Laurent Ciman is a 30 year old defender currently plying his trade in MLS with the Montreal Impact. Prior to joining the Canadian side, Ciman played with Charleroi, Club Brugge, Kortrijk and Standard Liege. All of which are in his home country of Belgium. Ciman has also been capped nine times by his national team. Ciman signed a three year deal with Montreal on January 22nd, 2015. In that span of just over a year, Ciman has already captured a MLS Defender of the Year award and a CONCACAF Champions League final appearance. Not to mention the hearts of all Montreal fans. But why has Ciman been this successful?
It is easy to jump right into “he’s an experienced defender proven in the top tier of Belgium and the MLS is dreadful compared to that league” or simply “MLS sucks”. If you’re open to the idea of recognizing MLS as a decent league then keep reading because you’ll enjoy this. Last year in the MLS, Ciman had a 50% tackling success rate (58 won), 119 interceptions, 155 clearances, 16 blocks, and an 81% pass accuracy. Runner-up to the award, Kendall Watson, only had 36 tackles won. Ciman had 22 more tackles won!
One aspect of his game that makes him so crucial to the Montreal defense is his composure which comes with his experience. His ability to “single-handedly prevented breakouts, over and over and over again.” [Matthew Doyle – Armchair Analyst]. In multiple games last year he had moments that prevented Montreal from conceding goals.
No doubt in my mind that Laurent Ciman will play a critical part in Montreal’s defense and quest for MLS Cup this season. It wouldn’t surprise me either if he got a look in again with the national team at the EURO’s as historically speaking Belgium don’t have an array of talented defenders at their disposable and I truly think Ciman can offer something to that team.
By Jonathan Molik, TFN MLS expert on 07/03/2016 at 23:00