At age 21, Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé is off to Europe, for both business and pleasure.
The young midfielder, a product of the Impact Academy, will land in France on Saturday morning. He will travel to Brittany, where he will be able to train with Stade Rennais, as the club has given him access to its sessions.
Gagnon-Laparé, who played 13 USL games this season but hasn’t been on an MLS field since 2015, is approaching this new experience with great enthusiasm. After all, this is his own initiative.
“The Impact understood [why I would want to try my luck in France], as my situation wasn’t easy,” said Gagnon-Laparé after training on Thursday. “I was playing less. I had to consider my options and make the required decisions. This will be a nice experience for me, a new challenge in my career. I see this in a very positive light. We’ll see what happens.”
In Rennes, Gagnon-Laparé will join up with a team in the middle of its league season – the Rouge et Noir are currently fifth in Ligue 1. Rennes is led by Christian Gourcuff, a former teammate of Gagnon-Laparé’s father at the Montreal Supra in the 1980s.
“I’ll start there, but other doors may open afterwards,” said Gagnon-Laparé. “I’ll see which is the best option. I’m giving myself a month to try a number of teams. I want to show that I belong. I want to show that I can organize play, that I can provide leadership and that I can contribute both offensively and defensively.”