Toronto FC welcomed its major rival to Major League Soccer with open arms after the league finally announced the Montreal Impact would be joining the fold in 2012.
“The passion of the fanbase is incredible; great franchise, they deserve that,” said Adrian Cann, the Thornhill-born defender who previously played for the Impact.
“I’m always a big fan of development of soccer here in Canada,” added Toronto captain Dwyane De Rosario, of Scarborough.
“To see another team like Montreal be in MLS is great for the league. It’s great for soccer in Canada and development for the youth in Canada.”
Fellow Torontonian and Canadian international Julian de Guzman was also pleased that Montreal will join the loop a year after Vancouver debuts.
“This will definitely open more doors for the youth and also for the national team,” de Guzman said.
“A lot of Canadians are developing more interest in the game since Toronto was involved and now that we have Vancouver and Montreal on board, it will definitely have a huge impact on the game.”
The three teams currently compete annually for the Nutrilite Canadian Championship.
De Guzman is convinced having all three clubs in North America’s top league will make the Canadian championship even more of an event.
“The intensity of the games will (rise) another level,” de Guzman said. “It’s something that Canadian football has been working towards for a very long time.”
De Guzman, meanwhile, said he would be suiting up for Canada’s friendly against Argentina in Buenos Aires May 24.
“Being able to play in Argentina against one of the top teams in the world is a special thing for anybody in their soccer career,” de Guzman said.
TFC plays New England two days before the match so de Guzman would likely sit that one out.