MONTREAL – With just four days until the season opener, the Montreal Impact announced on Tuesday that homegrown players, midfielder Wandrille Lefèvre and defender Maxim Tissot, signed pro contracts with the first team, becoming the second and third Quebec players to join the squad in MLS from the club’s Academy system. As per league policy, details of the contract were not disclosed.
“We are very pleased to have signed both of these young players from our system; both of whom are athletes with a strong attachment to the jersey,” noted Impact sporting director Nick De Santis. “These two players have worked hard, have been consistent and have performed well throughout the camp and have earned a spot with the pros. Lefèvre has shown himself to be a step above the rest of the U21 group, while Tissot is a rare left back who can be a key element to the club in the future. Now, it’s up to them to continue their progression, but we have to be patient with them to ensure that we don’t rush their development.”
Culmination of hard work for Lefèvre
Lefèvre, 24, has trained regularly with the first team for a year, playing eight MLS Reserve League games in 2012 (504 minutes). He also saw action against the ACF Fiorentina Primavera side during the postseason tour of Italy. In 2012, he led the Impact U21 in scoring with seven goals in 16 games played in the Canadian Soccer League and was a finalist for the league’s Player of the Year award.
Lefèvre played two seasons with the U21s after joining the Impact Academy in 2011. Prior to that, he played four seasons with the University of Montreal Carabins. In 2011, Lefèvre also appeared in two games for the Impact in the NASL, the North American second division.
“I’m very happy to join my city’s team as it’s the culmination of many years of hard work,” said Lefèvre. “I’ve spent much of my adolescence here, including two years with the Academy. It’s the beginning of a great adventure for me.”
Tissot looking forward to long career with Impact
Tissot, 20, who hails from Gatineau, played four MLS Reserve League games in 2012. He also took part in the team’s postseason tour in Italy, playing against Fiorentina’s Primavera side. In 2012, he was named Defender of the Year in the Canadian Soccer League.
Tissot joined the Trois-Rivieres Attak in 2009, helping the club win its first ever Canadian Soccer League title that year. He played his minor soccer with FC Outaouais AAA, from 2004 to 2009, and was a member of the Centre National de Haute Performance, from 2006 to 2009.
“I’m excited about joining this team and I am looking forward to a long career with the Montreal Impact,” said Tissot. “I think the Academy has prepared me well for this next step and I aim to continue to improve as a player.”
The Impact now has 25 players under contract for the 2013 season in MLS.
The team plays its first game this Saturday at 10:30pm (ET) in Seattle (TVA Sports, 98,5FM, CJAD 800). The Impact will play its home opener at Olympic Stadium on Saturday, March 16 at 4pm ET against Toronto FC.