By The Canadian Press on January 14, 2021.
MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact are rebranding, changing the Major League Soccer club’s moniker to Club De Foot Montreal – or CF Montreal.
The club announced the move Thursday morning in a virtual press conference.
Team owner Joey Saputo said that to make an impact, the name Impact needs to be retired, replaced by a new name that will tell a story about the city of Montreal.
More than 2,000 soccer fans have already registered their displeasure with the rebrand, signing an online petition calling for the Impact to keep its name.
The petition says the change will cause a “rift” between the team and its fanbase.
The club has been known as the Impact since it joined the American Professional Soccer League in 1992 following the dissolution of its predecessor, the Montreal Supra.
Saputo chose the name because he wanted the franchise to make an impact on the city and local soccer community.
Montreal made its MLS debut in 2012. In 2015, the team finished a franchise-best third place in the Eastern Division before being ousted from the playoffs in the quarterfinals by the Columbus Crew.
Last season, the club finished ninth in the East with an 8-13-2 record after COVID-19 border restrictions forced all three Canadian MLS squads to relocate south of the border in mid-September.
The New England Revolution eliminated Montreal from the playoffs in the qualifying round.
MLS commissioner Don Garber has said the league is targeting mid-March to start the 2021 campaign.
Bob Foose, head of the MLS Players Association, said Wednesday that the “best solution” for Canadian teams would be delaying the start of the season since the Canada-U.S. border remains closed.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021.