The Montreal Impact have climbed into position to fight for a playoff berth thanks to the play of Patrice Bernier, who earned the MLS Player of the Month honor for tallying three goals and three assists while leading the Canadian side to a 4-0-0 run in August.
Bernier, who was honored earlier this season as Player of the Week (15) for three assists in the 4-1 win against Seattle in the MLS debut of Stade Saputo, played every minute in the four contests as the Impact outscored the opposition 8-1 for the month. He edged out Seattle striker Fredy Montero in the tiebreaker after the two finished even with eight first-choice votes each. The Canadian nabbed the award 5-4 among the second-choice selections.
The month started off rather pedestrian with an assist on the opening goal by Andrew Wenger August 4 against the visiting Philadelphia Union in a 2-0 victory. An unassisted Sanna Nyassi goal was the 1-0 decider four days later in New England.
After a 10-day break, Montreal surprised the league-leading San Jose Earthquakes with a come-from-behind 3-1 victory August 18 in which both teams played with 10 men after the 21st minute. The two sides were also level 1-1 coming out of intermission when Bernier became the star, setting up Lamar Neagle in the 61st and scoring an insurance strike from the penalty spot in the 72nd.
Last weekend Bernier put a major stamp on his bid for the honor, playing a role in all three tallies in a 3-0 blanking of visiting DC United. He connected with Marco Di Vaio for the lone goal in the first half 24 minutes in then scored two himself in the second half. He converted a penalty in the 50th minute to make him perfect in nine attempts before capping the game three minutes into stoppage time by driving past a DC defender and scoring off a deflection.
In addition to Bernier and Montero, others receiving votes were David Ferreira (2) of FC Dallas and Federico Higuain (1) of the Columbus Crew.
The Major League Soccer Player of the Week and Month honors are selected during the MLS regular season by a panel of journalists from The North American Soccer Reporters (NASR). The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information and membership information can be found at www.soccerreporters.com.
How They Voted:
|Voter||POTM Choice||Second Choice|
|Marc Connolly||David Ferreira (DAL)||Patrice Bernier (MTL)|
|Buzz Carrick||David Ferreira (DAL)||Patrice Bernier (MTL)|
|Gerald Barnhart||Federico Higuain (CLB)||David Ferreira (DAL)|
|Don Ruiz||Fredy Montero (SEA)||David Ferreira (DAL)|
|Michael Lewis||Fredy Montero (SEA)||David Ferreira (DAL)|
|Jonathan Tannenwald||Fredy Montero (SEA)||Federico Higuain (CLB)|
|Lisa Eisenmenger||Fredy Montero (SEA)||Mauro Rosales (SEA)|
|Frank Giase||Fredy Montero (SEA)||Omar Gonzalez (LA)|
|Jose Romero||Fredy Montero (SEA)||Patrice Bernier (MTL)|
|Philippe Germaine||Fredy Montero (SEA)||Patrice Bernier (MTL)|
|JP Dellacamera||Fredy Montero (SEA)||Patrice Bernier (MTL)|
|Paul Attfield||Patrice Bernier (MTL)||Federico Higuain (CLB)|
|Darrell Lovell||Patrice Bernier (MTL)||Federico Higuain (CLB)|
|Steve Clare||Patrice Bernier (MTL)||Fredy Montero (SEA)|
|Steven Sandor||Patrice Bernier (MTL)||Fredy Montero (SEA)|
|Orrin Schwartz||Patrice Bernier (MTL)||Fredy Montero (SEA)|
|Jonah Freedman||Patrice Bernier (MTL)||Fredy Montero (SEA)|
|Bobby McMahon||Patrice Bernier (MTL)||Mauro Rosales (SEA)|
|Adam Jardy||Patrice Bernier (MTL)||Simon Dawkins (SJ)|