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Montreal Impact appoint Remi Garde head coach

Former French international takes leap across the Atlantic.

MLS: Montreal Impact-Press Conference Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Remi Garde joins the trend of prominent coaches outside of MLS to be hired in the league, as he was unveiled on Wednesday as the new Montreal Impact manager.

Garde, 51, joins after last coaching in the Premier League for Aston Villa, leaving before the end of the 2015-16 season when the club was relegated. Prior to that ill-fated stint, he coached Lyon in his native France and won a Coupe de France title in 2011-12.

As a player, Garde was a two-time French international and played for just three clubs in a 12-year professional career, starting at Lyon before moving to Strasburg and then Arsenal, winning the Premier League with the Gunners alongside current New York City FC coach Patrick Vieira.

The Frenchman replaces Mauro Biello, who was dismissed as head coach after the Impact missed the playoffs.

Time will tell if this is a good move for Joey Saputo, but Garde has a good reputation as an up-and-coming manager, even if his stint with Aston Villa poisoned that perception. To be fair, the issue there may have been more with Villa being an unstoppable sinking ship by the time Garde signed on than any inherent issue with his management. It will be interesting to see if Garde can replicate the relative success seen in a very short time by Vieira and Gerardo Martino in MLS.