Zanzan And Pa Amadou Gai With The Impact
MONTREAL - The Montreal Impact officially presented its roster for the 2009 season Wednesday evening, at the Maison de la Culture Maisonneuve, during its annual pre-season banquet.
On this occasion, the club announced the signings of Belgian defender, Zanzan, a native of Togo, as well as Gambian forward Pa Amadou Gai for the next two seasons. The contracts are pending the league's approval.
Zanzan, a 28-year old left defender, played 35 games and scored two goals with the Togo National Team. He made his debut in Togo and played the last seven years in the Belgian first division, notably with the clubs Daknam, Lokeren and FC Brussels. Before joining the Impact, he played with CS Otopeni in Romania.
Gai is a 24-year old Gambian forward. Since 1997, he played first division in Gambia with Bakau United, finishing last season as the team's top scorer. In 11 games this season, he scored nine goals. He also played for the U-17, U-20, U-23 and Senior Gambian national teams.
"Zanzan is the left back we were looking for since Mauricio Vincello left," said Impact technical director Nick De Santis. "His experience with the national team and in Belgium will be an asset for us. He is a strong player who is physical on the field and who demonstrates good leadership qualities."
"As for Pa Amadou Gai, he impressed us with his technical skills and physical aptitudes," added De Santis. "He is a future prospect, but in the meantime, he will bring depth to the attack."
In addition to the African players, four other players joined the Impact during the offseason: goalkeeper Srdjan Djekanovic (Vancouver, USL D1), midfielders Kevin Sakuda (Seattle Sounders, USL D1) and Stephen deRoux (Minnesota Thunder, USL D1), as well as forward Eduardo Sebrango (Vancouver Whitecaps, USL D1).
Three days from the first regular season game, the Impact also announced that young defender Alex Surprenant and midfielder Pierre-Rudolph Mayard will start the season with the club's reserve, team the Trois-Rivières Attak.
"We have taken this decision in order to contribute to their development," said De Santis. "They will continue training with the Impact, but since we cannot guarantee them playing time, they will take part in Attak games."
The organization also announced that Brazilian forward Severino Jefferson had been released. In his first season with the Impact in 2008, he had scored three goals in 25 games.
The Impact will officially end its camp tomorrow as the team will hold its final training session on the Saputo Stadium training field, at 10:30 am. The Montreal team will then leave for Charleston on Friday to play its first game of the season against the Battery (7:30 pm, USLlive.com).
Note that the Impact will play its home opener at Saputo Stadium on Saturday May 9, against the Rochester Rhinos. Season tickets are currently available by calling 514-328-3668.
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