As they are under contract for 2013, the Montreal Impact first-team players that made this week's trip to Italy can now enjoy a peaceful holiday, relatively assured they know their address for next year.
For others, the MLS offseason will be a bit more intriguing.
Take interim head coach Mauro Biello, for example. The 40-year-old showed how much he was and is asking of himself by targeting the Impact’s head coaching job last Wednesday. While his post-tour comments were slightly more nuanced, the full-time gig very much remains in his sights.
“The club is looking for a coach, and I’m there to help the team,” Biello told reporters on a conference call. “I’m ready to do whatever it takes to help the team win. In the end, it’s the results that matter, and we came here to keep working. We worked well, we did well, we’re happy. The club will make a decision, and I’m at the service of the club.”
The Impact’s impressive showing in their 1-0 win against Fiorentina on Thursday certainly plays in Biello’s favor, and veteran Patrice Bernier seems to be in his corner. With the overall success of the Italy tour and the players’ fine relationship with Biello, the Québécois midfielder believes that an eventual promotion for Biello would be well-received.
“He put an emphasis on the tactical side, pressing and keeping things tight,” Bernier added on the conference call. “He did a very good job during these two weeks. He’s shown a lot of determination, a great will to learn and he studies and reads the game really well.”
While it is not actually offseason for them, a group of four players on trial with the Impact will also be casting an eye on Montreal.
Midfielders Nicolás Cordova, Henrique Cornelio Bem and Andrea Pisanu, as well as forward Oussama Essabr, all trained with the traveling team and played a part in one or both of their games against Fiorentina’s academy and first-team sides.
Pisanu actually provided the assist for Marco Di Vaio’s game-winning goal against the Florence club on Thursday and earned plaudits from Biello. However, no decision has been made on any of the four.
“We’ll keep track of what they do,” Biello said. “Signings depend on a number of factors. Every player has qualities and we’ll make measured decisions according to what we’re looking for. We saw them, it cost us nothing and they will be candidates.”