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MONTREAL – After four weeks of training camp in Montreal, the Impact will continue its winter preparation at the Training Center of Melgaço, located 150 km northeast of Porto. The Impact will fly to Portugal Sunday and will be back in Montreal on March 5.

During its stay in Europe, the Impact will play three exhibition games. The team should face off a second division club, SC Freamunde (League of Honour), Wednesday, February 24 at the Estadio Sport Clube Freamunde, a third division club, GD Ribeirao (Second division, Northern Zone), Saturday, Februray 27 at Estadio do Passal and finally, a first division club, Rio Ave FC (League 1), Wednesday, March 3 at Estadio dos Arcos.

“This trip will provide excellent preparation for us for our upcoming season,” declared Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos. “We will be enjoying great training conditions and playing against high calibre clubs, which will be very positive for us at this time of the year. We will have to raise our level of play in order to offer good performances. This trip will also be an opportunity to showcase our club and win more respect abroad.”

A total of 22 players will travel to Portugal, including three members of the Impact’s reserve team: goalkeeper Andrei Badescu, striker Reda Agourram and defender Amine Meftouh, as well as Belarusian player Valentin Radevich, currently trying out with the club.

Forward Peter Byers (knee), midfielder David Testo (abdomen) and defender Stephen deRoux (personal reasons) will not be joining the team overseas.

During its games in Portugal, the Impact will use training jerseys provided by its official technical supplier LEGEA. The official 2010 jerseys will be unveiled when the team returns home in March.

In February 2008, the Montreal squad also held its pre-season training camp on Portuguese soil, in Porto. The Impact had given impressive performances against AD Esposende, AD Fafe and FC Vizela.

Before leaving for Portugal, the Impact will play its first exhibition match this Friday at 2 pm against a selection of players from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and McGill University, at the Bell Sports Complex, in Brossard. The team will be off Saturday and then be flying off to Portugal Sunday afternoon.

2010 season tickets are currently on sale. Mini-season tickets are also available for purchase for five matches, starting at $50, or ten matches from $100. For further information, dial 514-328-3668 or visit impactmontreal.com.



2 - AABOUBOU, Hicham - 1978-05-19 - D

X - AGOURRAM, Reda - 1990-12-10 - F

X - BADESCU, Andrei - 1985-02-12 - GK

21 - BILLY, Philippe - 1982-01-13 - M

3 - BRAZ, Adam - 1981-06-07 - D

10 - BROWN, Roberto - 1977-07-15 - F

11 - DI LORENZO, Leonardo - 1981-05-20 - M

22 - DJEKANOVIC, Srdjan - 1983-01-08 - GK

14 - DONATELLI, Tony - 1984-06-07 - M

24 - GATTI, Simon - 1981-02-16 - D-M

6 - HEMMING, Tyler - 1985-05-09 - M

26 - JOQUEVIEL, Cédric - 1982-07-21 - D

1 - JORDAN, Matt - 1975-10-13 - GK

15 - LEDUC, Patrick - 1977-12-26 - M

30 - MAYARD, Pierre-Rudolph - 1988-02-21 - M

X - MEFTOUH, Amine - 1992-01-04 - D

16 - PESOLI, Stefano - 1984-02-29 - D

5 - PIZZOLITTO, Nevio - 1976-08-26 - D

9 - PLACENTINO, Rocco - 1982-02-25 - M-F

X - RADEVICH, Valentin - 1989-02-03 - M

8 - SOARES, Filipe - 1982-02-10 - M

12 - SEBRANGO, Eduardo - 1973-04-13 - F

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Before leaving for Portugal, the Impact will play its first exhibition match this Friday at 2 pm against a selection of players from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and McGill University, at the Bell Sports Complex, in Brossard.
PRESS RELEASE: February 19, 2010

BROSSARD – Less than 48 hours prior to travelling to Portugal, the Montreal Impact claimed a 2-1 victory over a selection of university players Friday afternoon at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard, during its first exhibition game of training camp. The friendly game consisted of two halves of 40 minutes each, the first against the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and the second against McGill University. Young striker Reda Agourram opened the score early in the first half, at the 5th minute. As the goalkeeper exited his net, Agourram fired a low shot that was stopped by a defender on the goal line. The striker from the Impact’s reserve team then took his own rebound to score.

Then, in the first moments of the second half, striker Roberto Brown (45th minute) doubled the Impact’s lead. Brown controlled Agourram’s cross from the right flank and scored from inside the penalty box with a low shot to the far post with his right foot.

