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CF Montreal 2024 MLS season preview

We’re taking you through Montreal's offseason action, hopes, fears, tactics & much more.

6 min read

Where we left off last year

2023 season: 41 points, 10th in the Eastern Conference

Last year was a forgettable one for CF Montreal. They were in and around the playoff hunt until the end of the year, but then again, who isn’t in MLS? 62% of the league made the playoffs in 2023.

Montreal failed to develop any real on-field edge under manager Hernan Losada to help the team overcome a talent disadvantage in big games after losing Djordje Mihailovic and other key players ahead of the season. Losada deviated from the approach that pushed Montreal up to second in the East under Wilfried Nancy in 2022 — his tactical choices, along with Montreal’s choice to hire him in the first place, clearly didn’t pay off. 

And so, as we’ve all come to expect, the club brought down the hammer.

What changed in the offseason

Notable arrivals:

  • Laurent Courtois, manager: It’s hard not to like this hire. When CF Montreal hired Columbus Crew 2 head coach Laurent Courtois, they became the first club to opt for a coach from the young third-division reserve league. By all accounts, Courtois looks like a solid get — he won the first final in Next Pro history in 2022 and sets up his team much like Nancy does.
  • Ruan, RWB: Montreal acquired the 28-year-old wingback along with a chunk of allocation money in a trade that sent Aaron Herrera to DC United. Ruan will be tasked with bombing up and down the right side, providing width and backline-stretching runs.
  • Sebastian Breza, GK: The 25-year-old goalkeeper didn’t perform well during his last stint in Montreal. He allowed seven goals more than expected in 2022, according to FBref. But now that Bologna, CF Montreal’s older sister club, brought Breza back to Canada, he may push for minutes this year.
  • Joaquin Sosa, CB: Another Bologna connection, the 22-year-old center back joined Montreal on loan from the Serie A club. Adding depth in the middle of the backline with a medium-to-high upside player is good business.
  • Dominik Yankov, AM: Coming into the offseason, CF Montreal needed a top-end playmaker. They’re hoping Yankov is that player, despite his lack of top-end pedigree. The 23-year-old has spent his entire professional career in Bulgaria, so there could be a steep learning curve as he arrives in MLS. 
  • Matias Coccaro, ST: Coccaro, 26, doesn’t have an elite scoring record, but Montreal wanted another striker to compete for a starting role. He scored just four goals in 1,600 minutes in 2023 and just five goals in 2,200 minutes in 2022 with CA Huracan in Argentina’s top-flight.
  • Josef Martinez, ST: Talk about an out-of-left-field MLS move… Martinez hasn’t looked like the same player he was with Atlanta United after his knee issues, but maybe he has something left to give? You can certainly do worse than adding his competitive spirit to your locker room.

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