Photo Credit: Eric Bolte of USA Today
Frank Klopas was the head coach and director of player development at the beginning of the 2015 season. This arrangement did not last until the end of the season. Why did he not last? Of course, the main reason is the record of 16-16-26 since he took over before the start of the 2014 season. In addition, the players grew frustrated with his style and methods of managing. As mentioned in the article by Lloyd Barker http://montrealgazette.com/sports/soccer/mls/montreal-impact/lloyd-barker-klopass-puzzling-moves-helped-speed-his-departure (2015):
Klopas’s lineups had been a talking point virtually throughout his tenure as Impact head coach. True to form, it was no different against TFC. Seven of the Impact starters against TFC were playing their third match in only seven days. That’s a tough request. Two of the other four starters were playing their second match in only four days — not exactly an easy task, either. Both of TFC’s goals exposed the Impact’s high level of fatigue. It’s not like Klopas had no other options. In fact, he had multiple reliable and well-rested choices: defenders Eric Miller and Wandrille Lefèvre; midfielder Eric Alexander and striker Anthony Jackson-Hamel who all started on the bench. Klopas did use Miller, but made a mind-boggling change when Miller was substituted into the game in place of Romero, an attacker, with the Impact down a goal in the 80th minute. It was a head-scratcher, one that only Klopas could try to rationalize. It’s no wonder the unhappiness and frustration of the players had been so evident during the past several weeks.
In addition, there was the issue with Patrice Bernier that came to the surface. His wife posted on Facebook that Bernier’s treatment is “unacceptable and disrespectful”. After these comments, Bernier decided to take a leave from absence from the team. This player is one of the leaders of the team and now he was taking a leave of absence. One cannot underestimate leadership with in the team dynamic. After the loss to the Impact’s rival, TFC, Klopas was dismissed from his duties.
Montreal named Mauro Biello as the interim head coach. This coach and former player is actually from Montreal. He actually played for the Montreal Impact on three separate occasions. He brought the pride he had for playing for the Impact in to the coaching position. The players noticed this but pride alone did not turn around this season. Biello has shown an ability to navigate from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 with ease. Once they are in a 4-3-3 this is beneficial for the Impact as they now have three central midfielders, in addition they had to cover less ground. Against Toronto FC in last week’s playoff match they deployed the 4-3-3 with Ignacio Piatti playing at the left flank, this gave Piatti a chance to have a creative impact (pun intended) on the match. With the addition of Didier Drogba and Biello’s tactical nuisances, let us see how far they make it in the playoffs. For the time being, Biello they look the better fit for the Impact!