Then, at the 77th minute, McGill narrowed the lead to one goal. On a 20-meter free kick situation, Jeremy Hurdle fired off a shot that was deflected on the wall, leaving no chance to goalkeeper Andrei Badescu, who dove to the opposite side.

"We experienced both good and not so good moments today," noted Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos. "The numerous changes in the second half broke our rhythm. Even if we currently are at a very good level for this time of the year, we must remain humble because there’s still a lot of work to do."

"The team’s preparation is going well and personally, I feel that I’m also making progress," declared Agourram, who took part in both Impact goals. "I feel that I have my spot on the team, but I still need to continue working hard."

The team will be off Saturday and will fly to Portugal Sunday afternoon. You can follow all the team’s activities by joining impactmontreal on Twitter.

The Impact announced Friday that defender Stephen deRoux will be back in Montreal March 1st. He will join his teammates when the team resumes training camp in Brossard on March 9.

2010 season tickets are currently on sale. Mini-season tickets are also available for purchase for five matches, starting at $50, or ten matches from $100. For further information, dial 514-328-3668 or visit impactmontreal.com.


Srdjan Djekanovic (Andrei Badescu, 40th), Philippe Billy (Adam Braz, 40th), Stefano Pesoli (Tyler Hemming, 40th), Cédric Joqueviel (Hicham Aaboubou, 40th), Simon Gatti, Tony Donatelli (Pierre-Rudolph Mayard, 40th), Patrick Leduc, Felipe Soares, Leonardo Di Lorenzo (Valentin Radevich, 40th), Eduardo Sebrango (Roberto Brown, 40th), Reda Agourram.

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FREAMUNDE, Portugal – The Montreal Impact won 5-1 (halftime 2-1) against Sport Clube Freamunde, a second division Portuguese club playing in the League of Honour, Wednesday in Freamunde, in the first of three exhibition matches in Portugal, played under heavy rain conditions and wind squalls of more than 70 km/h.

“Even if the score doesn’t truly reflect the game, the victory is fully deserved because the Impact was the best team on the field. The result is really fair,” declared Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos. “Maybe Freamunde didn’t approach the game in the best manner, while we came here with the same attitude than during a league match. I think we surprised them.”

Forward Roberto Brown opened the score at the 13th minute by deflecting with a header a corner kick from midfielder Felipe Soares, who was facing his former team.

Then at the 26th minute, Soares scored following a cross to the far post from defender Adam Braz, which forward Eduardo Sebrango then headed for Soares.

After a series of changes in the second half, the Impact added three more goals. At the 78th minute, Pierre-Rudolph Mayard completed the play of midfielders Philippe Billy and Rocco Placentino.

Less than five minutes later, Placentino scored Montreal's fourth goal with a left foot shot to the right of SC Freamunde goalkeeper. On the sequence, left midfielder Leonardo Di Lorenzo crossed for Reda Agourram, who made a pass to Placentino, left alone on the right flank.

Agourram scored the last goal of the match at the 90th minute. On a long deep pass from Valentin Radevich, Agourram dribbled the goalkeeper before netting the ball in an empty goal.

“At halftime, we were leading 2-1 because we had controlled most of the first half,” added Dos Santos. “In the second half, they put more pressure on us and they tried to tie the game, but our players who got into the game were very dangerous. We did very well on counterattacks by adding a lot of speed. This allowed us to score three more goals.”

“I think we played really well and didn’t let the conditions affect us,” declared defender Adam Braz, who played the first 74 minutes of the game on the right flank. “We stuck to our game plan and played really well as a unit. It was a true collective effort and this shows in the score line. Every week and every game, we keep growing. Our goal is to keep improving because even if these games don’t count for points, they are still definitely important for us.”

Goalkeeper Matt Jordan played the full 90 minutes of the match and allowed only one goal. At the 14th minute, Jordan had no chance when the ball accidentally deflected on defender Simon Gatti just in front of the goal.

Eduardo Sebrango quit the game at the 35th minute, after suffering a mild concussion when he was hit in the face with the ball.

SC Freamunde is currently 10th in the 16-club ranking of the League of Honour Championship, with a record of six wins, seven losses and seven draws.

The Impact will play its second match in Portugal Saturday at 3 pm against third division club CD Ribeirao (Second division, Northen zone).


