MONTREAL – One down, more to go.
That was the message from Montreal Impact head coach Frank Klopas after he said Monday he is “very pleased” that the club has finalized a deal for Italian veteran Marco Donadel. And while Donadel fills a need in the Impact’s midfield, Klopas said he’s the first of a number of expectant offseason moves.
“Marco is a huge addition for our organization and for our team, but he’s not the only one there,” Klopas said in a conference call. “We’re working hard right now on some situations, and players like Patrice [Bernier, team captain], where the talks are going really well and we’re close to finalizing something, so I’m positive about that. I also spoke about adding another player in midfield and two players in the backline.”
Klopas has said a No. 6 and a No. 8 were the primary needs in his midfield. Donadel is the former.
Klopas sees him as his playmaker out of the back who can dictate the tempo and switch the point of attack but also break up the opposition’s plays.
Donadel said that he had made a decision with both his career and life in mind. He compared the club to a “family” and said that former Impact players from Italy – Marco Di Vaio, Matteo Ferrari and Alessandro Nesta – praised the club and the city, which he visited last month himself.
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Donadel insisted that the 10 days he spent training with Montreal really were just a vacation to visit his friend Di Vaio. He recalled how Klopas and director of international business development Nick De Santis – who had made first contact with Donadel in Florence – asked him to train with the team, no questions asked.
“The day after those 10 days, I started to talk to Nick, the coach and [Seattle-based consultant] Giuseppe Pezzano about my future with Montreal,” Donadel said. “And now, I’m a Montreal player, and I’m happy. But in my mind, the 10 days were something like an interesting vacation. And it was also very important for me to train because in Italy there were some teams that wanted to speak to me about my career.”