Evan Bush Montreal Impact

Montreal loses a gem, NYC gains a team, a soccer superstar gets COVID

PLUS Pharrell Williams teams up and Mr. Canadian Soccer faces a setback.

The month of October saw a true soccer professional and brilliant athlete leave Montreal for Vancouver. The Impact’s keeper Evan Bush was traded to the Whitecaps in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft. Bush joins fellow Impact alumni Marc Dos Santos, currently the Whitecaps head coach, who coached the Impact from 2009 to 2011. Evan, a GOAL Initiatives Foundation ambassador, was an original member of the Montreal franchise. The 34-year-old American made 176 starts for the club from 2012 through 2019. He posted a 64–78–34 record with 40 shutouts and 562 saves.

On the topic of Vancouver, the end of October also saw Mr. Canadian Soccer himself Alphonso Davies suffer a serious right ankle injury, taking him out of action for six to eight weeks.

Alphonso Davies

AD19 was in tears as he was helped off the pitch. Everyone around the world was sending him well wishes for a speedy recovery. He responded, “Thanks to everyone for the kind messages. I will be back stronger, just a bump in the road.” Full class!

Queens, New York team Queensboro FC

Queensboro FC (QBFC) is the first-ever professional men’s soccer team in Queens, New York. International football superstar David Villa, who played in NYC, is part of the ownership group. The club will start playing in the 2022 season of the USL Championship. The club will use a USL Academy team in the 2021 season to establish their footing and set some foundations for the 2022 season. The club says Queens is often called the “diversity capital of the world,” and is home to over two million residents, 150 nationalities and 130 languages across more than 90 distinct neighbourhoods and 100 square miles. (Sounds a lot like Montreal to me!) Queensboro FC will have a unique stadium of their own. From the club’s website: “Queensboro FC stands for more than sports, it is a movement for unifying people across the world.”

The English Premier League, which has seen six or so games played, sees Everton at the top of the standings and Manchester United is 16th out of 20 teams. This is just the start, but as of Nov. 1, the season is very entertaining!

Edinson Cavani joins Manchester United

The transfer window closed in October, with a few big names moving into England, including Manchester United acquiring Edinson Cavani, the Uruguayan legend arriving as a free agent after leaving PSG. Chelsea FC spent a small fortune bringing in some big players, including: Timo Werner from RB Leipzig, Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen, Hakim Ziyech from Ajax, Ben Chilwell from Leicester and Thiago Silva from French giants PSG.

Other moves from last year’s champions Liverpool saw them adding Ki-Jana Hoever from Wolves and Dejan Lovren from Zenit, St. Petersburg, to name a few. The league is stacked and continues its stranglehold on the title of being the best football league on the planet.

Montreal soccer Humanrace FC Adidas
Pharrell Williams, Humanrace FC

On the culture front, the game has never been stronger. A perfect example is what Humanrace creative director Adidas artist and collaborator Pharrell Williams just did with the launch of a new footie jersey collection with some of the world’s top football clubs under the Adidas brand. From Adidas:

“Humanrace FC brings together the clubs for the first time in a shared celebration of the human spirit. Pharrell and the Adidas design team’s joint ambition was to demonstrate football is for everyone and the human race at its best — uniting together while celebrating our differences.” This is exactly what the beautiful game is all about!

Cristiano Ronaldo in COVID-19 recovery mode

NB: As of press time (Nov. 3), Montreal has a spot in the MLS playoffs but it’s not secured with two games left to play. Oh yeah! And arguably the biggest sports star in the world, CR7 himself, contracted COVID and had to miss out on a big champion’s league match against arguably the other biggest sports star in the world, Leo Messi and his club FC Barcelona. ■

“Talent without working hard is nothing.”

—Cristiano Ronaldo

This column was originally published in the November issue of Cult MTL. Check out The 1st Half podcast about soccer and football culture in Montreal and beyond here.

For more Montreal soccer and other sports coverage, visit our Sports section.