MONTREAL – Donovan Ricketts' arrival in Montreal is a big deal, if you ask Impact goalkeeper coach Preston Burpo.
Following the trade that brought Ricketts to Quebec in exchange for allocation money on Monday, Burpo gave his impressions on the latest player to join Montreal, as well as the busy days he’s been having over at Saputo Stadium.
“It’s been a very good week for us, starting with the Expansion Draft,” Burpo told MLSsoccer.com. “Everyone feels really happy with it as well as the deals that were made publicly in the last day or so.”
The Maryland native and former MLS goalkeeper had nothing but good words for the team’s latest signing, explaining that by acquiring Ricketts, the team is showing a willingness to make moves from the start.
“He’s our guy,” Burpo said. “He’s big-time. He’s played in Europe, he’s got international experience. Over the last few years, I still think that he’s one of the best ‘keepers in the league.”
And the Impact’s goalkeeper coach is confident that the former LA shot-stopper will fit right in when he lands in Montreal. At 34 years of age, the Jamaican is still in good shape physically despite a recent spat of injuries and could bring experience and leadership to the team’s locker room.
“Everything about this guy is a perfect fit for an expansion team,” explained Burpo. “We need our players to look behind them and be confident, and I think we can achieve that with Donovan.”
Burpo, who spent six seasons in MLS, also praised goalkeeper Evan Bush, who signed a contract with Montreal on October 20 after a successful 2011 season.
“Evan was the revelation this year,” he said of the Akron alum. “He came into a struggling team and settled things back there.”
Next up for the team and Burpo will be adding a third goalkeeper before the start of the training camp in January.
“We’re working on another 'keeper to fill in that third spot,” he confirmed. “We have a list of candidates that we’re looking at. Some of them have played here, some haven’t. We’d like to get that done soon.”