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Impact signs keeper, announces Red Bull date

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The Montreal Impact has been making some waves over the past couple of days, announcing a friendly with the New York Red Bulls and signing a new keeper.

The Impact will play Thierry Henry, Rafa Marquez and the Red Bulls at Stade Saputo May 11.

“We are excited to play Montreal as they build momentum for joining Major League Soccer next year,” said RBNY General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler in a release. “Montreal is truly a cosmopolitan city with a great soccer fanbase and we are thrilled to help promote the Impact with this match in May.”

Montreal will move from NASL to MLS in 2012, but the club is retaining its NASL membership with an eye to having an affiliated team playing in Divison 2.

Greg Sutton, who backed up Red Bull No. 1 keeper Bouna Coundoul, spent 2001-2006 with the Impact.

And, while on the topic of goalkeeping: Over the weekend, the Impact announced that it will go from one CONCACAF Champions League giant-killing keeper to another. After Matt Jordan — who was named the MVP of the first-ever Nutrilite Canadian Championship and spurred Montreal to the quarter-finals of the 2008-09 CCL — made his move from the field to the front office, the club needed to find another top-flight keeper.

And, in signing ex-Puerto Rico Islander Bill Gaudette, the Impact has found its man.

The same season that Montreal went to the quarters, the Islanders went to the semis, and only missed out on the finals because Cruz Azul nipped them in the lottery that was the penalty shootout.

A former member of the Columbus Crew system, Gaudette has been a giant-killer throughout his career. In 2009, he shut out Toronto FC in both legs of their CONCACAF Champions League qualifying series. And, last year, he helped the Islanders stun the mighty Los Angeles Galaxy — a team that has earned a reputation for looking great in the season but not so good in elimination games — in another CCL qualifier.

For Gaudette, who trialled with the Red Bulls in 2010 but didn’t make the cut, Montreal represents the best chance to get back to MLS, where he hasn’t played since 2007.

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