The Impact plays a first exhibition game in Italy Thursday

“This game will give us an idea of where we stand and it will allow us to see our level against a third division team, but what really matters is that we continue our preparation,” said Montreal Impact head coach Nick De Santis. “Our players have a certain pride and we've done good work since the beginning of training camp, but we need to be realistic because we will be facing a team that’s in the middle of its championship. For this first game, we will field two teams that will each play 45 minutes.”

“It’s important to work on various offensive aspects the day before a game, but also on our positioning defensively,” said Impact team captain Mauro Biello. “After only two weeks of training, we know that it will be tough tomorrow. We will have to bear in mind that we need to play an intelligent 45 minutes and show a strong defense without losing too much energy.”

De Santis will have a 26-player roster, as three local Italian players are now training with the team: forward Yuri Fazi, midfielder, Bruno Maggi and central defender Stefano Pesoli.

Goalkeepers Matt Jordan and Andrew Weber will each play one half, while forward Massimo Di Ioia will miss the first game due a right thigh injury.

Note that the Impact will also face Frosinone (Serie B –second division), January 29, before ending its trip with a game against Viterbese (Serie C2 – fourth division), January 31.

In other news, the United Soccer Leagues First Division announced Wednesday that the city of Austin, Texas, will have a new USL D1 franchise. The Austin Aztex will kick off their inaugural season in 2009.



Source: Patrick Vallée
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