MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact announced on Thursday that the club has come to terms with central defender and Belgian international Laurent Ciman on a three-year contract. The deal will become official upon receipt of his international transfer certificate (ITC) and his medical test. Despite his profile, Ciman will not have a designated player status. As per MLS policy, details of the contract were not disclosed.
Ciman, 29, has spent his entire career in the Belgian first division, playing a total of 286 regular season games, including 269 starts, for more than 20,000 minutes played from 2004 to 2015.
"I'm very excited to join the Montreal Impact and MLS. This will be a new adventure for me and my family,” said Laurent Ciman. “It is also an opportunity for my daughter, so that she could have the proper support and instruction. I would like to thank the president, my agent and all the staff of the club for this new challenge. I can't wait to meet my new teammates, the city and the fans.”
“We are very pleased to acquire a player of Laurent’s quality and we are very excited that he has decided to continue his career with our club,” said Impact head coach and director of player personnel Frank Klopas. “We were looking for a quality centre back with a lot of experience. He is a key addition to our defence and will be a leader within the group.”
In the Belgian League, Ciman successively wore the colours of Royal Sporting Charleroi, Club Brugge, KV Kortrijk and Standard de Liège. He tallied 10 goals and 11 assists in his career.
Over the past six seasons with Standard, he’s played a total of 151 regular season games, including 149 as a starter. He most notably helped Liege win the Belgian Cup in 2011, finish first in the regular season in 2013/2014 and runner-up in the “playoffs 1” in 2011 and 2014.
In continental competitions, he took part in four qualifying matches for the UEFA Champions League, 16 games in the Europa League, two Europa League qualifiers and five matchups in the UEFA Cup. He also played 25 matches in the Belgian Cup and 39 games within the Jupiler League’s playoff system.
At the international level, Ciman is a regular with the Belgian national team since 2010. He was also on the roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. He made his official debut with the Red Devils on May 19, 2010 against Bulgaria. He’s played nine games so far, including four qualifiers for Euro 2012. He also participated in the 2007 U21 UEFA Championship with Belgium and suited up for his country at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, with the U23 team.
Ciman will play his final game with Standard this Sunday at 8:30am (ET), in what is an important derby matchup with RSC Anderlecht.
The 2015 training camp will kick off this Friday, January 23. The team will train in Montreal for two weeks before heading to Mexico on February 8, in preparation for the first game of the home and away Champions League series against Mexican club Pachuca, on February 24, at 10pm ET (TVA Sports) in Mexico. The return leg of this important aggregate goal matchup will be played on Tuesday, March 3, at Olympic Stadium (tickets: marquonslhistoire.com).
Weight: 155 lbs.
Birthdate: August 5, 1985, Farciennes, Belgium
Last club: Standard de Liège (Belgium)
Acquired: January 22, 2015