Montreal Impact News Release - www.montrealimpact.com
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
MONTREAL, QC -- The Montreal Impact announced that midfielders Sandro Grande and Félix Brillant, as well as defender Cédric Joqueviel have come to terms with the club, pending league’s approval. The team also recently announced the additions of Eduardo Sebrango and Stephen deRoux and the re-signing of Nevio Pizzolitto and Stefano Pesoli and the return of the coaching staff.
“I’m very excited to stay with the Impact and to be able to continue playing in Montreal,” said Sandro Grande. “Nothing compares to playing for your own city. My main goal now will be to concentrate on the upcoming season, although I’m also looking forward to contributing to the success of the team during the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.”
Grande, 31, from Montreal, returned with the Impact on August 6 after a stay in Europe. The club’s free kick specialist scored one goal in six regular season games (408 minutes), September 5 against the Minnesota Thunder. He helped the Impact qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League quarter finals, playing six games (493 minutes) in the tournament, of which five in the group stage.
“It was important to have Sandro (Grande) back with us for three years following his long stay abroad,” said Impact Technical Director Nick De Santis. “He has shown signs of being a valuable player. He brings something different to the team and he is certainly one of our key elements.”
Brillant, 28, joined the Impact on July 30, while he was without a contract. The Brossard native also helped the team move up in the USL First Division standings. In 11 games, including four starts, Brillant tallied five points, all on August 24, in a 3-1 win against Atlanta. He also took part in six of the eight games (365 minutes) that the Impact played in the CONCACAF Champions League. His deal is for two years.
Joqueviel, 26, played the full 2008 season with the Impact after playing with the Montreal Impact reserve club the Trois-Rivières Attak, the previous year. During the absence of Gabriel Gervais due to injuries, he played an important role as central defender with Nevio Pizzolitto and Stefano Pesoli. Joqueviel, a Montpellier native (France), started 18 of the 19 regular season games (1,640 minutes) he played in 2008. He also played four games (199 minutes) in the CONCACAF Champions League. He is on board for three more seasons.
“Cédric (Joqueviel) showed lots of good things in his first year in the league, which is positive for the future,” added De Santis. “In Félix’s case, his return in 2009 will put to test his ability to show continuity during a full season. We trust that these players can add a lot to the team.”
“We are happy to have three players who are not only very good, but who were with us last year,” noted Impact head coach John Limniatis. “This will ensure continuity within the roster. They have all proven to be very useful to the team. We are looking forward to having them and especially to see them contribute to the success of the team.”
Cuban-born Canadian forward Eduardo Sebrango as well as Jamaican midfielder Stephen deRoux have come to terms with the club for two years.
“I’m very happy to be back,” said Sebrango. “I’m very excited to be given once again the chance to play for this first-class organization. The club has grown a lot in the last years, so it will even be more special to play for the Impact. I’m looking forward to play in front of fans at Saputo Stadium and help my new teammates win.”
“It’s great to have him back with us,” said Impact Technical Director Nick De Santis. “He has shown continuity over the last few seasons. He is a true professional and leader, as the four championships he won demonstrate. He is a player who is respected by his teammates and coaches. It’s going to be a challenge for him now to also perform in the CONCACAF Champions League, but he enjoys competing.”
Sebrango, a nine-year veteran in the USL First Division, is coming back to Montreal after playing four seasons, from 2002 to 2005. In 83 games with the Impact, he tallied 36 goals and six assists for 78 points. He notably scored 18 goals in his first season in Montreal, in 2002, and won the playoff championship in 2004.
In the last three seasons in Vancouver, Sebrango tallied 21 goals and five assists for 47 points in 54 games with the Whitecaps. He helped the Caps win the playoff title in 2006 and 2008. Last year, he ended third in the league with 27 points (12-3-27).
Stephen deRoux, 24, had one goal – against the Impact, September 5 - and two assists in 29 games (2,534 minutes) last season with the Minnesota Thunder. At the end of the season, he was named to the USL D1 All-League First Team. deRoux had played the two preceding seasons with DC United in the Major Soccer League (MLS), playing four games (228 minutes) in his 2006 rookie season, and six games (115 minutes) in 2007.
“With this acquisition, we are once again improving the team,” noted De Santis. “He is dangerous going forward and plays with a lot of energy. He will need to adapt himself quickly to our team because we are also counting on him to help us this winter in the CONCACAF Champions League.”
Central defenders Nevio Pizzolitto and Stefano Pesoli will be back for the next two seasons.
Pizzolitto, a 15-year veteran in the USL First Division, 14 in Montreal, played 18 games (1,253 minutes) in 2008, helping the Impact end the season with the second best defense in the league, with 28 goals allowed in 30 games. For the first time in his career, he was named on the USL D1 All-League First Team. He was also named Defensive Player of the Year of the Impact for the second time.
Pesoli, a 24-year-old Italian defender, received the Newcomer of the Year Award after starting 23 games (2,013 minutes) in his first season in North America. In addition to an outstanding performance defensively, this product of AS Roma finished top scorer among Impact defenders with two goals and four points in regular season play. He also scored one goal and played 630 minutes in the CONCACAF Champions League.
“I’m happy that these two defenders are coming back for the next two seasons,” said Impact head coach John Limniatis. “Last season, Nevio and Stefano did very well defensively and were true leaders for our team. Nevio is a veteran who gave everything to this organization, while Stefano already shows the same attitude towards the team despite his young age.”
The Impact also confirmed that midfielders Sita-Taty Matondo and Gason Gregory will not be back next year, while midfielder Pato Aguilera has been released.
Impact head coach John Limniatis has accepted his option year with the team in 2009. He will be backed by assistant coach Marc Dos Santos and goalkeeper coach Youssef Dahha.
“The new technical staff did remarkable work last season,” said Nick De Santis, Technical Director of the Montreal Impact. “In 2008, our coaching team led the club to a playoff spot in the USL First Division, to a Canadian Championship title and to the quarterfinals in the CONCACAF Champions League. We have experienced coaches who have the skills to bring the team to great accomplishments again in 2009.”
In his first season with the Impact, John Limniatis was finalist to the Coach of the Year Award in the USL First Division. The Impact had a record of 18-9-8 in all competitions since his arrival on June 10.
“Upon my arrival with the Impact, I signed a two-year deal, so I was expecting and hoping to be back in 2009,” said Limniatis. “I would like to remain head coach of the team for a long time.”
Marc Dos Santos, who led the Trois-Rivières Attak to the regular season championship as well as the playoff final in the Canadian Soccer League in 2008, will now work on a full-time basis with the Montreal organization. Dos Santos will leave his head coach job with the Impact reserve team, which he held during his first two years with the franchise.
Youssef Dahha will also be working full-time with the organization as goalie coach for the Impact and the Attak. It will be his sixth season with the club. He will also be involved with the Impact soccer clinics.
No decision has yet been taken concerning assistant coach Andrea Di Pietrantonio. He currently holds a full-time position as physical education instructor in a high school in St. Leonard and is not available before the end of the school year.