So, what took the Montreal Impact and Justin Mapp so long to come to terms?
Why, being able to communicate back and forth, of course.
“I was out of the US on a vacation cruise, so there was about a week where I was out of communications,” Mapp told MLSsoccer.com by phone from his home state of Mississippi on Wednesday. “I got back home, we hashed things out over the past couple of days and I got the paperwork signed.”
Along with Josh Gardner (since dealt to Sporting Kansas City) and Shavar Thomas, Mapp was one of three Impact representatives on the initial list of players eligible for participation in the Re-Entry Process. While it had already been confirmed that neither Gardner nor Thomas would return in 2013, Mapp's presence on the list was something of a surprise as he played 27 of the Impact’s 34 MLS regular season games, scoring two goals and delivering five assists in the process.
The midfielder, who had moved homes just last season when Montreal picked him up from the Philadelphia Union in the 2011 Expansion Draft, did enter talks with the Impact before the Stage One Re-Entry draft before having the relief of ultimately signing his contract on Wednesday.
“I’ve been around a while, and I know how it works,” Mapp said. “There are always changes; you can be at one place one minute and then another place the next. You never know. I was confident from Montreal’s feedback after this year that they wanted me back, and I wanted to be back. It was just a matter of getting something worked out.”
Money, Mapp pointed out, was never an issue. Nor was the fact that Montreal have yet to name a head coach who can tell a negotiating player what his expected role will be ahead of training camp in mid-January.
“There’s always a little bit of uncertainty for every player,” Mapp remarked. “I don’t think not having a coach for the moment will change things a lot. All you can do is show up on day one, prove yourself to the new coach and hope to be an important part of the team.”