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Bernier excited about massive crowd Montreal Impact's home opener

More than 60,000 fans are expected to attend Montreal Impact' first MLS home game at the Olympic Stadium this weekend.

The expansion franchise has already sold in excess of 50,000 tickets for the visit of Chicago Fire and Impact midfielder Patrice Bernier, who grew up in Montreal, can't wait to see it all come together.

"It's certainly going to be a special day for a hometown kid," Bernier told The Montreal Gazette. "I could have never imagined there would be a crowd of over 50,000 for a game here and I would be playing in it.

"It means a lot to have the opportunity to play at home at this point in my career. There's family and friends here. People who have seen me grow up through the soccer ranks. People who've seen me just grow up.

"The feeling will be different from anything I've experienced before. As we get closer to game time, I'm sure there's going be an emotional aspect for all of us on the team, but more so for me because this is my home."

Impact officials are expecting a record crowd at the 'Big O' following the Montreal Manic's 58,542 in the North American Soccer League back in 1981 and Bernier admits it is an exciting for soccer in this region and in MLS in general.

"Looking at the attendance you're seeing (in MLS), times have certainly changed," he said. "Going from Claude Robillard to soccer-specific stadiums to playing in front of 50,000 people, I guess there is a will to want to watch soccer.

"Soccer has grown, faster in the last 10 to 15 years and faster than I thought it would. It's now up to us as players to make sure there's a good product on the field."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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