As fans anxiously await the debut of Didier Drogba, Saturday’s game could also mark a milestone for one of its longest serving members.
If Justin Mapp makes an appearance this weekend, he will become the youngest player in MLS history to reach the 300 games played plateau – doing so at the age of 30 years, 10 months and four days.
Chad Marshall of the Seattle Sounders did it at 30 years, 10 months, and 11 days. Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman was two days older. They are the only two players in league history to hit the milestone before the age of 31.
Born on October 18, 1984, the Brandon Mississippi native played his first game as a pro at just 17 years old, on July 24, 2002 for D.C. United, making him also one of the youngest players to don a jersey in MLS history.
Mapp, who joined the Impact in its inaugural season in 2012 through the MLS expansion draft, has already topped the 20,000 minutes played milestone while in an Impact uniform, and he is one assist shy from 20th all-time in Major League Soccer.
He’s become a fan favourite in his adopted home of Montreal, where he continues a long and storied career, despite being just entering the prime years of his career.