April 7, 2008 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Montreal Impact
MONTREAL - A few days before officially kicking off its 15th regular season in club history, the Montreal Impact announced, Monday, that midfielder Pato Aguilera, defender Stefano Pesoli and forward Dwight Barnett came to terms with the club. Aguilera accepted a two-year deal, Pesoli concluded a one-year agreement plus an option, while Barnett joined Montreal for the 2008 season, pending the league\'s approval.
"We are very happy to have come to terms with these three players," said Montreal Impact head coach Nick De Santis. "We are very satisfied with the team we have. With the qualifying games for the CONCACAF Champions League, we will have a long season, so it\'s important to have depth. We are expecting a healthy competition for starting positions."
Aguilera, a 28-year-old Bolivian, played 19 games in Major League Soccer, with Columbus and New England, in 2000 and 2001. He also played for the defunct Virginia Beach Mariners, in 2003 and 2006, as well as for the Rochester Rhinos, in 2004 and 2005. Aguilera also took part in the last Carolina Challenge Cup, in March, while he was trying out with the Charleston Battery.
"Pato is a creative player who can distribute the ball well, and who will help us in the midfield," said De Santis. "He also brings experience after having played many games in our league. He knows the circuit very well."
Pesoli has been trying out with the Impact since the pre-season camp in Italy, in January. The 24-year-old Italian defender played his minor soccer with AS Roma until the age of 18. He then played for Italian clubs in third, fourth and fifth divisions, notably with AS Viterbese (division C1) and FC Pro Vasto (division C2). In 2006-2007, in his last full season in Italy, Pesoli played with FC Rieti (division C2), starting all 26 games he took part in.
"We really like what we have seen from Stefano in the last three months," explained De Santis. "We quickly noticed that he had received excellent training with AS Roma, notably by his intelligent play. He brings the team insurance at the central defender position."
Barnett, a 26-year-old American, native of Jamaica, tallied a total of 79 goals and 212 points in four college seasons with Herkimer Community College (2004 and 2005) and Lynn University (2006 and 2007). He tallied 24 goals and six assists in two seasons with the Cape Cod Crusaders (PDL). Barnett was the third choice (38th overall) of the Chicago Fire, in the last Major League Soccer (MLS) Superdraft. He took part in the Fire\'s training camp, and then tried out with the Impact, while the team was in Florida, last March, scoring one goal in a pre-season game against the Honduran national team on March 24.
"Dwight will bring a new dimension to our offense with his power and speed," noted De Santis. "He\'s the kind of player who can create problems to the opponent\'s defense."
The Impact will kick off its 2008 season, this Saturday, April 12, against the Whitecaps, at Swangard Stadium, in Vancouver (UslLive.com). The Impact will play its historic first home game at the brand new Saputo Stadium, Monday, May 19, against their Canadian rivals.
Season tickets are still available by calling 514-328-3668 or at www.impactmontreal.com.