The Montreal Impact are playing the biggest match in franchise history, trying to become the first Canadian or American team to win the current iteration of the CONCACAF Champions League. They are apparently trying to pull out all the stops to improve their chances.
If Bush card stands, Impact keen on loaning in Sean Johnson from Chicago. Other options include Josh Saunders (NYCFC) Stefan Frei (SS) #IMFC— Nick Sabetti (@nicksabetti) April 26, 2015
CONCACAF has confirmed the loan possibility as legal. Johnson is one of the names on the list of possibilities. Report is legit. #cf97— Guillermo Rivera (@FireConf) April 26, 2015
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, it's probably important to explain how we got here.
Last week, the Impact managed to pull off a 1-1 tie against Club America in the road leg of the CCL final. It was a hard-fought result, withstanding tons of pressure and surviving some of the harshest conditions in the entire region. But at the end of the match Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush picked up somewhat controversial yellow card. It's his second yellow of the knockout stage and would mean he has to miss Wednesday's deciding leg, assuming the Impact's appeal is not successful. That would leave the Impact needing to use John Smits, who's already on short-term loan from FC Edmonton due to Eric Kronberg being cup tied to Sporting Kansas City and No. 3 goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau still recovering from injury.
A few days ago, reports surfaced that the Impact were hoping to get Nick Rimando on loan. That report was roundly mocked and even rubbished by Real Salt Lake. But now it appears it at least had a grain of truth: that the Impact were actively trying to make it happen. Now, we see they have a list of other goalkeepers they'd like to have.
It wouldn't be the craziest thing they'd ever done if MLS were to allow something like this to happen, and apparently CONCACAF isn't going to stand in the way, but would these other teams play along? It's hard to see why they would, at least without significant compensation.
The goalkeepers listed in this report are all starters, with Johnson and Frei having league games the following Sunday (although Saunders will be serving a suspension and won't be eligible to play a league game until May 10). Sure, it would be great to see another MLS team win CCL, but presumably those teams would rather be the first team to do it. More relevantly, there's not much material reason for them to help out a competitor while risking the health of an important player. The Sounders seem particularly unlikely to play along given their started ambitions to make history.
At the same time, everything has a price and there's probably some way the Impact can make it worth another team's while to do a deal. More likely, though, is a team sending a backup to the Impact for allocation money or a draft pick. Someone like former Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins maybe? We'll certainly follow the story and let you know what we find.