Sejdic answers the call

Young midfielder impresses in three consecutive starts

I remember first meeting Amar a few minutes after the Montreal Impact selected him in the second round of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. Standing there speaking to the Montreal press for the first time, his calmness resonated. The young athlete chose every word carefully, and his demeanour gave you the sense that this player was here for business.

On the training field, his work ethic matched that character. Amar was consistent, attentive, and most importantly, always willing to learn.

Like any young player trying to break into a pro squad, the process can be long and grueling. Amar played just 68 minutes in 2019 in his first start in MLS, only seeing the field again for a start a little less than two months ago, in a 1-0 loss to Toronto FC. After that loss, Amar was limited to the bench again for five games.

But after showing signs of improvement to the coaching staff in training, Sejdic has now featured in six consecutive games for the Impact.

“You can make your way into the squad through training, and that’s what Amar did,” said Impact head coach Thierry Henry. “He played a few games earlier, but he hadn’t shown me enough. That’s how it is. To get back in the team, you have to train well. Amar has been training well. He’s been doing more before training and more after training, listening to what we want, and right now he’s taking advantage of it. I thought Amar was outstanding. Every time we had an opportunity, it’s because he came to hold the ball.”

For the first time in MLS, Sejdic has started three consecutive games and he’s certainly taken full advantage of it. The midfielder scored his first goal in MLS against the Union in a losing effort and added another in the following game, against the New England Revolution.

A few days earlier against the (former) Eastern Conference leading Columbus Crew, Sejdic hit the post early, and was solid in midfield through 90 minutes.

“I’m just soaking up all the information I can like a sponge,” said Amar Sejdic after scoring in back-to-back games. “I’m trying to learn as much as possible from the coaching staff to become a better player. My biggest thing is to enjoy playing and winning games.”

As we’re getting to know Thierry Henry the coach more and more, one thing is clear: if you consistently work hard, you’ll get your chance.

“At the end of the day, those who train well and work hard get their reward,” explained Henry. “Amar has been working really hard in training, so eventually he’s going to force your hand. That’s good for us and that’s good for him.”