MONTREAL – Bernardo Corradi certainly did not sign up for this.
A week after the Italian striker verbally agreed to stay with the Montreal Impact until the end of the 2012 season, the club confirmed on Friday that Corradi would be out for up to six months with an injury to his left anterior cruciate ligament, effectively ending his season. Corradi got tangled up with a number of teammates during training on Monday, tearing his ACL in the process.
“We’re going to honor our word,” Impact sporting director Nick De Santis told reporters on Friday. “Together with the league and with Bernardo, we’ll look at how we can go things in the best way.”
De Santis indicated that the Impact would contact the league to determine whether they will be able to withdraw Corradi’s salary from under the cap, but always within the spirit of the deal upon which the player and the club shook hands.
Corradi was not among the four different players to score against the Seattle Sounders last Saturday, but with the Italian out, the Impact will still be without their leading scorer. De Santis did not rule out seeking reinforcements on the transfer market, but he first urged the forwards already with the club to take on additional responsibilities.
“We’ve got a lot of games coming up,” De Santis said, “but there’s Marco [Di Vaio] who will be able to play next week, [Andrew] Wenger is doing well and there are other good attackers here. This could be a chance for those guys already in the team. We’ll look at other options, but the window’s opening next week and we have a month.”
In the meantime, head coach Jesse Marsch has nevertheless encouraged Corradi to continue to stay around the team “because I think his energy is great.” Corradi’s teammates have expressed their sorrow at seeing their friend injured in such a way, and Marsch feels the Italian’s presence could give everyone a boost.
“For us as a team, it’s going to require every guy to step up a little bit and fill his void of what he’s like in the locker room, what he’s like on the field, the whole bit,” Marsch explained on Friday. “It won’t be easy, but again, most importantly, it’s thinking about Bernardo and his life.”