MONTREAL – How “Let Piatti play” isn’t trending on Twitter, we’ll never know.
Despite countless calls in Argentina by San Lorenzo fans for Ignacio Piatti to somehow play the second leg of the 2014 Copa Libertadores final against Nacional, he is now a Designated Player for the Montreal Impact.
The MLS second registration window closed Wednesday night, hours after Piatti played in San Lorenzo’s 1-1 at Nacional in Paraguay in the first leg of the Libertadores final. According to multiple reports in Argentina, San Lorenzo tried until the very end to convince FIFA to grant an exemption that would have let Piatti, whose DP signing was announced July 2 by the Impact, play the second leg before joining Montreal outside the window.
But it wasn’t granted, and Piatti confirmed it hours before flying back to Argentina.
“It was my last game, I can’t do anything about it,” Piatti told Radio America on Wednesday night. “For sure, next Wednesday, we’ll be there cheering.”
This would suggest that Piatti will at least stay in Argentina until Wednesday to watch San Lorenzo host the second leg of the final. Montreal, however, expect him to report for duty.
“I don’t know exactly what the agreement was,” said assistant coach Mauro Biello, who spoke instead of head coach and director of player personnel Frank Klopas despite a request from MLSsoccer.com. “I don’t know what was finalized. What I’ve heard is that he'll be here this week. We're expecting news today.”
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When Piatti, 29, was signed, a press release was published that day stated that “Piatti will join the team after San Lorenzo de Almagro is eliminated from Copa Libertadores, provided that the club obtains a special exemption from FIFA to return the player’s registration to MLS outside of the transfer window.”
The Impact also tried to get a special exemption from FIFA to register Piatti outside of the window, but that was also denied.
“What FIFA told us is that it’s something they’ve never done,” Impact owner Joey Saputo told reporters last week. “So it would be very tough for him to get an exemption, and his club, San Lorenzo, know it. They don’t have a choice; he has to come here before Aug. 7. I don’t know if he plays on August 6, but honestly, I don’t think so. He’ll be here before the window closes.”