The Montreal Impact abruptly fired Remi Garde.

By Avi Creditor
August 21, 2019

The Montreal Impact have made yet another coaching change.

The MLS club ousted Remi Garde before he could complete his second season in charge, choosing to replace him with recently fired Houston Dynamo coach Wilmer Cabrera, it announced on Wednesday.

The abruptness of the change and choice of successor given recent events add up to a peculiar move. Garde just led Montreal to the Canadian Championship final, and the club is in the thick of the playoff hunt in MLS's Eastern Conference, sitting just above the playoff line–though it has lost six of its last eight league matches. Even more, the Impact blew a 3-0 home lead to FC Dallas and was forced to settle for a 3-3 draw, but his replacement was just fired by a club performing even worse in the league. Club president and CEO Kevin Gilmore was quite blunt in his assessment of the outgoing coach in the Impact's announcement.

“Because I have so much respect for Rémi as a person and as a professional, it was a very difficult decision to make and it was well thought, but our latest series of failures in the past couple of months and the way the team acts on the field led to that change,” Gilmore said. “We hope to bring back confidence to this group of players for the last stretch of the season, to get a playoff spot and to perform in the Canadian Championship final. I would like to sincerely thank Rémi Garde for his commitment and his professionalism with our club since he joined in November 2017. I wish him only but the best in the future.”

Garde, the former Aston Villa and Lyon manager, posted an MLS record of 24-29-8 in his time in Montreal. He'll be succeeded by Cabrera, whom the Dynamo fired one week ago amid a run of poor results. Cabrera helped Houston win the U.S. Open Cup a season ago and could win a second domestic cup in as many seasons if he can guide Montreal by Toronto FC in the Canadian final.

Cabrera becomes the sixth Impact coach since the club joined MLS in 2012, following Jesse Marsch, Marco Schallibaum, Frank Klopas, Mauro Biello and Garde. Not one has lasted more than two full seasons.

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