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As a kid, I was fascinated by the French and Indian War. Most people don't remember this war, but it effectively set the table for the American Revolution. This war was the culmination of a century of war between France and Great Britain for control of North America. By winning, Great Britain seized Quebec (then called Nouvelle France) and unquestioned dominion over North America (the Spanish held the Louisiana Territory at the time, but did nothing with it).
Contrary to what you may think, Montréal wasn't the chief city of Quebec at the time. That was Quebec City. Nowadays, though, that has changed. It's now the second largest city in Canada, and unquestionably the seat of French culture in Canada. It's also the second largest primarily French-speaking city in the world, after Paris. Home to the 1976 Summer Olympics, Montréal is also a world cultural center. It hosts the Montréal International Jazz Festival every year.
It's home to tonight's opponents, the Montréal Impact. Officially, the name of the team is Impact du Montréal, French being the official language of Quebec. Founded in 1992, the Impact have a long history in North American soccer. They've been a consistently successful team, whether in the APSL/A-League, the USL, or the NASL. They won the APSL title in 1994, the USL title in 2004 and 2009, and were the USL regular season champions in 1995, 1996, 1997, 2005, and 2006. They also won the Canadian Championship seven straight years between 2002 and 2008.
Since joining MLS, success has been a bit harder to come by, but under head coach Mauro Biello - whose number has been retired by the team - they not only made the playoffs last season, but gave eventual MLS runners-up Columbus Crew everything they could handle and then some in a gripping conference semifinal clash.
MATCH THREAD RULES
Oh, hai! We're glad you're here! Wipe your feet, mind the gap, and be sure to blindly subscribe to our YouTube Channel! While you're here, though, we have a few rules and regulations.
- Absolutely no links to illegal streams. They're bad and they get us in trouble. Raf will be relegated to covering the Cosmos with Mike Petke. Sam will be thrown in a burlap sack and beaten with reeds. But seriously, they're illegal. So don't do it.
- We have rules against "relentless negativity." Nobody likes a Negative Nancy or Doubtful Darlington, even if the team gets off to an awful start. Don't knee-jerk and post outlandish or hurtful things just because you're frustrated.
- Along those lines, outright abuse of players or match officials is verboten. It's fine to say "wow, that's a bad call, match official," but it's NOT okay to direct copious amounts of abuse in the direction of said official over a call you did not like.
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Finally, while we don't have a rule against profanity, any language that is sexist, racist, or homophobic in nature will be swiftly deleted. Most importantly, though: HAVE FUN, tip your wait staff, and remember that poutine is freakin' delicious.