Back to School for the Impact: Pre-Season has started

If only it was summer..but it's not - Sofiane Benzaza

It was a cold day in Montreal but the Impact opened up pre-season festivities at Complexe Sportif Marie-Victorin. It was a full house media wise and around 100 fans showed up at 10:30 AM.

" I conveyed the message [to the players] that we have 41 days to be ready for the big rendez-vous on March 2nd against Seattle. We need to do everything to be ready, in and out of the pitch. "

Marco Schällibaum to the Montreal Impact media.

He continued by insisting about having mutual respect between himself and the players for everything and that is important for having success and filtering the passion, something beyond soccer. But the biggest story at training camp was the buzz around the club with the number of media present plus 100+ fans in attendance.

Take note the Davy Arnaud did participate in the whole training session as he was resting his knee that he had some treatment on. Nelson Rivas is still in recovering from a surgery on his left knee and Hassoun Camara was not present due to cancelled flights as he was coming back from France.

A lot of intensity and physical work was noted during practice, something that Schällibaum has confirmed and insisted on during the media scrum after practice. A more physical approach to start pre-season seems to be the chosen path. Hinting at not being tired in '' the last 10 minutes '' during games, was this something specifically identified by the Impact management to the new head coach? Most probably but Marco Schällibaum still took the time to talk to all the players via different huddles, between drills.

About the new practice methods

It was the first practice and we started very strongly but it is good for us -- Marco Di Vaio

It is structured. This is the method I was used to in Europe, in the past few years -- Patrice Bernier

You can get the European out of Europe but you can't ......well you know the rest.

The Captaincy and Davy Arnaud

After practice, when asked about the status of the captaincy and Davy Arnaud, Marco Schällibaum said

It's difficult for me to answer such a question after just one training session, as I don't know the players all that well yet. Obviously, I need time to get to know the personalities on the team, so I have to be wary of confirming certain roles for certain players. However, I would like to say that I am very happy with the captain we have in place. Davy was a great choice and remains one today.

This has seemed to strike some confusion as the Montreal Impact media released shortly after practice the following release (which included the previous Marco Schällibaum quote)

Despite being a little ambiguous in response to the question by reporters Monday morning, Impact head coach Marco Schällibaum confirmed to Impact Media that Davy Arnaud will remain as the team's captain, barring an unforeseen turn of events.

Personally, I was fine with Marco Schällibaum's comment as Davy Arnaud's situation was considered (rightfully or not) delicate as soon Jesse Marsch was not head coach of the Impact. The release was send to put a stop to any potential misinterpretation of the media after what the head coach has just said.

Some ambiguity added itself to this mini-drama comes from the last sentence of the club's press release : ''barring an unforeseen turn of events'' . I think it's very clear that this vote of confidence does not have the effect it might have had .. barring my misunderstanding.

Traded from Sporting Kansas City for Seth Sinovic + Allocation money, Arnaud might still be in the plans of the team if no replacements are found but that is for another time. For now, the players and coach are focusing are making preparations to start the season on the right foot, with a difficult month of March waiting for them.

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