Contract signing. MVP Sebrango back with team
Eduardo Sebrango is back with the Montreal Impact and couldn't be happier.
"I'm excited. Good things are happening here and I'm looking forward to being a part of it," Sebrango said. "Montreal's a first-class organization, has a new stadium that's always full, the team is playing in the (CONCACAF) Champions League, and is strong in the (United Soccer Leagues) First Division, so it's an exciting time and I want to help the team to continue to have success."
The 35-year-old Cuban-born Canadian citizen is a nine-year veteran who spent the last three seasons with the Vancouver Whitecaps after being with the Impact from 2002 to 2005.
The club announced Sebrango, a free agent, signed a two-year contract yesterday as did defender Nevio Pizzolitto, who has spent 14 seasons here.
Jamaican midfielder Stephen deRoux joins the mix after the team bought out the option year of his contract with the Minnesota Thunder.
Team officials also said midfielders Sita-Taty Matondo and Gason Gregory would not be back in 2009 and that midfielder Pato Aguilera had been released.
Sebrango initiated talks for his release from the Whitecaps last month after being instrumental in Vancouver's second league championship in three years to seek a new challenge and to be closer to his family in Kingston. His call to the Impact to ask if the team had any interest in him returning came as a surprise to those in the organization.
"To say we're happy to have him is an understatement," said head coach John Limniatis. "Having Eddy with his tremendous experience, a quality player, a quality person ... you can't say anything bad about Eddy. He's proven he's been one of the best players in this league for a long time.
"It's not only about how many goals he scores because he brings so many things to team on and off the field," Limniatis said. "He's someone every club would love to have."
Sebrango scored 36 goals in 83 games in his previous stint here and led the team in scoring in 2002 when he had 18 goals and was named MVP. In three seasons with the Whitecaps, he had 21 goals in 54 games, including 12 last season and helped the 'Caps to its first league title in 2006.
"When the season was over I spoke to the Whitecaps about me wanting to be close to my kids and that Montreal or Rochester were options," Sebrango said. "I called Montreal to see if they were interested, knowing there was already a pretty good team, and they were. Things happened very quickly after that."
Pizzolitto, a 32-year-old Montrealer, played 18 games this season to help the Impact to the second-best defensive record in the league and was named to the league's first all-star team.
"I think two years (contract) is very feasible with good years still to come," said Pizzolitto, who like Sebrango wants to end his career in an Impact uniform.
© The Gazette (Montreal) 2008