After a long break, the MLS season has finally begun. After months of crazy rumours, it seems that Didier Drogba will be on the Montréal roster for his final year as a player. The pillars of the team will remain the same with Evan Bush as a goalie, Belgian international Laurent Ciman as center-back and Nacho Piatti at midfield. Former Canadian international and all-time goal leader of the Montréal Impact, Mauro Biello, has been appointed as head coach after several years of disappointing coaching instability.
In the terraces, Front Common Montréal will continue to hold the west section alongside Ultras Montréal 2002 and Section Ludovica, while 127 Montréal remain in a corner section close to us. A new group of fans, who don’t identify as ultras, will be at the opposite end of the pitch, in the east section. With the arrival of this new group, “1642 MTL”, we see new projects emerging, like ringing a giant bell after each goal. Let’s hope we can all support our team by singing the full 90 minutes and remain independent from the league, the sponsors and the front office of the club. It will be interesting to see the new dynamic of having two supporters sections facing each other. Hopefully, this can lead to loud call and response chants and have the whole stadium singing.
As for us, we’ll keep singing our lungs out at every home game, will try to travel as much as possible, we’ll keep organizing anti-racist football tournaments, in the winter and in the summer, presenting away games and football related movies. We also have a side-project of a sound system called Common Front Hi FI. Make sure to check them out.
With the club, we can foresee at least two issues for the new season.
Although season tickets are still somewhat affordable, with supporters’ section tickets below 20 $ in some cases, the price of individual tickets has dramatically increased in the past years. The cheapest ticket is now 37 $. For a city like Montréal, where money is scarce and football still comes after ice hockey, this price might turn away many people who would otherwise have discovered an amazing stadium atmosphere.
For supporters, another important issue will be our relations with the club and the league regarding the use of pyro. MLS decided to punish harshly our Toronto rivals with a 6 games travel ban for the use of flairs inside our stadium. We are not short-sighted enough to consider that to be a good news. The league is increasingly trying to co-opt supporters group and make them their marketing puppets. The challenge will be to build unity among the supporters groups in order to keep using pyro in the safest way for everyone.
A new season has begun, a new chapter for our crew, let’s hope for the best!