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Montreal Impact Name Interim Head Coach

by Frank Doyle on November 6, 2012

in Soccer,Sports

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Only 48 hours after Montreal Impact team president Joey Saputo announced the club and coach Jesse Marsch were parting ways, the club named Mauro Biello its interim coach.

Ties to the Team

Biello served as the club’s assistant coach this season and will lead the team on its upcoming tour of Italy, where it will play a couple of games against Serie A sides Bologna and Fiorentina. This move is much less surprising than the shock Impact supports had over the weekend with Marsch leaving. The 40-year-old Biello was born in Montreal and played most of his professional career with the Impact. He is the franchise leader with 80 goals and 300 appearances and was also capped by the Canadian national team four times.

Taking Stock of Last Season

By the numbers, the Montreal Impact enjoyed a solid MLS expansion season, going 12-16-6. But judging from the news trickling out following the announcement, the relationship between Marsch, the players, and team management had strained by the end of the year. “I’m leaving the club by mutual agreement,” Marsch told reporters. “I had several discussions with Joey and (sporting director) Nick (De Santis) on how we could make it work and the conclusion was that this amicable split is the best solution for the club going forward. Looking ahead, we realized that although we had the same goals, we did not share the same philosophy.”

Moving Forward

Many within the Impact organization feel the club was talented enough to qualify for the postseason. Montreal had trouble with set pieces all season and gave up a staggering 17 goals in the final 15 minutes of games. Those factors alone are enough to put any coach on the hot seat. Now the team begins a new era with a lot of uncertainty. Outside of the coaching change, word has it that only nine players have been given any indication of their futures with the club. So, there is work to be done both on the pitch and behind closed doors during this trip to Italy.

It’s not just about the competitive side,” Biello told MLS.com. “It’s about the club as a whole. Yes, there are games coming up, but as a club, and with the Serie A veterans we have, we have to represent the club well if we want to build relationships with European clubs. Not just on the field, but off it as well.”

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