Streaking Ignacio Piatti hints that 2017 could be his last year in Montreal

MONTREAL – Ignacio Piatti served notice after his latest stellar outing that his tenure with the Montreal Impact is on the clock.

Piatti's brace in a 3-0 win against the Chicago Fire at Stade Saputo on Wednesday night helped Montreal extend its winning streak to three.

But the Argentine midfielder threw a bucket of cold water on the celebration the crowd of 19,894 was enjoying after the final whistle when he indicated he might not be back with the Impact next season.

Piatti, who is under contract with the Impact until July 1, 2018, told the crowd during his player-of-the-game interview that he could be playing his final games in Montreal.

"I want to continue doing on the field the things that I do, and after that, it's not me who decides, it's the team, it's the president," Piatti said when asked about his comments to the crowd. "I just said it because maybe that's it, my last 10 games here, my last season, and I hope to go to the playoffs to finish well. But I'm happy with the whole team. We've won three games in a row and we have to continue like that."

Montreal coach Mauro Biello limited his comments about Piatti's postgame address to his star's performance on the pitch, mentioning him with the likes of the 2016 and 2015 MLS MVPs David Villa and Sebastian Giovinco.

"I'm only going to talk about the field," Biello said. "Obviously, Nacho in that regard for me, he's one of the best players in the league. I know they're in negotiations right now and he had a tremendous performance tonight and for us it was good that we took the three points."

Piatti actually passed up another opportunity to score when he deferred a penalty kick opportunity to striker Matteo Mancosu, who promptly scored his first goal in over two months.

"Nacho, he's a great player, but he's a great man too and he's a great guy to have around this team," said Impact captain Patrice Bernier. "And he thought of his teammate. I know they're close, but he gave him the ball to try to get him out of the funk and that's the team. And we're in a good place right now and it shows, and that type of gesture is fantastic, that's what the team needs. He's a leader of this team also, and it shows. He could have just taken it for himself and had goals, but he thought of a teammate to put in the best condition so the team is at its best."

Impact midfielder Blerim Dzemaili has come to appreciate Piatti's skills since he joined Montreal from Bologna in May. The Designated Player duo have regularly set each other up in the attack, with Dzemaili assisting on Piatti’s second goal on Wednesday.

"I mean he's one of the best players in this league, not only in this team," Dzemaili said. "And sometimes it's easy with him to play because as I said once he got always two, three players on him and you can have space like this because you can be free. And I think that's the thing, we search each other because we know our qualities one with the other. But I think the whole team did very, very well the last three games." 

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