The Montreal Impact made their first MLS signing on Monday, inking ex-Inter Milan defender Nelson Rivas to a contract. Contrary to earlier reports, Rivas will not qualify as a Designated Player.
In signing the 28-year-old defender, the Impact are following a similar path as the Vancouver Whitecaps, who made Jay DeMerit their first-ever MLS signing. DeMerit has been solid, but overall unimpressive as the Whitecaps have struggled to one of the worst seasons in MLS history. Clearly, the Impact will be hoping for better from Rivas.
Rivas was mostly a reserve during his four seasons at Inter Milan, appearing in just 28 games across all competitions. He was sent out on loan during each of the past two seasons to Serie B side Livorno. He has made several Champions League appearances with Inter, including a game against Manchester United in 2009.
"We are excited to bring on board a player like Nelson," said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. "I think it sets the tone for what kind of players we want to bring in for 2012, and what type of organization we want to be. I am confident that his talent and great experience will make our club and team better."