Former favourite, Rod Fanni (37) who played his last 90 mins of soccer on 28 October last year, has answered Montreal Impact’s latest central defensive emergency.
The popular Frenchman and former Olympique Marseille defender re-joins the Impact until the end of the season.
Fanni’s inactivity since then is an obvious concern, but as Saturday evening’s emergency centre-back, Bacary Sagna argues, “Despite his age, he is athletic and has a healthy lifestyle.”
The latest centre-back crisis comes on the back of Zakaria Diallo’s departure and injuries to Victor Cabrera, Rudy Camacho and Jukka Raitala, who took one for the team, Saturday night, in blocking Toronto’s Justin Morrow, who otherwise would have been in for an almost certain goal.
“We know how important Rod is to the team. Not only on the field, but off the field. He is someone who has a physical presence and brings a lot to the group. He did it in the past and now, it’s an additional defensive solution,” commented Sagna.
Later the Impact confirmed that contractual agreement had been reached with Fanni until the end of the 2019 season.
As suggested by head coach, Wilmer Cabrera this is a file the club had been working on prior to his arrival.
“This is a record the club was working on before I came, so I’d rather wait before commenting. But I repeat, I prefer to direct my energy and my thoughts on the players that are available. I have no control over the rest. And I do not even know [Fanni]!”
Rod Fanni made 26 MLS appearances for the Impact last season (joint 49th in the all-time list along with Maxi Urruti), with one additional outing in the Canadian Championship.
He scored one goal, the opener in a 3-0 success over New York Red Bulls at Stade Saputo; the only game ever, in which two French international players scored for the Impact.
One thing that will help the returning centre-back, at least in regular season play is a barren travel schedule. Impact has only one more regular season road trip, to LA Galaxy.
Fanni helped the impact to a fairly impressive 9-2-2 record at home in matches he played at Stade Saputo last season, when the team scored 22 times, conceding only 8, with 7 clean-seats tallied.
Exactly the type of home form Impact needs to emulate or better to prolong their’s and Rod Fanni’s 2019 season.
What do you think about the return to Montreal of Rod Fanni?
This poll is closed
Good move - He will help to shore up the defence despite not playing for almost a year
Sceptical - Not so sure how effective he will be after almost a year without playing
Concerned - A regressive step especially since he’s not played for almost a year.