Alejandro Silva, rising

The Uruguayan midfielder is racking up assists

Not many Impact supporters could talk about Alejandro Silva when he first landed in Montreal. The 28-year-old midfielder joined the Bleu-blanc-noir from Argentine club CA Lanús, where he had spent most of the past five years, with a few loan stints.

His adaptation to MLS play wasn’t the easiest at first either, for a few reasons. The team itself was in a difficult period, struggling to find its way, with the players and coaches still getting to know one another. Silva was tried at different positions, including in midfield, and although there was no questioning his skill level, the team, and himself, continued to struggle.

Fast forward to a few months later, the team is now sixth in the Eastern Conference table and in a playoff position. On his side, Silva seems to have made himself a home on the right flank.

“The most important factor was my positioning on the field,” said Silva. “I feel very comfortable where I’m playing at the moment. Now, the team is doing better as well and winning. That always helps, because the whole team plays better when we’re collecting wins.”

The Uruguayan international is now tied with Nacho Piatti for first on the team with nine assists. Defensively, he’s been stellar as well, coming back to recover the ball in times of need before jumpstarting the attack.

“I continued to work hard in training,” added Silva. “Now, I also have quite a few games under my belt. The coach had confidence in me and gave me a chance to play. That really helped with my transition.”

Chemistry with Nacho

Silva’s breakthrough came around the same time he scored his first and only MLS goal so far with Montreal. Leading 1-0 against Sporting Kansas City at home, the Impact was awarded a penalty late in the second half. Alejandro Silva stepped up to the spot and calmly sent the ‘keeper the wrong way to put his team up by two.

“That could have been the turning point for me,” said Silva. “Scoring a goal helps a lot with confidence. When the referee pointed to the penalty spot, I asked Nacho if I could take it. It always feels good to score your first goal with a new team.”

Since then, other than his own improved play, Silva seems to have built quite the chemistry with Piatti in attack. The two South Americans have been the main creators of the Bleu-blanc-noir’s offense as of late, combining for 17 goals and assists in the club’s last 10 league games.

“Obviously, everyone always tries to defend Nacho,” explained Silva. “He’s our star. But I think recently and, in the future, the fact that I can cause problems to the other team’s defense as well opens up a bit more space for Nacho, and that can be very dangerous.”

Both will need to be at their best this Saturday at 7:30pm when the Bleu-blanc-noir hosts the Chicago Fire (TICKETS - TVA Sports, 98,5fm). Bastian Schweinsteiger and his teammates are sitting seven points behind the Impact and the final playoff spot in the East.