Forward Mike Fucito may have only just become a new member of the Montreal Impact, but Jesse Marsch has had his eyes on the Seattle Sounders hero for some time.
In fact, the Impact head coach eyed Fucito during the Expansion Draft last November but instead passed on him, instead drafting right back James Riley and trading him to Chivas USA for striker Justin Braun and midfielder Gerson Mayen.
Nevertheless, Marsch was keen on the forward’s qualities and admitted he even contemplated striking a deal with the Sounders right then and there.
“In the end, the timing was not right,” Marsch told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Tuesday. “The situation last week allowed us to revisit such a deal, and we’re very happy about that.”
Both Fucito and fellow newcomer Lamar Neagle were picked up via trade with the Sounders last Friday in exchange for the rights to striker Eddie Johnson, who the Impact scooped up via the top spot in the allocation process for the former US national teamer.
Both Fucito and Neagle should give the Impact flexibility, especially regarding the use of midfielders Davy Arnaud, Sanna Nyassi and Justin Mapp. Both new players are expected to compete for starting spots at Stade Saputo.
Montreal almost certainly could have used Johnson, who probably would have been an automatic starter, but Seattle’s interest justified the Impact’s decision to deal him away.
“Seattle had already talked to Johnson back in August,” Marsch explained. “We talked to Eddie about Montreal, how he could do within our team, but he didn’t feel it would be a right fit at this time to come here with his family. Ultimately, we’re very happy with our use of the allocation ranking.”
Comings and goings
Eduardo Sebrango is MLS material after all. The 38-year-old Cuban striker, who had retired as a NASL player last season, signed a contract with the Impact on Tuesday.
No such luck, however, for former team captain Nevio Pizzolitto and fan favorite Simon Gatti, who were both released after the Impact’s recent camp in Southern California.
The Impact will welcome a new trialist in this week’s Florida camp: Argentine midfielder Lucas Acosta. The 23-year-old, who has plied his trade in Ecuador as well as in his home country, has been on Montreal’s radar since a trip to South America in October.
Rivas making progress
Former Inter Milan defender Nelson Rivas is making progress with his therapy to heal a thigh injury. The 28-year-old should be running again next week, but Marsch insisted the club wants to approach his recuperation intelligently and will not hurry him in the recovery process.
It is widely expected Rivas will miss the start of the season, and defender Bobby Burling likely will as well; the American defender’s contract situation has not changed in the past few weeks.