MONTREAL – Colombian forward Miguel Montaño is leaving Montreal for a while.
The 21-year-old will go on loan to Deportivo Cali, in his home country, for six months, Impact sporting director Nick De Santis announced on Monday. Montaño had been embroiled in a linguistic controversy after he commented on Twitter that Montrealers were “racist.”
The incident came about last month, when Montaño claimed a subway agent had refused to sell him a ticket because he didn’t speak French. He later apologized, but the damage had been done.
“As a club, we had to react in a certain way,” De Santis told reporters. “This is a young player who made a mistake, but we also recognize that this is a person that has been attacked. The mistake he made was that he spoke against the city as a whole as he was under fire. He didn’t intend to do that.”
De Santis supported the loan spell by explaining it would help Montaño grow on the soccer side as well as on the mental side. The young forward, who will also have a chance to address some family issues back home, is nevertheless expecting to be back in the Montreal winter next January.
“I hope that I’ll be able to come back here next year, but I’m happy with the opportunity today,” Montaño said. “The city of Montreal has given me much joy. I’ll concentrate on working hard there, but I want to come back.”
Macedonian striker on trial
It appears the Impact can work some Scandinavian contacts, too.
Macedonian striker Barjam Fetai, a former teammate of Impact midfielder Patrice Bernier’s at Danish clubs Nordsjælland and Lyngby, has joined Montreal on trial for the next seven to 10 days. It was Bernier himself that recommended Fetai to the Impact front office.
“I don’t know what shape he’s in as he’d been out of a club since this summer, but he’s very quick,” Bernier said of Fetai. “He tries to hide behind the defenders. He has a good left foot and he can finish. His résumé shows that he scores on a rather regular basis, but it’s up to him to prove himself in training.”
Fetai, a three-time Macedonian international, looked delighted to catch up with Bernier, a “really good friend.”
“I remember the first time he came [to Denmark], he said he was from Montreal and hoped that, one day, he would come back and play here,” Fetai reminisced. “His wish came true. After he left, I told him that, maybe, we'd play together sometimes, overseas. And we get the chance to train together. He’s been talking really [well] about the club.”