Matt Jordan, Simon Gatti (Amine Meftouh, 84th), Cédric Joqueviel, Stefano Pesoli, Adam Braz (Hicham Aaboubou, 74th), Filipe Soares (Pierre-Rudolph Mayard, 72th), Tyler Hemming (Patrick Leduc, 58th), Philippe Billy (Valentine Radevich, 88th), Tony Donatelli (Leonardo Di Lorenzo, 58th), Eduardo Sebrango (Reda Agourram, 35th), Roberto Brown (Rocco Placentino, 60th).


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Haven't been able to find their starting line-up, against the Impact. Funny that this question comes up, every time a NASL/USL-1 side defeats a supposed better opponent.

It comes up because the Portuguese Leagues are in full-swing! Why would they risk their best players in a meaningless friendly against supposedly inferior opposition???

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VIGO, Spain – The Montreal Impact lost 2-1 to Celta de Vigo, Wednesday morning, at Balaidos Stadium in Vigo, in Montreal’s second exhibition match in Europe.

Forward Reda Agourram scored the lone Impact goal at the 24th minute. Off a cross from Philippe Billy, midfielder Rocco Placentino dribbled past a Celta player and fed the ball to Agourram, who scored from inside the box with a powerful left-footed shot to the top of the net.

“It’s special to score against a team that I’ve known since I was young,” said Agourram. “It was a great chance on goal and I was fortunate to capitalize. Things went well for me, but there’s still room for improvement. I have to keep working on my positioning and my decision-making. This was a really good experience for the whole team, similar to our matches versus Bordeaux and River Plate last season.”

Celta de Vigo forward Dimitrios Papadopoulos, who was part of Greece’s Euro 2004 championship team, opened the scoring at the 19th minute. Following a turnover in midfield, Papadopoulos was left alone in front of the Impact goal and deflected a cross from the right flank with a nifty left foot.

Vigo forward Gaston Cellerino, an Argentine on loan from Italian club Livorno, scored the game-winning goal at the 65th minute. Cellerino accepted a pass behind Montreal’s back line and beat Impact goalkeeper Srdjan Djekanovic with a point-blank shot to his left.

“We played against an excellent team that plays a very organized style that is focused on ball possession,” noted Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos. “But, we played our game and were very well-organized defensively. We didn’t surrender many scoring chances and overall, the match was very positive.”

“We shouldn’t be disappointed with the result. A score of 2-1 versus a team of that quality while we’re still in preparation mode is something to be quite happy about,” said defender Cédric Joqueviel. “We did what we set out to do and saw some good things today. That bodes well for the next step.”

The Impact had two excellent scoring opportunities at the end of each half. Rocco Placentino nearly put Montreal in the lead at the 43rd minute. He took a deep pass from Leonardo Di Lorenzo and fired a shot to the far post, missing just wide. At the 86th minute, following a free kick from midfielder Tyler Hemming, forward Roberto Brown headed the ball to Eduardo Sebrango, who shot just over the net.

Note that Celta de Vigo spent roughly a decade in the Spanish First Division, starting back in the mid-90s. The club participated in the 1998, 1999 and 2000 UEFA Cup, was a finalist in the 2001 Spanish Cup and qualified for the Champions League in 2002-2003. Celta de Vigo is managed by head coach Eusebio Sacristan, a former assistant coach with Barcelona from 2003 to 2008.

The Impact started the match in a 4-4-2 formation, but switched to a 4-3-3 as of the 57th minute. Other than Djekanovic, only midfielder Tony Donatelli and defender Hicham Aaboubou played the full 90 minutes.

The Impact will play its third and final match of the camp against Portuguese club Boavista FC, tomorrow at 3 pm (10 am ET), at Estadio do Bessa XXI in Porto, another venue able to accommodate more than 30,000 spectators.

Boavista FC, a third division Portuguese club, was the national champion in 2001 and participated in the Champions League in 2000 and 2002. The club was also a semi-finalist in the 2003 UEFA Cup.


Srdjan Djekanovic, Simon Gatti (Amine Meftouh, 83’), Cédric Joqueviel (Stefano Pesoli, 45’), Hicham Aaboubou, Philippe Billy (Valentin Radevich, 80’), Leonardo Di Lorenzo (Filipe Soares, 57’), Patrick Leduc (Tyler Hemming, 57’), Tony Donatelli, Pierre-Rudolph Mayard (Roberto Brown, 57’), Reda Agourram (Eduardo Sebrango, 57’), Rocco Placentino (Adam Braz, 57’)


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Nice looking kit for the Impact


Interesante, disputado e intenso, el partido de entrenamiento de esta mañana en Balaídos ante el conjunto canadiense Montreal Impact, que realiza la pretemporada en la localidad lusa de Melgaço. El Real Club Celta venció por dos goles a uno con Papadopoulos y Cellerino como anotadores.

