International spots have been a speciality for the Montreal Impact, at least accumulating them. With 11 international spots already used, the Impact will need to free up a spot to integrate Hernan Bernardello in the squad. Formation changes are to be expected as Marco Schallibaum has a new tool in his arsenal.
The Montreal Impact have 11 international spots, all filled up by: Hassoun Camara, Marco Di Vaio, Matteo Ferrari, Dennis Iapichino, Felipe Martins, Alessandro Nesta, Andrea Pisanu, Nelson Rivas, Andres Romero, Maximiliano Rodriguez and Daniele Paponi.
With 2 roster spots available with Sinisa Ubiparipovic and Calum Mallace on loan, the Montreal Impact either need to trade for another international spot or make roster moves.
Among the players occupying an international spot, Iapichino, Pisanu, Rivas and Romero could be potential targets to be moved. Rivas has been injured for most of his time with the club but like all MLS contracts, his contract is guaranteed.
Tony Marinaro , of TSN690, tweeted last week that there is a big possibility that Nelson Rivas would retire sooner than later. Nick De Santis hinted , during the mid-season press conference, that the club is still working with Rivas but is ready to sit dow again to find a solution.
Rivas and the Montreal Impact parting ways would be the most logical and less risk solution for the club. In the name of depth ( and friendship for others), Iapichino, Romero and Pisanu will probably stay on until the end of the season.
After trading a few players in the past (Tyson Wahl, Justin Braun, Lamar Neagle for e.g) for international spots, the Impact is probably looking at doing something similar. Even if the Rivas retirement route looks more likely to happen, players might find themselves out of a roster spot.
Collen Warner and Sanna Nyassi could be trade baits to get something in return. But again, squad depth and having options should keep both players. But there is no guarantee and a player of Warner's quality might attract other teams in MLS. The midfielder has only played in 9 games after starting in 27 games in 2012.
4-4-2, 4-2-3-1, 3-1-3-2-1 ...
Formations are only as good and as representative as the players that you have. There is a strong core of players that is driving the club. But Bernardello's arrival will create a shift in the pecking order of the Impact's midfield.
Marco Di Vaio and Daniele Paponi is a duo that the Impact and Schallibaum want to keep going. With that assumption , a back line of 4 defenders and a goalkeeper, there are 4 spots available on the pitch, all midfield positions.
- Patrice Bernier: Will the new Designated Player help move Bernier up the field and be more offensive?
JS Bournival thinks so
- Davy Arnaud : is there space for Davy Arnaud now this season? he has been a great soldier for the club and still is.
Is Arnaud still going to be considered as a starter in the center of the midfield ? Will Schallibaum play him on the sides?
On a personal note, I hope that the Montreal Impact does not take on the Montreal Canadiens' tradition to trade your captain
- Collen Warner: He was not getting any playing time this season , at least not enough. He will not be get any more time with the upcoming signing of Bernardello.
His value on the MLS market could be interesting as he has decent experience: draft picks, international spot? the Impact would take the latter.
- Felipe Martins: He might find himself on the bench unless Schallibaum sees in him as a side midfielder.
It will be interesting to see if the new DP signing will actually separate Di Vaio and Paponi, which would create more combinations and possibilities. Many questions will be answered when the signing is made official.
Fact: At least one international spot is needed and the Impact will need to trade for one with another club or make roster moves within the club.
Fact: Hernan Bernardello arrival will trigger changes within the core of the club as it vies for a playoff spot and more.