September 29, 2009 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Montreal Impact
MONTREAL - The Montreal Impact announced Tuesday that American midfielder Leighton O\'Brien, a 33-year-old veteran, had returned home to Tacoma, in Washington State, for personal reasons. The Impact consequently released him from the club.
"Leighton was not playing a lot since his arrival in Montreal, so he decided to return to his family and his 10-month-old baby," declared Impact technical director Nick De Santis. "He did not show up in Montreal in excellent physical condition and it took him some time to get in shape. Unfortunately for him, we could count on a nearly healthy lineup, which meant that he was relegated to a substitute position, while he wanted to be a starter. He was a useful player for the team, but he didn't accept the role that we assigned him."
After taking part in training camp with the Seattle Sounders (MLS), and starting the season with the Tacoma Tide in the USL Premier Development League club, the Impact had signed O\'Brien on August 7 for the remainder of the season. He earned one assist in seven matches with Montreal, including two as a starter (221 minutes of play).
MARC DOS SANTOS SUSPENDED Impact head coach Marc Dos Santos will serve an automatic one-game suspension issued by the league, following his ejection during the last match in Charleston.
"We wanted to appeal this decision, but the league did not want to consider our version of the events since he will only be suspended for one game," explained De Santis. "Marc did what he had to do when he approached the referee (Mark Kadlecik) to discuss with him, after he ended the first half on a corner kick. He ejected Marc for having walked towards him on the field, even though it\'s something that is frequently done. Marc neither screamed nor used inappropriate language, but the referee read the situation differently."
"We fully trust our assistants Andrea Di Pietrantonio and Mauro Biello for the match on Thursday. They will surely get the job done on the bench. Let\'s not forget that the tactical preparation will have been completed," added De Santis.
THE BEST GOAL IN HISTORY According to Impact team captain and assistant coach Mauro Biello, a member of the club since the 1993 inaugural edition, Montreal\'s second goal Sunday in Charleston, is the best goal registered in club history.
"It was an extraordinary goal," noted Biello. "We made a total of 29 consecutive passes before Donatelli completed the sequence. It\'s the first time in club history that we accomplish such a feat. It was perfectly constructed. Every player on the field touched the ball at least once and we changed wings a couple of times. Argentina had scored the most beautiful goal of the last World Cup after making 24 consecutive passes."
A reminder that in the semifinal round of the USL First Division, the Impact (5th) will play against the Puerto Rico Islanders (3rd). The first leg game will be played Thursday at 7:30 pm, at Saputo Stadium, while the second leg will be held Sunday at 6 pm, at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium, in Bayamon.
Tickets for the semifinal game are now on sale and available through Admission (514-790-1245 / 1-800-361-4595 / admission.com), at the Saputo Stadium ticketing office or at 514-328-3668 (group packages only).