"We are meeting with you today to give you an update on all the work done up to now and to explain the different technical aspects that await our entry into the MLS next season," welcomed Joey Saputo.
The team’s number one priority for the moment remains the hiring of a new head coach. Nick De Santis said clearly, “Starting from the time that we hire a new head coach, the final processes for player recruitment and the evaluation of technical personnel and the team will be in full motion. We want to make sure that everyone from the technical team is on the same page.”
The head coach will have a very important role in player evaluation, and as such, a player evaluation camp will be held once the season is over, in November.
A few other major points that were addressed include:
Two days following the presentation of the MLS Cup, the Montreal Impact will hold an expansion draft. Each team from the MLS will have to present a list of 11 protected players. The Impact will be allowed to pick a total of 10 players from unprotected lists of the 18 other teams in the league. De Santis and Jordan have watched many MLS games and have made weekly reports in preparation for the draft.
The 2012 MLS SuperDraft of college players, set for Kansas City in January 2012, will see the Impact make the first overall pick, as well as the first pick in each of the following rounds.
The Impact has developed many good relationships with American university coaches. Particular attention was given to the top 10 university players. A trip to complete the evaluation of players is set for some time in the fall.
The Montreal Impact also has the right to negotiate with any one player currently playing in the NASL/USL.
The club hopes to continue its scouting development across the world: in Central and South America, in Scandinavia, in Europe, notably through the Italian club Fiorentina.
Impact management has already made many scouting trips in Italy, Germany, Argentina, and Uruguay, as well as in the US during the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament and different MLS games. The Impact affirmed that they will continue to be active on this front in the next few months.
The salary cap is expected to be $2.81 million for next season. The team will be made up of 30 players. The salary cap covers the first 20 players, and the remaining 10 are considered part of the reserve-team. The Impact could negotiate with players and agents, but all contracts must be signed through the MLS league office.
Aside from the salary cap, the Impact has $1.1 million available over the next three transfer windows that can be used for transfer fees, but won’t count against the cap.
A maximum of three designated players are permitted, and can be paid independently of the salary cap. However, $350,000 will count against the cap.
Impact Media invites you to watch the press conference in its entirety, including the question period, which was presented at Saputo Stadium.
Eric D’Argenzio, Impact Media