The Montreal Impact will name the club's new sporting director in the next 7-10 days, who will then decide the future of current coach Wilmer Cabrera and maybe longtime Impact star Ignacio Piatti, club president Kevin Gilmore told The Athletic's Sam Stejskal on Monday.
Major League Soccer's senior VP of competition and player relations Lino Di Cuollo is among those the club has spoken with about the job, Stejskal adds.
Spoke for nearly an hour yesterday to Impact president Kevin Gilmore. Feature coming soon. A few newsy notes from our talk:— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) September 17, 2019
1) Gilmore hopes to announce Montreal's sporting director in the next "7-10 days." Confirmed that the club spoke to MLS exec Lino DiCuollo about the job.
The comments regarding Piatti mark a slight retreat from July, Stejskal notes, when Gilmore had indicated the club planned to exercise Piatti's 2020 contract option.
Piatti is making $4.4 million this season according to the MLS Players Association and would make a similar amount next year, according to Stejskal. The 34-year-old Argentine's current salary marks a major pay raise from his previous four-and-a-half years in Montreal, when he's been the club's premier offensive threat. But injuries have limited the former San Lorenzo man to nine league appearances (seven starts) in 2019, after he posted at least 16 goals in each of his previous three MLS seasons. Gilmore noted that reality while telling Stejskal the incoming sporting director would have input on whether to retain Piatti.
3) Gilmore tweeted in July that Montreal "will exercise its option" for 2020 on Nacho Piatti. He backed away from that a bit yesterday, said the new sporting director will play a role. Piatti is making $4.4m this season. Salary would be similar in 2020. Gilmore's full quotes: pic.twitter.com/ljTWNKJrq4— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) September 17, 2019
Meanwhile, Cabrera's current tenure is essentially an on-the-job audition, Gilmore said. Montreal dismissed Remi Garde and hired Cabrera in late August, not long after the Houston Dynamo parted ways with him. The Impact are 1W-3L-0D since.
The Impact currently sit in eighth place, three points beneath the playoff line in the Eastern Conference, and only three matches remaining in which to make up the gap. The fifth-place New York Red Bulls and sixth-place New England Revollution both have four matches remaining.