With the MLS evaluation mini-camp, Jesse Marsch has started to put his mark on the Montreal Impact on and off the pitch.
Since missing the NASL playoffs, the Montreal Impact did not waste time by making a splash and have signed their first official player for their first MLS Campaign: ex-Inter Milan defender Nelson Rivas. Other players, some with MLS experience, have been invited to a mini-camp by Jesse Marsch including Bratislav Ristic, Jeremiah White, Wes Knight, Jamie Watson, Jose Javier Del Aguila and Alexis Zywiecki.
During a media scrum on the edge of the Saputo Stadium pitch, Jesse Marsch was happy to see ''a lot of energy and excitement'' in the camp. With a clean sheet to implement his type of soccer and methods on the pitch, Marsch made the contrary clear during the NASL season when he said: "I was very careful not to implement my kind of methods while Nick (De Santis) still had the team''.
He seemed excited to implement these methods on the field instead of only talking about it to the players off the field. When asked about the possibility of keeping a nucleus of the current team, he responded by acknowledging the validity of the question but quickly pointed out at the players' capacity to adjust to the next level and how will that fit with the team. He feels that having a core is important but is confident to build it from within while always keeping in mind that they need players to be able to play at the next level.
Another notable change in the team is the appointment of a new goalkeeper coach, Preston Burpo, who most recently served as a scout for the United States Soccer Federation in 2011. Burpo replaces NASL goalkeeper coach Youssef Dahha, who joins the Montreal Impact Academy.
Twenty-five players have been invited to the Montreal Impact MLS mini-camp at Saputo Stadium. The detailed camp roster can be found by following this link.
Jesse Marsch is already setting the table for the MLS version of the Montreal Impact and the organization has started to build from the back with Nelson Rivas, a testament of a team looking for stability and experience.