Montreal Impact's Didier Drogba won't travel with team to face D.C. United
Montreal Impact forward Didier Drogba will not accompany the team to Washington, D.C. for Thursday's MLS playoff game against D.C. United, according to manager Mauro Biello.
Drogba has been dealing with a back injury, and has not trained with the Impact since refusing to be part of the squad in Montreal's 2-2 tie with Toronto FC back on Oct. 16. In the aftermath of that incident, Drogba met with Biello and Montreal owner Joey Saputo, and vowed to honor his contract until it expires in December.
Now it is looking more likely that Drogba has played his last game for the Impact. He jogged for 20 minutes on Tuesday, but Biello told MLSsoccer.com afterward that the forward was still "feeling discomfort" and was unlikely to play against the Black-and-Red.
On Wednesday Biello confirmed to reporters that Drogba wouldn't make the trip.
Drogba joined the Impact last summer from EPL side Chelsea, and was an instant hit, scoring 11 goals in as many regular season games. But his relationship with the team began to fray heading into 2016.
Drogba wanted to return to Chelsea in an assistant coaching role, and when Montreal insisted that he fulfill his contract, he responded by asking that he be allowed to train apart from the team during preseason, and that he not play in games on artificial turf. The Impact agreed, but it appeared to set the stage for friction later on.
Drogba's numbers fell off this season, scoring 10 goals in 22 games. More importantly, the Impact's record in games in which he played was worse (5W-8L-9T) than when he didn't (6W-3L-3T). Biello then felt compelled to use Drogba as a substitute, which didn't sit well with the Chelsea legend, leading to his refusal to participate in the aforementioned Toronto match.
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.