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Is Hatchi release the beginning of the end for Montreal’s French Revolution?

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Kevin Hatchi PHOTO: MONTREAL IMPACT
Now that the Montreal Impact has made its major sponsorship announcement for the 2012 MLS season, it can begin the needed housecleaning.

On Wednesday, the club announced that it has released French defender Kevin Hatchi, beginning the needed purge. In its final NASL season, the Impact has won just two of its first 10 games, both over FC Edmonton.

“We looked thoroughly at the situation before taking this decision,” said Impact sporting director Nick De Santis. “Kevin Hatchi had certain qualities, but he didn’t fit in the group. We took this decision for the well-being of the team. All our players need to walk in the same direction, especially when the team is going through difficult times.”

Hatchi is the first to go, but he won’t be the last. At this time last year, neither the Portland Timbers nor the Vancouver Whitecaps struggled this mightily in Div. 2. And the fact that De Santis chose to chop what for the Impact is a name player is a sign that coach Marc dos Santos still has his confidence. Usually, the coach is the first to go.

Over the last couple of seasons, the Impact have brought in a series of French players, including Philippe Billy and Idriss Ech-Chergui. It was a major experiment for the club, which had much more of a Canadian flavour when it went to the quarters of the CONCACAF Champions League in 2009.

But, the Impact is clearly not good enough in 2011. And Hatchi will likely be just the first of many to get the chop.

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