January 13, 2010 - North American Soccer League (NASL) - Montreal Impact
MONTREAL - The Montreal Impact announced Wednesday the return of midfielder Leonardo Di Lorenzo for the next two seasons, as well as the acquisition of midfielder Tyler Hemming for the 2010 season.
Di Lorenzo, a 28-year-old left-footed Argentinean midfielder, played the last four seasons in Montreal. In 94 matches, including 84 starts and 7,409 minutes of play, Di Lorenzo tallied nine goals and 15 assists for 33 points. Last season, he earned five points, including a goal September 2 at Saputo Stadium against the Carolina RailHawks. He clinched his first playoff championship, after playing the six games and 494 minutes. Di Lorenzo was the Impact\'s MVP in 2007 and was named to the All-League Second Team in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
"Leonardo has shown us his desire to return to Montreal and we are very happy to see him come back," declared Impact technical director Nick De Santis. "This is very positive because he is an important element in our player core. He played a determining role in our most recent championship conquest. He is a player who always gives 100% and who wears the Impact colours with pride. He has progressed within our organization and he is very familiar with the club\'s philosophy. At his age, he can now reach his full technical and mental potential."
Di Lorenzo may miss training camp kickoff since his wife Veronica gave birth to their first son (Milo), January 5, in Buenos Aires.
Hemming, a 24 year-old Ontarian midfielder, played for the Charleston Battery last season. He tallied three assists in 26 matches, including 22 in the starting lineup, for a total of 2,066 minutes of play. Prior to joining Charleston, he had a three-month stint (August to November) with Tampere United, a Finnish first division club. He had previously played seven matches with Toronto FC (MLS) during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Hemming also played a few games with the Canadian national team, notably four matches during the U23 Olympic qualifiers and a friendly against Cyprus with the senior team.
"I\'m thrilled to be joining the Montreal Impact," declared Hemming. "It\'s a new step in my career. I\'ve heard very positive things about the organization and I\'m therefore looking forward to wearing the team\'s colours. I will do my best to help the team win."
"Tyler will bring depth to the team because he is a versatile midfielder who can either play center or right," mentioned De Santis. "Being six feet tall, he is a player who has a certain presence on the field. He did well with Charleston and he will now need to demonstrate that he has his place on the lineup."
Hemming will arrive in Montreal Thursday, but should take part in the Canadian national team\'s training camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from January 18 to February 1.
In order to obtain the rights over Tyler Hemming, the Impact loaned Quebec midfielder Pierre-Rudolph Mayard to the Charleston Battery for a five-month period, from March 10 to August 13, 2010.
"It\'s a good thing for Pierre-Rudolph as it will give him the chance to play at a good level," explained De Santis. "This will certainly give him valuable experience when he will be back with the team in mid-August."
The Montreal team also confirmed that midfielder and defender Simon Gatti will play his option year in 2010, while defender Alex Surprenant will not be back with the club next season. Surprenant had taken part in 13 matches in 2008 and had only played one game in 2009.
Note that 2010 season tickets are currently on sale. Once again this year, the organization is offering affordable prices, starting at $180 in the supporters section and $250 in the Bronze category. Contact the Montreal Impact to purchase season ticket packages at impactmontreal.com or by dialling 514-328-3668.