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Montreal Impact needs more than players to become a mature MLS Franchise

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Renewing its first team squad will not be the hardest thing for the Montreal Impact.

So you are also Sporting Director? I like that idea
So you are also Sporting Director? I like that idea
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously, the Montreal Impact need to recruit players to shore up gaps in its lineup, depth chart and such. Frank Klopas has had one year with the squad and had the chance to evaluate which players he wants to keep , to let go, to negotiate with, etc...

He will look to get players from other MLS clubs via trades, the dispersal draft and the re-rentry draft. He will start to build the team to his image while working closely with Nick De Santis, Director of International Business Development, to find players outside of MLS. Even if De Santis' role is under the administrative umbrella of the Impact, evidently, his role is still closely tied to "soccer operations" and has a direct impact on the first team.

Currently in Argentina, scouting for players, De Santis should be joined by Klopas to continue the process and eventually (hopefully for Impact fans) sign players that will help the club. Another scouting trip is planned by the head coach in Europe sometime before the end of the year.

It's all fine and dandy to make all these necessary key decisions when it comes to player procurement. But the Impact has big gap to fill which can be found in its technical staff. As Matt Jordan left the club to be the Houston Dynamo's VP/GM, the club doesn't have an assigned person or staff to perform "soccer operations" duties.

The Impact needs players but is also in dire need of a strong, effective and experienced front office in the technical department. As other MLS clubs have Sporting Directors, Directors of Soccer Operations and General Managers, the Bleu-Blanc-Noir needs to finalize a structure that will manage pretty much everything under the realm of " soccer operations".

A clear structure is needed to harmonize the work, relations, duties and responsibilities which includes a tie-in with the Academy (Philippe Eullaffroy), the new USL Pro team FC Montreal, the first team, scouting and drafts.

The Houston Dynamo gave Matt Jordan the role to oversee all of that structure. Who will be the flag bearer for the Impact? Richard Legendre was given the new title and role as "Executive Vice-President, Soccer Operations and Stade Saputo " but doesn't have the experience to be hands-on with the " soccer operations" aspect of the club.

I do expect him to be an integral part of hiring the right people, making sure that the club's vision and integrity is being upheld and that everyone is accountable.

As Klopas seems to have a a dual Coach/GM role during this transition period, It would not be shocked to see him named as Sporting Director or GM of the club and expect the club to bring in an Architect. That Architect will need to build bridges between the different sporting entities within the club and be involved in the decision making process.

Whether Klopas is good enough to perform his current tasks is another debate, but the club needs a clear efficient structure to get closer to becoming a mature MLS franchise, and not just on the pitch. There is a lot work coming up in the next few weeks and it's alarming that the club seems to be content with its current status while other mature successful MLS franchises are making drastic moves (e.g. Houston) to redefine themselves.