Impact kicks off training camp under new coach
Published Monday, January 21, 2013 4:58PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 21, 2013 8:26PM EST
Just one week after the Montreal Canadiens opened their training camp, another local team is back to work.
The Montreal Impact are back on the field with a lot of familiar faces and a few new ones as well.
It’s year two of the MLS era, and under new head coach Marco Schallibaum, there's a wind change blowing through.
“I come here with my ideas. I want to put them on the field. The difference between here and Europe is not so much, but I have my ideas and I want to put them in my team. We'll see,” he said at practice Monday.
Impact midfielder Davy Arnaud said the new approach will be an adjustment
“They wanted things to go in a different direction, which has been said, and all the players will buy into that,” he said. “I'm sure that culture will be implemented as we go throughout the pre-season.”
The change doesn't only come in the form of personnel, but there’s a style change as well. As both a longtime player and coach in the Swiss Super League, Shallibaum is preaching a high pace, offensive brand of soccer.
“I had him in Switzerland. I know a lot about him. I think it's good for us. He has new energy. So I think for us he's going be a good coach to be in the playoffs,” said midfielder Felipe Martins.
Whether the changes can be attributed to his European roots, the new system will certainly better suit players like Martins and Italian striker Marco Di Vaio.
Starting the year off all together is also a major positive, however, said Di Vaio
“We have the same team as last year. We know our faults and what we did well. We will improve and work hard everyday, but we are happy,” he said.
Happy with the returning group of players, Di Vaio is also welcoming of his new teammates, including former Bologna FC teammate Andrea Pisanu.
“For me it's very important, because I have a wife and a baby. The change is a big change. For me – no, because I meet 20 people in one day, but for my wife and the baby it's strange,” he said.
Defender Nelson Rivas was present but still rehabilitating his partially fractured knee.
Arnaud is also playing it safe with some soreness in his left knee.
After experiencing travel issues, French player Hassoun Camara will join his teammates Tuesday.
The first regular season game is March 2 against the Seattle Sounders FC.