Mauro Biello and Mike Sorber
Charles William /

Impact assistant Biello takes reins for important Italy tour

MONTREAL – The Impact have a head coach. For now.

Former Impact captain Mauro Biello (above, left), who first accepted an assistant coach job with the club upon his retirement in November 2009, was named interim head coach for the duration of the club’s tour of Italy on Monday morning, two days after the club parted ways with Jesse Marsch.

Assistants Mike Sorber and Denis Hamlett, Academy director Philippe Eullaffroy, Academy goalkeeping coach Youssef Dahha will also travel with the team to Italy on Monday night, as will new fitness coach Paolo Pacione, who worked with the Canadian men’s senior and Olympic teams in 2012. Pacione will also succeed Adam Rotchstein as the first team’s fitness coach for 2013, the Impact confirmed.

READ: Impact, Marsch part ways

Added responsibilities therefore land on Biello’s shoulders, but the 40-year-old is approaching the gig with serenity. As long as respect and hard work remain among the group, Biello says, the transition should be smooth.

“What’s important in the next two weeks is to evaluate the group, what with all the changes and emotions involved,” Biello told reporters on Monday. “It’s also important that, in those two games [against Serie A clubs Bologna and Fiorentina], the approach remains good.”

This postseason tour could thus prove to be crucial for some, as the task that awaits Biello and the staff indicates. While Montreal have already confirmed that Josh Gardner, Evan James and Shavar Thomas will not be back, only nine players have received some form of guarantee about their future at the club.

The club itself, for that matter, is taking no aspect of these two weeks lightly.

“It’s not just about the competitive side,” Biello said. “It’s about the club as a whole. Yes, there are games coming up, but as a club, and with the Serie A veterans we have, we have to represent the club well if we want to build relationships with European clubs. Not just on the field, but off it as well.”