MONTREAL – Earning a contract was a relief in more ways than one for Paolo DelPiccolo.
When he caught up with the Montreal Impact in early June, DelPiccolo found himself going through the uncertainties of a trial for the second time in half a year, after he successfully convinced the Eintracht Frankfurt staff to offer him a contract in January.
Eintracht elected not to extend his short-term deal at the close of the German season, so DelPiccolo had to pull off the same feat again, signing with Montreal last Friday.
And not only can he now go to sleep knowing what tomorrow has in store for his professional life, but he can also focus on improving his skills rather than merely putting them on display for a potential employer.
“When you’re on trial, you take fewer risks,” DelPiccolo told MLSsoccer.com earlier this week. “You play in your comfort zone, you want to show what you can do. When you’re trying to improve as a soccer player, you'll maybe take more risks, try to expand your comfort zone and try to get better.
“Maybe on trial you play more two-touch, and now you try to play one-touch. If it doesn’t come off, maybe it will the next time.”
After a month with the team that drafted him No. 27 overall at the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, DelPiccolo gathers that the Impact and him are “a good fit,” and head coach Marco Schällibaum appears to agree. A leftie among many right-footed players at the Impact, DelPiccolo has convinced Schällibaum of the importance he attaches to hard work.
“He’s a good player tactically and technically. He’s young, and one must keep learning throughout his life. The younger players who’ve been here from the start have improved, and that’s what I ask of Paolo: improve every day, and he wants to,” Schällibaum told reporters last week. “He wants to work with us. You’ve got to give time to a young player. Not too much, but still give him time.”