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Idriss Ech-Chergui and Kevin Hatchi Join the Impact

February 10, 2011 - North American Soccer League (NASL) - Montreal Impact News Release

MONTREAL â€" The Montreal Impact announced on Thursday the signing of two French players for the 2011 season, midfielder Idriss Ech-Chergui and defender Kevin Hatchi.

Ech-Chergi and Hatchi will take part in their first training session with their new teammates this morning at 10am at the Bell Sports Complex, in Brossard.

Ech-Chergui, a 25-year-old offensive midfielder, was formed by AS Saint-Étienne. He played 22 games in France's Ligue 2 with Nîmes Olympique, during the 2008-2009 campaign. He also scored 20 goals at the national level (3rd division) with Aviron Bayonnais (2005-2006) and FC Sète (2006-2007). Last season, he wore the colours of JS Kabylie, a first division club in Algeria.

Hatchi, a 29-year-old central defender, played over 100 games in Ligue 2 with US Créteil (2001-2002), Grenoble Foot 38 (2002 to 2005) and Tours FC (2008-2009). Hatchi was also a member of AJ Auxerre's B-team in the CFA, from 1997 to 2001. He has also played first division soccer in Belgium, South Korea, Romania and Cyprus, last year, with Olympiakos Nicosia.

"We are very pleased to have come to terms with these two players, who did very well at our invitation camp," said the Impact sporting director Nick De Santis. "They have both played at a very high level and are two excellent acquisitions for the club."

"Chergui has an excellent vision of the game, a great shot with offensive skills in one-on-one situations," added De Santis. "He is a player that likes to take on defenders and is creative, but he is also known for his passing ability. Hatchi is a left-footed central defender that will be a good compliment for Nevio Pizzolitto and Hicham Aaboubou. He has speed and he is a good communicator, with good leadership qualities."

With the additions of Ech-Chergui and Hatchi, as well as Camara on Monday, the Impact has now signed the maximum number of foreign players (7) permitted on its roster for the 2011 season. They will be joining Philippe Billy, Leonardo Di Lorenzo, Anthony Le Gall and Richard Pelletier.

For 2011 season tickets, a waiting list is available at or by contacting the box office at 514-328-3668. All season ticket holders will automatically have first right of refusal on their seats for Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2012.

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