The 2018 MLS regular season has ended, and no Canadian teams qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs. While the near future may not look rosy for the Vancouver Whitecaps, Montreal Impact, and Toronto FC, all three clubs made strides that should help them bounce back in 2019.
The highlight of Vancouver Whitecaps’ 2018 season was undoubtedly the emergence of Alphonso Davies. Still a teenager, the Canadian youngster was sold to European giants Bayern Munich for a record sum. This year in MLS he recorded 8 goals and 11 assists, and may feature for Bayern as soon as January. As for the rest of the Whitecaps, this off-season will be one of change. The team will have enough money from the Davies sale to overhaul their roster, which will likely happen. Plus, before the end of the regular season, the Whitecaps parted ways with head coach Carl Robinson. The coaching search is on, and the new head coach will have a chance to put his stamp on the new roster.
The Montreal Impact started 2018 with a new head coach, France’s Remi Garde, and with a roster full of players new to MLS. After a rocky first half of the season, the Impact rallied from July onward and almost made the MLS Playoffs. They are in a good positon to pick up in 2019 where they ended in 2018, and make a successful run in the East again.
From losing the CONCACAF Champions League on penalty kicks to missing the MLS Cup Playoffs, Toronto FC’s woes were well documented in 2018. However, there were highlights to this disappointing season. The breakout play of Brampton, Ontario native and Canadian international Jonathan Osorio was something to behold. He scored 17 goals across all competitions this year, and amidst alleged interest from European clubs, he chose to stay with Toronto FC for the future. The Reds also won their third consecutive Canadian Championship, which means they will represent Canada in the continental CONCACAF Champions League again in 2019.