Impact signs Andrew Olivieri

"We’re happy to have him on board," said Impact head coach Nick DeSantis. "He’s a quality goalkeeper, and the fact that he’s from Montreal fits in well with one of the club’s roles, which is to develop local talent."

After being the Impact’s first pick in the 2002 A-League college draft, Olivieri was the Montreal squad’s third-string goalkeeper in 2003. He did not play a game last season, but he nevertheless earned a starting position with the Canadian Olympic team. He was in front of the net for Canada at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament, held last month in Mexico, February 2 to 12.

"Although Canada didn’t qualify for Athens, Andrew was voted the all-star goalkeeper of the tournament," pointed out DeSantis. "He did extremely well and he kept his team in every game."

Michael Ueltschey, who started two games in relief of Sutton last season, will not be back in 2004. He had one shutout and allowed one goal in 200 minutes of play, for a goals-against average of 0.45. Sutton, for his part, had the best season of his career in 2003, and was proclaimed the A-League’s Goalkeeper of the Year as well as winner of the Giuseppe Saputo Trophy, given out to the Impact’s Most Valuable Player.

"Although Greg had an outstanding season last year, there is no doubt Andrew will have some playing time as well," said DeSantis. "With our hectic schedule, we need to be able to count on two solid goalkeepers."

The Edmonton Aviators, an A-League expansion team, has acquired forward Chris Lemire from the Impact in return for financial compensation. Last season with the Montreal club, Lemire, 21, collected one goal and one assist in 12 games, including three as a starter. The Edmonton resident started his A-League career in 2002 with the Calgary Storm.

Defender Drew Kopp and forward Mark Rowland have been released by the Impact. Both played two seasons with Montreal, in 2002 and 2003. Kopp played in 16 games last year, including 10 as a starter. Rowland scored two goals and picked up one assist in 17 starts and 26 games.

In spite of their departures, the Impact already has 18 players under contract for the 2004 season. Forward Sita-Taty Matondo, however, is presently taking part in a try-out in Sweden.



Stéphane Banfi
514-328-3668 (ext. 27)