As you may already have heard, Davy Arnaud has been named Montreal's captain for the 2012 inaugural season by manager Jessie Marsch. While the decision may not be much of a surprise to the North American soccer community, it does give some closure to the preseason and sets the team up for its first foray into Major League Soccer.
The 31-year-old was given the honor on Tuesday. It isn't his first time leading an MLS side. Arnaud captained Kansas City during his final two years with the team, which he had been with since he entered the league in 2002. The Impact's website noted that while he is the first team captain at MLS level, he is the sixth since 1993.
"It’s a big honour," Arnaud said in the team's release. "I am excited about the opportunity and look forward to the challenges that remain ahead. You have to be a voice on and off the field as a veteran player, whether you are captain or not, and be a good example and set a standard in training every day."
During the off-season it seemed like a 50/50 race between Arnaud and midfielder Patrice Bernier for the captaincy. Both had very good claims to the leadership role. Arnaud has the experience, and was brought in to be a veteran midfield leader - captain or not. Bernier is the local boy, has plenty of experience in Europe and is a francophone. In the end, either would have been good choices. Both are exemplary individuals and will wear the kit well.
For those who are worried about Arnaud being an anglophone, rest assured. He has some rudimentary French knowledge. Also, like many of the players joining Montreal for the first time this year, he has vowed to improve his abilities in order to be able to communicate with the media in both languages.
Here are the comments from Marsch, Arnaud and Bernier: