Saputo is worried that the Impact is not impacting the city of Montreal. He spoke of the lack of relevance the team seems to have.
The lack of relevance is a tough pill to swallow for a cultural city of significance and one with only one other major sport competing against U.S. competition (the Canadiens in hockey).
Just three years into playing North America's Division 1 soccer, Montreal is feeling the effects of being ignored by fans and media. After selling out Olympic Stadium and galvanizing the city with futbol fever, normalization has settled in and it feels stale.
Montreal isn't the first MLS city to feel this way and shouldn't feel alone. Several other MLS clubs can relate, including big metropolis cities like Chicago and Dallas as well as the smaller Columbus-also possessing only an NHL pro outfit besides its Crew.
Saputo is disappointed and bewildered by the trend his team has taken and its place of importance for the city.
What is so interesting to me about Saputo's comments is how direct and accurate he appears to be in analyzing the situation.
Could it be that the buildup to achieving MLS stature is bigger than actually being in MLS?
When it was the minor leagues, it seemed much rosier for the Impact. The lead up to MLS is wonderful. It's been that way with a few clubs. The grass-roots campaigning to become a member of North America's elite is a feel-good experience for all.
Saputo is not giving up on his Impact or MLS, nor should he. A place like Montreal with its distinct world history and traditions should be able to fit soccer and the Impact into its schedule. It may be that it takes a little more than the average coaxing.