Impact axe sporting director Nick de Santis
Published Wednesday, July 30, 2014 7:41AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 30, 2014 7:25PM EDT
The last-place Montreal Impact have announced that sporting director Nick de Santis will be shuffled down into an administrative role, as team president Joey Saputo cited the team's poor recent results as a need for the switch.
De Santis began his professional career in Montreal in 1987 and went on to play with the Impact for parts of nine seasons and coached the team for parts of six seasons.
Saputo said that the change was necessary following poor results in spite of three coaching changes and a multitude of player changes.
"It's a hard decision for me, when you work with someone for 20 years and see the hard work and passion that he put into this team all with the best intentions but doesn't succeed. It's a hard decision but we're aiming for success and it needed to be taken," said Saputo.
Coach Frank Klopas, who has just three wins in 20 games for the team, takes over the post left vacant by the move.
"I want to give him the opportunity to succeed," Saputo said of Klopas in his new role.
Midfielder swap with Chicago
The news comes one day after billionaire Joey Saputo’s east end club swapped Sanna Nyassi to the Chicago Fire for Dilly Duka, 24.
Duka started out with the Columbus Crew in 2010 and played for the Fire last season under current impact coach Frank Klopas.
Duka has only started six games for the Fire this season after have career best four goals and three assists in 31 games last year.
Duka has experience on the international stage as well, playing with the U20 and U23 U.S. teams.
Gambian international Nyassi, 25, who was selected by Montreal from Colorado in the 2012 expansion draft, has been limited to two games this season due to a knee injury.
Duka has six goals and eight assists in 82 career MLS games. Nyassi has 15 goals in 120 career games.
Rumours of a possible deal with Brossard-born Olivier Occean, who has had a long career in Europe, were also dashed, as talks broke off between the club and the forward Monday, according to the Canadian Press.
-With a file from The Canadian Press