Montreal Impact legend Patrice Bernier joins club's academy staff

Patrice Bernier's playing days may be over, but the Montreal Impact legend is staying close to home for the next phase of his life.

The team announced on Friday that Bernier will become an assistant coach to the Impact's academy teams beginning in January.

Bernier, 38, announced his retirement as a player and intention to remain at the club as a coach ahead of the 2017 season. In his six-year career in MLS, all with the Impact, he made 151 MLS regular season appearances and eight MLS Cup Playoffs appearances, notching a combined 15 goals and 28 assists across regular season and postseason play from a defensive midfield position. He also helped lead the Impact to the CONCACAF Champions League final in 2015.

Bernier, who began his career with the Impact prior to the club's MLS days before heading to Europe to play, is a Quebec native and was in many respects the face of the Impact franchise since entering MLS. The longtime captain already holds a B coaching license from U.S. Soccer.

“I’m happy to continue my career with the Montreal Impact in this new challenge,” said Bernier in a team statement. “I’m excited for this new adventure to begin. I can’t wait to share my experience and to learn from the coaches and players at the Academy.”