Mauro Biello - Montreal Impact - sideline - close-up
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Montreal Impact dismiss head coach, native son Mauro Biello

The Montreal Impact confirmed on Monday what has been rumored and reported for months: Head coach Mauro Biello will not return to lead IMFC in 2018.

“It’s time to make a change in the leadership of the club,” Impact owner Joey Saputo told reporters, expressing a desire to hire an experienced replacement with a track record of winning trophies.

Saputo said that the club has been preparing for a new coach since July and he has already met with several potential hires, including candidates from Switzerland, France, Germany and three from Argentina – though it appears that none are currently working in the United States. Saputo hopes to have Biello's successor named in the next two to three weeks.

Journalists Rick Moffat and Glenn Crooks reported last month that former Impact defender and Italian legend Alessandro Nesta, who currently coaches top NASL side Miami FC, is a “person of interest” who could replace Biello. But Moffat noted that Nesta could not yet be formally approached about such a move, likely due to his current duties in Miami, which are likely to run into November, with Miami having already qualified for the postseason.

A Montreal native and former Impact player, Biello was a member of the Impact’s coaching staff since 2009 and led the club since Frank Klopas’ dismissal in August 2015, first on an interim basis and then as the full-time boss after leading Montreal on a playoff run that fall.

The Impact advanced to the postseason in the last two years under Biello, but missed out this season, due in large part to a weak start and a 1-9-0 slump in the campaign’s final months that sank his overall record in charge of the club below .500.

IMFC finished in fifth place in the Eastern Conference last season and knocked off higher seeds D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls in the first two rounds of the playoffs before narrowly falling to Toronto FC in a wild, highly dramatic Conference Championship series.