El equipo de Eusebio formó con dos onces diferentes en cada tiempo, en los que participaron varios jugadores del filial. El griego Papadopoulos anotó en la primera mitad tras una buena asistencia de Álex López para adelantar a los célticos, que encajaron el tanto del empate antes del descanso.

Tras la reanudación, Cellerino batió al meta rival con un fuerte disparo en carrera tras recibir un buen pase en profundidad. El encuentro fue dominado con claridad por los celestes, que se toparon con un rival bien ordenado y de gran presencia física.

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PORTO, Portugal - The Impact concluded its stay in Portugal with a 1-1 draw against prestigious Portuguese club Boavista FC, Thursday afternoon, at Estadio do Bessa, in Porto.

The Impact opened the scoring at the 19th minute. Midfielder Tyler Hemming unleashed a free kick to the far post from about 25 metres out, and from inside the box, Philippe Billy directed the ball to forward Eduardo Sebrango, who deflected it in from near the goal line.

"We played a very good game," said Billy. "We circulated the ball well versus an excellent team and had a lot of fun playing in this beautiful stadium. I think we're starting to find our rhythm. We're getting to know each other more and more on the pitch, which is making it easier to find each other."

At the 44th minute, Boavista forward Alex Machado scored the tying goal from six metres out, deflecting a cross from the right flank.

"I think we delivered our best performance of the three exhibition games we've played in Portugal," noted Jordan. “It felt like our opponents took advantage of all the changes we were making in the two previous games, but not today. This was a nice way to wrap up our trip."

The Impact dominated the first half, while Boavista had the first couple of scoring chances in the second half.

Impact forward Reda Agourram, who entered the game in the 55th minute, came very close to giving the Impact the lead. After taking a pass from Roberto Brown behind Boavista's back line, Agourram took a powerful shot that the goalkeeper deflected just over the net.

"This was another special match and we played very well defensively," noted Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos. "We had the best chances in the first and managed to score, while they found a way to score while no one was expecting it. It was tough physically because we had played yesterday but the players answered well."

“I'm very satisfied with our trip. We played high level matches and we can go home feeling that our mission was accomplished," concluded Dos Santos.

The Impact concluded its camp in Portugal with a record of one win (5-1 versus Freamunde), one loss (2-1 versus Celta de Vigo) and one draw (1-1 versus Boavista).

The club returns home on Friday at 6pm and will resume training at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard as of next Wednesday, March 10th.


Matt Jordan, Simon Gatti (Rocco Placentino, 55’), Cédric Joqueviel, Stefano Pesoli, Adam Braz, Leonardo Di Lorenzo (Tony Donatelli, 55’), Tyler Hemming (Patrick Leduc, 65’), Filipe Soares (Valentin Radevich, 84’), Philippe Billy (Amine Meftouh, 81’), Roberto Brown (Pierre-Rudolph Mayard, 66’), Eduardo Sebrango (Reda Agourram, 55’)


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I'm very happy with these results and the new additions to our team. Very respectable outcomes. Sure would like to see TFC venture out to Europe and see where they stack up against these teams, but I guess they'll have to find a way to avoid losing 4-0 to teams in their own league first. I know TFC fans, it's just" pre-season" and "experimentation" but don't you think you've experimented enough on losing???

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(seriously loyola, wtf?)

Pretty sure that was very tongue in cheek.

Back on topic: it would seem to me that Hemming is taking a number of free kicks. I had no idea that he was proficient in this area. Any word on if this is going to be his role with the impact? That would be good news IMO.

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Pretty sure that was very tongue in cheek.

I know. I was just perpetuating the image. ;)

I should have placed the emoticon lower in my post, but whatever.

Back on topic: it would seem to me that Hemming is taking a number of free kicks. I had no idea that he was proficient in this area. Any word on if this is going to be his role with the impact? That would be good news IMO.

Hemming took the free kicks for TFC's reserve team in 07/08, and I recall him being quite decent at them at the time.

I'm assuming that he's only gotten better in the subsequent years.

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