At this time last season, Eduardo Sebrango was pondering retirement. Now, he’s guaranteed a season in Major League Soccer.
The Cuban-born Canadian — one of the most enduring figures of Division-2 soccer in North America — has inked a new contract with the Impact.
“I am really excited, happy and proud to be part of the Impact in MLS,” said the 38-year-old in a release issued by the club. “I’ve been with the club for a long time and it’s special for me to be a part of its first season in the top league in North America. I will try to do my best to represent all the former Impact players that wore the team’s colours proudly over the years.”
Sebrango has scored 104 career goals in North American second division play. His greatest night as an Impact player came in the 2009 home leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final against Santos Laguna. He scored both goals as the Impact beat the Mexicans 2-0 in front of a packed Olympic Stadium house. (Montreal would go on to lose the tie, thanks to two injury-time goals from Carlos Darwin Quintero in Mexico)
But Sebrango was pondering retirement at this time last year, and announced in April of 2011 that we was going to hang up his cleats. But, with the Impact struggling in its final NASL season, Sebrango came out of his short-lived retirement and was one of the club’s most effective strikers.
Sebrango is Canadian, but has represented Cuba in FIFA matches. He isn’t eligible to play for our national team, but, under MLS rules, qualifies as a domestic because he carries a Canadian passport.
And it’s a slick PR move by the Impact to sign the veteran, the day after the team cut two other well-loved Canadians; defenders Simon Gatti and Nevio Pizzolitto. In the wake of two longstanding Impact players learning that they won’t be in MLS with the club, the Impact made sure to soothe the pain with the news of the Sebrango deal.
With midfielder Patrice Bernier and goalkeeper Greg Sutton already on board, the Impact now has the required minimum of three Canadians on its senior roster. Of course, that makes for more nerves for supplemental draft pick Evan James and Academy prospect Karl Ouimette, who have both headed to Florida with the club. Both know that their Canadian citizenships no longer protect them.