CF Montreal is more Quebecois than ever
The Academy is starting to pay off for CF Montreal, which has made a youthful shift in its squad this season. This also translates into a greater number of Quebec players, more than we had seen before in Major League Soccer (MLS).
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Against Austin last Saturday, the Bleu-Blanc Noir set a franchise record by fielding four club-trained players in the starting lineup. Goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois and midfielders Mathieu Choinière, Sean Rea and Nathan Saliba all played on the lawn at Q2 Stadium.
In addition, the young veteran Samuel Piette was also in the starting squad, then Rida Zouhir came on in the second half.
With Zachary Brault-Guillard, James Pantemis and Jules-Anthony Vilsaint, the latter having not yet played this season, they are nine Quebecers to wear the uniform of CF Montreal in 2023. It would once again be a record since arriving in MLS more than a decade ago.
Eight representatives of the Belle Province obtained minutes in 2021 and 2020, a peak for the club before this year. We particularly remember the Zorhan Bassong, Clément Bayiha, Balou Tabla, Anthony Jackson-Hamel and Karifa Yao of recent years.
Obviously, the development of the Academy weighed in the balance. In 2012 and 2013, only four Quebecers had played for the Impact: Patrice Bernier, Karl W. Ouimette, Maxim Tissot and Eduardo Sebrango. By way of comparison, six Italians played in Montreal in those two years.
In 2023, Quebec players and the few Canadians outside Quebec will form the majority of the workforce. CF Montreal only uses three of its seven international spots, with Rudy Camacho, Romell Quioto, Lassi Lappalainen, Victor Wanyama and Ahmed Hamdy, among others, being exempted. Sunusi Ibrahim, Chinonso Offor and Robert Thorkelsson are thus considered the foreign players of the team.
The number of Quebecers to have played each year with Montreal since arriving in MLS
- 2023: 8
- 2022: 7
- 2021: 8
- 2020: 8
- 2019: 7
- 2018: 5
- 2017: 8
- 2016: 5
- 2015: 5
- 2014: 5*
- 2013: 3*
- 2012: 3
*Defender Wandrille Lefèvre, born in France, obtained his Canadian citizenship in 2015. He was not considered a Quebecer before that for this text.
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