MONTREAL – Sinisa Ubiparipovic didn’t need much time to convince the Montreal Impact that he deserved a second chance to play in MLS.
After signing with the NASL club on Aug. 2, the former New York Red Bulls midfielder on Wednesday became the fourth player to join the Impact’s 2012 roster as they gear up for their maiden season in the top flight.
“I’m very honored to join the Impact,” Ubiparipovic told MLSsoccer.com. “These are exciting times for the team, the organization and the city and I’m happy to be a part of this adventure.”
Montreal have already inked defenders Nelson Rivas and Hassoun Camara as well as goalkeeper Evan Bush. But after three defensive acquisitions, Ubiparipovic becomes head coach Jesse Marsch’s first attack-minded player.
Where that offense will be deployed is up for debate.
“The last time I spoke to him was before he left for South America,” Ubiparipovic said, referring to Marsch's recent scouting trip to Argentina, Chile and Ecuador. “He wants me to remain open to different scenarios. He knows I have experience in the league already, so we discussed about what it will take for the team to be successful next year. On a physical level, I just need to be fit and ready for the start of the preseason.”
In his short time with Montreal, the Bosnia-born midfielder has made quite the impression. His three assists and team-leading four goals in eight appearances earned him the “Best Newcomer” trophy alongside Ian Westlake and provided his team with some desperately needed creative spark.
His performances, combined with his past experience, were enough to guarantee him a spot in the league’s 19th club.
“I think my time in New York had an influence in the decision, but it wasn’t the only factor,” Ubiparipovic admitted. “I think that the games I played with the Impact were also considered in the process. … There were a few indicators that the club wanted to keep me here. Then, after the evaluation camp in September, things got serious. I sat down with Jesse after the camp and he basically told me that he wanted to sign me.”
And while his performance on the field on the field helped him earn his spot, his prior relationship with Marsch certainly didn’t hurt.
“I’ve known him for a while now,” Ubiparipovic said. “He’s seen me play in the MLS, and we’ve even played against each other a few times. Seeing me play this season also gave him a good understanding of my style of play.”