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Montreal Gazette: Gervais mixing classes & soccer


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Thought this was an interesting article from a couple of days ago.


Gervais mixing classes and soccer; Impact 2, Rhinos 0. Defender working toward McGill MBA


The Gazette

663 words

1 September 2007

Montreal Gazette




Copyright © 2007 Montreal Gazette

Defender Gabriel Gervais missed seeing the future home of the Impact at Olympic Park because his eyes were fixed on his future.

While his teammates got a guided tour of the new Saputo Stadium Thursday, where the club will play starting next season, Gervais, like thousands of others throughout the city this week, headed back to school.

"I just started an MBA at McGill and was in a class on leadership, part of a three-day seminar. It was very interesting," Gervais said before taking the field against the Rochester Raging Rhinos at Claude Robillard Stadium last night.

Teammate Charles Gbeke scored twice in a 2-0 win before 12,723 as the Impact secured home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

"Planning for the future. Thinking ahead," Gervais continued. "The day I hang up my cleats, I want to make sure I have the right foundation under me to maintain a certain standard of life off the field."

Gervais isn't about to take off his No. 8 jersey for the last time. The Montreal native turns 31 this month, but still is in the prime of his career in the United Soccer Leagues First Division, having won defender-of-the-year honours last season for third time, a league record.

"I haven't put any sort of timeline on when that day will come," he said of retirement. "It's just that now is good timing for me to do what I'm doing, as far as my education."

His studies at McGill will take two years to complete and although he hadn't been in classroom in a while, Gervais is no stranger to the demands of subjects aptly described as "heady."

He already holds a masters in engineering management from Syracuse University in New York. He completed undergraduate studies at Syracuse in addition to playing three standout seasons on the soccer field for the NCAA Division I Orange.

Gervais first played university soccer at McGill. In 1996-97, his one season with the Redmen, he was Quebec league rookie of the year, won the scoring title and was a second-team all-Canadian.

Coincidentally, last night's game was against the team with which Gervais made his USL debut back in 2000 after leaving Syracuse. He was instrumental in the Rhinos winning back-to-back league titles in 2000 and 2001 before joining the Impact the following year.

He was the team's MVP in 2004, the year the Impact captured the league championship.

Gervais has been getting a leg up on his future away from soccer for the past 41/2 years, working for Saputo Inc., as product manager in the engineering department, overseeing a number of operations for the company.

The job, which saw Gervais juggling his time between team practices in the morning before heading off to work in the afternoon or evening, ended early last month, making it possible for him to attend classes at McGill, as well as continuing to play.

"I'll be juggling playing and classes now until the season is over," said Gervais. "It actually shouldn't be as hard as when I was working and playing."

Gbeke scored in the eighth and 35th minutes as the Impact defeated Rochester for the third time in as many games.

Gbeke's ninth and 10th goals of the season, his second two-goal game of the year, moved him to the top of the league in goals scored. The win gave the 13-5-8 Impact a share of second place with the Portland Timbers, one point behind the Seattle Sounders, who played late last night.


Colour Photo: PHIL CARPENTER, THE GAZETTE / Impact's Charles Gbeke (left) celebrates with fans after scoring his second goal of last night's 2-0 victory over the Rochester Rhinos. ;

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