MONTREAL – Through June of last year, Argentinean midfielder Andrés Romero brought drive and unpredictability to the flanks of the Montreal Impact attack.
From July onward, however, Romero's season was marred by inconsistency. He seemed to carry an extra burden with him – and, partly, that was because his wife was literally carrying two. Pregnant with the couple’s twin boys, she stayed in Argentina through Romero’s first season in MLS.
That took its toll. Nonetheless in 2014, Montreal hope Romero will discover his early-2013 form as he returns on another year-long loan from Brazilian club Tombense.
His wife and sons are relocating to Montreal this month, allowing dad a chance to reveal himself as the spark in Montreal’s hitherto quiet offseason.
“Last season was very difficult because of the travel and the pregnancy,” Romero told reporters on Monday. “I'm convinced that it’s going to be easier with them here. At the end of a bad day, I’ll come home to my wife and my sons and it’ll make it easier for me to get back to work the next day.”
The Impact haven’t signed a new player in Romero, but they may have brought back a new man.
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The pressure reached an apex when he kicked Houston’s Kofi Sarkodie in the knockout round of the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs, touching off a fracas that led to his and Marco Di Vaio's ejections. Romero admits he “had to pay” for his offense, but the ensuing three-game ban could turn out to be something of a lucky break.
Only re-signed this week due to visa problems, Romero will get extra time not only to build his fitness but also to impress new head coach Frank Klopas – though his curler against Klopas’ Chicago Fire last April was a decent starting point.
“[Klopas] wants me to get there slowly, take my time to get ready, catch up with the group,” Romero said. “We are not taking chances. The first bit of business is catching up to group.”
And that's a burden Romero is equipped to deal with.