Montreal Impact: two players depart, while new acquisition impresses

Montreal Impact

Hernán Bernardello in action against Seattle Sounders.

Montreal Impact has been busy during the World Cup break.

The Canadian club has parted ways with veteran defender Nelson Rivas, and it’s almost certain that Designated Player Hernán Bernardello will be joining Liga MX side Cruz Azul.

The Impact announced that Rivas has been removed from the roster. During his time in Montreal, Rivas has been haunted by injuries. Since his move in 2012, the Colombian has only played 11 regular season games, all in his first season.

During the 2013 season, the 31-year-old didn’t play a single regular season game. His only minutes came in the playoff game against the Houston Dynamo.

Major League Soccer’s worst team this year will replace the former Inter Milan player with their new center back acquisition. The club traded for another 31-year-old center back that goes by the name Mamadou Danso. The Gambian international was a regular with the Portland Timbers.

[Portland Timbers is one of the most dangerous teams in the MLS]

Bernardello’s short stint in MLS looks to have come to a disappointing end. The former Argentine international came to the league with a lot of scouts expecting him to blossom; however, his performances have been subpar. He only started 18 games since he became Montreal’s second DP in club history in 2013.

The former Newell’s Old Boys midfielder will be departing on a free transfer to the MLS’ rival league. Montreal’s head coach Frank Klopas wasn’t too happy with losing one of his most valuable midfielders, but he understands that Cruz Azul made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“I know, from the club standpoint, that we made a very strong offer to keep him here and I know his intentions were to stay here,” Klopas said. “But sometimes in football, last-second, a club comes in, a big club like that, and puts an offer on the table that, for the player, is hard to turn [down].”

The man that’ll most likely replace the departing defensive midfielder is the acquisition, Gorka Larrea. The Spanish midfielder has had a fairly successful career. He’s played for Real Sociedad, Almería and Levante.

Even though the 30-year-old hasn’t played since March 2013, the midfielder put in a good shift in a MLS Reserve League match against Harrisburg City Islanders. He impressed alongside the club captain Patrice Bernier and helped lead the team to a 1-0 victory.

“He gives us depth,” assistant head coach Nick Kounenakis said after the game. “He’s a good player that can help us in organizing the game. Now that Hernan has left, he’ll give some aspects that we’re looking to in the midfield.”

Klopas will be hoping Larrea can change the team’s early season misfortune. Despite being in last place in the Eastern Conference, several players and the head coach believe the team can make the playoffs.

Defender Matteo Ferrari said, “Maybe it’s difficult to think about this, but we can start from the beginning again and we’ll see what’s going to happen….. The standings aren’t nice, but it’s also not impossible to be there with the other teams fighting for the playoffs. We still believe in that.”

Bernier added, “We’re learning the lessons. We have a new group, and we have to make them feel as comfortable as possible in the hope that they’ll be a breath of fresh air, something new, renewed energy that, over the next 21 games, makes us bond together and set the record straight.”

For more rumors, news and opinion, check out our Soccer page.