Simon Gatti announces retirement and joins the Academy
MONTREAL – Defender/midfielder Simon Gatti announced his retirement from professional soccer, Wednesday, following a six-year career with the Montreal Impact in North America’s second division, and accepted a position with the Impact Academy as coach of the U14 team.
Gatti concluded his playing career with 100 starts in 122 games, and 8,656 minutes played. He scored two goals and added six assists. He helped the Impact win the league championships in 2009, the Canadian championship in 2008 and the regular season title in 2006.
"I would like to thank Joey Saputo and the entire organization for allowing me the opportunity to play six great seasons with the Impact," said Simon Gatti. "I think this is the right time for me to take the next step in my career. I am very proud to remain within the organization, but also in this city that I adore, which I consider my second home."
“We would like to thank Simon for all his years with the club,” said Impact sporting director Nick De Santis. “From day one, he was dedicated and committed to the club, spending his entire career with the Impact. He provided invaluable service both on and off the field. This was not an easy decision for him, but we felt he was a perfect candidate to join the Academy. We wish him the best in this next step.”
In his last season with the club in 2011, Gatti was named the team’s Unsung Hero for the second time in his career, following 22 starts in 23 appearances, with 1,953 minutes played on the season, recording two assists.
Gatti was the Impact’s first pick (12th overall) of the 2006 College Draft held on January 24 of that year.
A new role
Despite an invitation to join the team in Florida as a tryout player, Gatti preferred to hang up the cleats and accepted a position with the Impact Academy.
“The decision was not an easy one for me because I would have loved to continue playing, but I felt this was the best thing for my future,” said Gatti. “I am excited to begin working with the club’s young players. I am proud to be a part of the very experienced technical staff with the Academy. I believe I have the tools to teach the kids what it takes to become a professional player.”
"We are very pleased to have Simon join our staff," said Academy director Philippe Eullaffroy. "His professional playing experience, his knowledge and love for the club, in combination with his motivation and open-mindedness will be great contributions to the development of the club's young players. He is definitely an added and valued asset to the Academy."