Joey Saputo, left, and Nick De Santis PHOTO: MIKE WYMAN
In what was billed as a postmortem to the Montreal Impact’s 2013 season, club President Joey Saputo and team technical director Nick De Santis spoke to and with the media for about 45 minutes this afternoon. Given Friday’s Sports Illustrated
assertion that recently retired defender Alessandro Nesta had been handed the reins for next season, the bulk of the conversation centred on the matter of head coaches.
“I’m happy to tell you that we achieved our prime objective, namely to take part in the playoffs, and as a bonus, to take part in the CONCACAF Champions League thanks to winning the Canadian Championship. But after a first half of the season that was exceptional, the second half of the 2013 campaign was less than acceptable,” said Saputo in his opening remarks.
“Even if we did reach our goal, I’m disappointed in the way we got into the playoffs. Since we were in the chase for the first place in our conference until the month of August I didn’t think I’d have to watch to see if three other teams would lose after we were defeated in Toronto to find out if we would qualify or not. While we had our fate in our hands we were not dominant late in the season, particularly at home,” he continued before apologizing for the Impact’s final game.
“And our performance in Houston last Thursday, especially our behaviour at the end of the match, was not worthy of the Montreal Impact,” he said, referring to the mass confrontation and multiple expulsions that ended the Impact’s playoff participation.
“On behalf of the team I would like to say I’m sorry to our supporters following our conduct in Houston. A particular apology on my behalf to the MLS family for the way we conducted ourselves in Houston last Thursday night. This is not the image we want to project. There was a lot of frustration but that does not excuse such behaviour.“
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