Montreal Impact Academy and other newsBy: Franck | March 17th, 2010
As it turns out, our farm team has become an academy.
Announced today on the team’s official website, the Montreal Impact has acquired a Canadian Soccer League franchise with the goal of being our club’s reserve team and development academy. Although only a first step in building a full development program,
The main objective of the Academy will be the development of Quebec players aged 17 to 21 within the club’s professional environment.
The academy will further help the development of football players in Canada, Quebec, and more importantly, locally.
This is important when you consider that the Impact is expected to be named Major League Soccer’s 19th franchise in the coming weeks and with the limitation on the number of foreign players (Americans currently count as foreigners in MLS teams based in Canada), it’s important, if not urgent to have local players to fill the roster spots. It’s not that there aren’t enough Canadian football players. There aren,t enough affordable players.
Although the team shouldn’t expect dividends right away, last year the reserve team underwent a youth movement under Philippe Eullaffroy, who will remain the head coach of the reserve team as well as becoming the first-ever full-time director of player development to be hired by the club. Hopefully by 2012, when the Impact is expected to join MLS, there will be some players available and with the ability to plan in the D1.
According to Québec Soccer, Eullaffroy’s role will be to hold daily training sessions (that’s 7 per week compared with the 5 that used to be held) as well as be in charge of the U21 wing of the academy, running everything from the medical structure, the administration, the education and scouting. As Technical Director Nick de Santis said, “the ideal is to develop players, not to make money with them through the academy.”
The team will play their matches at Stade Saputo, while tickets will be sold for a mere 2$.
As for the Trois-Rivières Attak, it appears the franchise still exists, but it is still uncertain what will happen to them.
In other club news, forward Reda Agourram signed a two-year deal with the club and will join the official roster, while goalkeeper Andrei Badescu also signed a similar two-year deal, but is expected to join the reserve team. Midfielder Pierre-Rudolph Mayard obtained a contract extension until the 2011 season. He’s currently out on loan with the Charleston Battery of USL-2 until August.
We’re getting a grand total of ten regular-season matchs on local tv this season, with Radio-Canada doing the broadcasting.
Sunday, April 25 – 2 pm – Impact vs Portland
Saturday, May 1 – 2:30 pm – Impact vs Puerto Rico
Saturday, May 8 – 2:30 pm – Impact vs Minnesota
Saturday, May 15 – 10:30 pm – Impact @ Vancouver
Sunday, May 30 – 2 pm – Impact vs Carolina
Sunday, June 6 – 2 pm – Impact vs Miami
Sunday, July 18 – 2 pm – Impact vs Baltimore
Saturday, August 7 – 7 pm – Impact @ Carolina
Friday, August 27 – 7:30 pm – Impact vs Rochester
Friday, September 24 – 11:30 pm – Impact @ Vancouver (on a tape-delayed basis)
Last season, Radio-Canada broadcasted 10 games also, as well as the home leg of the final. None of those matches were on the road, while this season, three of the 10 games shown will be on the road. That is, in my view, an improvement, albeit a slight one. It would be nice to have all the games broadcast, more importantly the road games, but that’s just wishful thinking.
As a reminder, Sportsnet will broadcast the Nutrilite Canadian Championship this year.
Speaking of Radio-Canada, forward and Montreal native Ali Gerba spoke to them today about his recent falling out with Toronto FC. When asked whether his tenure with the club was finished, he replied, “yeah, I think so.” Amidst claims of not being up to par, he denies the accusations. Although he hasn’t impressed too many clubs in his career, he’s still anxious that Montreal will join MLS soon enough. We may need an experienced Canadian in our club, and Gerba might be the man, despite his apparent lack of a solid work ethic.