best with its back to the wall. The team finally played their best soccer at the end of the campaign, when there was no room for error.
“I am extremely proud of what we have achieved,” said head coach Mauro Biello. We lost one game in the playoffs. We fought to the end. Unfortunately, it was not enough. ”
The Impact started the 2016 season in force before falling into a mid-season empty pass. Things got better and the Biello troops finally had their longest run in MLS since the Impact hit the track in 2012.
“It’s been a strange season,” said goalkeeper Evan Bush. After the first two months, everyone saw us as the best team in the East. We started with some overseas victories, we beat some of the best teams in recent years.
“We had a bad sequence midway through, but the team never gave up,” Bush said. We did not let ourselves be influenced by what was said outside, which is difficult today with all media and social networks. We kept our heads down. We knew what we could accomplish. We knew we could get here. We just could not finish the job. ”
The unity of the group has sometimes been questioned during the season, to the detriment of the players, who have always maintained that everything was fine in the family of the Impact.
“The group was very good,” said Bush. There are always times when we will not all get along, but in general, it was really good this season. We had a great time. ”
The question now will be how the group will change during the winter. We already know that striker Didier Drogba will not be back. However, nine of the 11 regular Impact starting players in the final right were aged 30 or older. It may be in the interests of management to rejuvenate the group to ensure the success of the team year after year.