MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact announced on Thursday that FC Montreal winger Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla has signed a two-year contract with the first team as an MLS Homegrown Player, starting with the 2017 season. Prior to his first season in MLS, he will take part in a 10-day camp with Bologna FC, from November 20, 2016.
Tabla, 17, becomes the youngest player in club history to join the team in MLS. In his only USL season, with the club’s second team, he recorded five goals and five assists in 21 games and 1,685 minutes. He was voted the USL Player of the Week and selected to the Team of the Week for the 21st week of activity. He also appeared with the first team in the international game against A.S. Roma last August 3 at Stade Saputo.
“We are very happy to have finalized the signing of Ballou, a young player who did very well with FC Montreal this past year and showed that he deserved to join the first team,” said Impact technical director Adam Braz. “He is an exciting attacking player who has strong technical abilities and is able to be creative and dynamic in the final third. We look forward to seeing him evolve and progress with the first team.”
“I’m really happy to sign my first professional contract with the Montreal Impact,” added Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla. “I really feel at home in this club. I worked hard to get here. My path at the Academy helped me a lot and I was surrounded by a good technical staff.”
A Canadian player born in the Ivory Coast, Tabla was in his second stint with the Impact Academy. After joining the setup for the first time in August 2012, he left on December 9, 2013, and then continued his formation in April 2015, after a stint with Montreal amateur club Panellinios.
He was part of the Impact U18 team that finished the 2014-2015 season top of the USSDA general standings.
He was named the Canadian U17 Player of the Year in 2014 and the Quebec Soccer Federation Male Youth Player of Excellence in 2014 and 2015.
On the international scene, he has scored three goals in 14 games with the U17 and U20 Canadian selections.
Transaction: Montreal Impact signs Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla to a Homegrown Player contract on October 20, 2016, for the 2017 season.
BALLOU JEAN-YVES TABLA
Weight: 154 lbs.
Birth date: March 31, 1999, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Last team: FC Montréal
Acquired: October 20, 2016