– LA RADIO DU BALLON ROND (@60minutesdefoot) September 24, 2023
2023 was a strange year for fans of Montreal sports teams. The football teams (Alouettes and Carabins) stood out… while the Montreal CF had its share of difficulties.
Here’s a look at their respective seasons.
CF Montreal (12-5-17)
CF Montréal faced a big challenge after the end of the 2022 season. They had to find a way to replace Wilfried Nancy behind the bench, since he left the club to join the Columbus Crew. The club also had to juggle the departures of Mihailovic, Kone and Johnson…
In the end, Hernan Losada was hired as head coach of the Montreal CF, the 9th in the team’s history. And let’s just say that his stay won’t go down in history.
Throughout the campaign, we’ve heard stories about Losada and its players. Sean Rea, Rudy Camacho and Victor Wanyama, among others, found themselves at the heart of mini-controversies, which is never good in a sports club.
Even captain Samuel Piette was in the news when he said out loud after a match that the players were lost on the pitch…
And the fans agreed with the Quebecer’s comments, which is saying a lot:
The club struggled to score goals last season, finishing with the fourth-worst offense in MLS. Olivier Renard tried to remedy the situation by bringing in Ariel Lassiter and Bryce Duke from Inter Miami, as well as striker Kwadwo Opoku from LAFC…
But the experiment didn’t really bear fruit.
But what will really sink the club in 2023 is its record on the road. The club’s 2-13-2 record abroad is truly atrocious, and things clearly could have been different when you consider that it missed the playoffs by two small points.
Not surprisingly, Hernan Losada was fired at the end of the campaign. It couldn’t go on, after all that had happened.
Mathieu Choinière’s progress must be noted, however, as he really took a step forward in 2023.
He was, without a shadow of a doubt, the club’s best player last season.
Montreal Carabins (7-1-0)
In 2023, the Carabins couldn’t have done any better.
Head coach and offensive coordinator Marco Iadeluca’s squad was almost perfect in the regular season.
After seven games, the team was still undefeated… And it sent a message to the rest of the league by crushing its opponents, week after week:
- Game #1, 43-11 win over McGill
- Game #2, 43-12 win over Concordia
- Game #3, 31-14 win over Laval
- Game #4, 59-13 win over Sherbrooke
- Game #5, 34-13 win vs. Sherbrooke
- Game #6, 36-14 win vs. McGill
- Game #7, 28-0 win vs. Laval
The Carabins lost their eighth and final game of the season to Concordia… But it had a positive effect on the rest of the season. Why?
The Carabins beat Université Laval’s Rouge et Or in the Quebec final to capture the Dunsmore Cup. The following week, they defeated the Western University Mustangs…
And then beat the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds 16-9 to win the second Vanier Cup in their history.
WE DID IT
Nine years later, the is back home. pic.twitter.com/LaE7TWALxf
– Carabins (@Carabins) November 25, 2023
Montreal Alouettes (11-7-0)
You guessed it, but…
It all started last March, when Pierre Karl Péladeau became team owner. He brought the stability we’d been looking for in the organization for so many years, and it showed on the field.
And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know what happened.
And what can we say about Marc-Antoine Dequoy’s post-match speech, which aroused passions in Montreal and across Canada:
Victory speech just as epic as the Alouettes’ victory in that unilingual English Grey Cup.
Thank you Marc-Antoine Dequoy. pic.twitter.com/DmgK3N6SSB
– Paul St-Pierre Plamondon (@PaulPlamondon) November 20, 2023
Both have accepted the offer and will be back next year. Maciocia is now tied to the team until the end of the 2027 season, while Maas’ contract will expire at the conclusion of the 2026 season.
What can we expect from our sports clubs in 2024? That’s a good question.
All indications are that it could be very difficult for Montreal CF, which hasn’t even found its coach for the next campaign.
They’d better do it fast, because the club’s season kicks off on February 24 in Orlando.
Several key Alouettes players (including Cody Fajardo, the team’s quarterback) have decided to extend their stay in Montreal, and if the team maintains the same energy and mentality as this season, good things will happen.
As for the Carabins… It’s a little hard to say, because at university level, the roster changes year after year.
But we know how good the university program is at the Université de Montréal. It will be interesting to see whether Jonathan Sénécal, who won the 2023 MVP award, returns for a fourth year.