The Reserve Squad: Montreal Impact to replace Canada in World Cup Qualifying

In a surprising move, FIFA have honoured a request from the Canadian Soccer Association to replace the current roster of their men’s national team with that of the United Soccer League’s Montreal Impact. The Impact (formerly known as “Canada”) face a must-win World Cup qualifying match against Honduras in San Pedro Sula on October 11, but can look to their recent 2-1 win against Honduran side Olimpia as inspiration.

“No one expected us to get this far,” said Impact manager John Limniatis. “But we believe in ourselves. So let’s see just how far we can go.”

The plucky, underdog Impact surprised many observers just by reaching the qualifying stage of the inaugural CONCACAF Champions League earlier this summer, outperforming Toronto FC of the allegedly higher-tier Major League Soccer. Subsequently, the Impact were drawn into Group C with Joe Public FC of Trinidad & Tobago, Atlante of Mexico and Olimpia of Honduras. After three matchdays, the Impact sat with seven points, following their win in Honduras, combined with a win against the Trinidadians and a draw with the Mexicans.

The highly-touted former Canadian national team, by contrast, was in the midst of a disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign, sitting with one point following a draw with the Jamaicans and losses to the Mexicans and Hondurans. Peter Montopoli, General Secretary of CSA, saw an opportunity and pounced.

“This puts Canada in an ideal position to qualify for the World Cup… or at least play six more lucrative — err, exciting home dates in the final qualifying round,” said Montopoli. “As well, through our efforts, the members of the men’s national team are unrecognizable to the average Canadian. This indifference, we thought, would help us in this substitution endeavour. I’m proud to say that thus far, it has worked.”

Indeed, with the NHL season about to begin, few Canadian media outlets have even acknowledged the move. Aside from small articles in the Slave River Journal and Halifax Commoner newspapers, the story appears to have gone under the radar. Montopoli had initially hoped the story would also elude the attention of FIFA, the sport’s governing body; however, he was pleasantly surprised by their acquiescence.

“We convinced [American billionaire and Montreal Canadiens owner] George Gillett to have an, ahem, discussion with [CONCACAF President] Jack Warner and [FIFA President] Sepp Blatter and they reached a suitable, ahem, arrangement.” Montopoli asked that his liberal usage of air quotes and rubbing together of his thumb and index finger not be mentioned in this article.

When asked about how a team that features players from the USA, Brazil, Panama, Argentina and Bolivia could possibly represent Canada, Montopoli leaned in and remarked: “As I said… there is an arrangement.” A FIFA spokesperson, reached in Zurich, commented, “The face of international football is changing” before coughing several times and hanging up the phone.

Members of the both the old and new national teams seemed to accept the situation.

“Well, whatever’s best for the country, I guess,” said midfielder Dwayne DeRosario. “Besides, I’d rather be in Houston than Edmonton in October, right?”

“That’s the way it goes,” said Julian de Guzman of Deportivo la Coruna in Spain’s La Liga. “Gives me more time in Amsterdam, if you know what I mean.”

De Guzman later clarified “what he meant” was, in fact, not the prospect of legalized drugs and prostitutes.

“I told them I’d be back,” said defender/midfielder Adam Braz, before cackling evilly and walking away.

The Impact’s next three World Cup qualifying matches are scheduled in Honduras on October 11, in Edmonton on October 15 and in Jamaica on November 19. No word yet on the status of former Canadian coach Dale Mitchell, though sources say he has been spotted outside Esther Shiner Stadium in North York selling t-shirts.

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2 Responses to “The Reserve Squad: Montreal Impact to replace Canada in World Cup Qualifying”

  1. Killer post. I laughed, I cried…

    Incidentally, the Imapct win was the top story on our local CBC radio station this morning. I have never heard a story about the MNT lead a sportscast, especially when another sport (MLB) had playoffs underway.

  2. Nice try guys – but funny.

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