MONTREAL – In the end, an injury might have spelled the end of Justin Braun’s time with the Montreal Impact.
Montreal acquired the 25-year-old forward from Chivas USA last November believing that he would be able to establish himself as a top forward in 2012. But as First Kick 2012 drew near, Braun picked up an ankle sprain that he didn’t truly shake off until May.
“Justin is the kind of guy that doesn’t want to let the team down, and he always wants to play and do whatever he can to help the team,” Impact head coach Jesse Marsch told MLSsoccer.com, “so maybe he fought through an injury that he shouldn’t have, that he should have allowed himself to get healthy. Then, we actually shut him down at one point because we could see that he wasn’t himself.”
While he did return to the field, the arrival of forwards Bernardo Corradi and Marco Di Vaio and the emergence of rookie Andrew Wenger pushed Braun ever further down the depth chart, and eventually both the player and the staff acknowledged it was time to move on.
In the course of discussions, Braun mentioned that his hometown of Salt Lake City would be an ideal destination. Marsch admits that the Salt Lake scenario may not have been a perfect solution from the Impact’s point of view – Montreal sent Braun to Real Salt Lake on Wednesday in exchange for a conditional pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft – but he also felt that Braun's professionalism and hard work earned him the move back home.
“You certainly want to have the reputation, as a club, that you’re going to look out for players, whether in good times or in bad,” Marsch explained. “He’s a good man, and he worked his butt off while he was here, whether it was going his way or it wasn't. … I’m very confident that he’s going to go to Salt Lake and re-establish himself and do really well. And in the end, I’ll be very happy for him.”
Impact sign left back Iapichino
Montreal announced the signing of left back Dennis Iapichino on Wednesday, a former teammate Felipe Martins at FC Lugano. And it seems the Impact’s Brazilian midfielder is the one mostly responsible for the move.
Felipe told sporting director Nick De Santis about Iapichino, which prompted the front office to invite the player for a trial a month ago after watching video footage.
“A 21-year-old kid playing at this level always wishes to stay in Europe and succeed there,” De Santis explained. “Convincing him was not easy, but he has this great will to be here that I like a lot, plus Felipe told him good things about Montreal.”