Photo by Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports
By DAN KARELL
Major League Soccer will be losing one of their most marketable stars this offseason.
Following a two-and-a-half year stint with the Montreal Impact, veteran Italian forward Marco Di Vaio has announced that he will retire from soccer at the end of the season. Di Vaio’s final match as a professional footballer will come on Oct. 25 at home against D.C. United.
“After a 20-year career, I am pleased to announce that I will be retiring in Montreal as a member of the Impact,” Marco Di Vaio said in a statement. “I am very proud of what I’ve accomplished over two decades as a pro. It was a dream of mine to play at the highest level and I will look to make the best of my final month as a player.”
Di Vaio began his career in 1995 with his hometown club Lazio, eventually playing for a number of teams in Italy and Europe, including Juventus, Valencia, AS Monaco, and Bologna. The 38-year-old forward became the Impact’s first ever Designated Player when he signed in May 2012, and thus far has scored 31 goals and seven assists in 72 regular season MLS games played.
“Everything we asked of Marco has been delivered,” Impact president Joey Saputo said. “He accepted all the responsibilities that came with being a Designated Player. He was the first for this club and was the right choice. His quality and experience helped the team progress on the field, but he also helped the club with his wealth of knowledge off of it. He gained respect around the league and from its players, and it’s very well deserved. We thank him for everything he’s done for the club and the city.”
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POWERS SIGNS “MULTI-YEAR” CONTRACT EXTENSION
Not much has gone well for the struggling Colorado Rapids this season, but they’ll end the season on a high note.
The club announced on Thursday that they’ve signed key midfielder Dillon Powers to a new multi-year contract. Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“I’m really happy to be at the heart of what we’re building here in Colorado,” Powers said in a statement. “I’m thankful to the organization, the Kroenke family, and the fans for their support in my first couple of years, and I’m looking forward to the future with the Rapids.”
Since being drafted with the 11th selection of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, Powers has cemented himself when healthy in the Rapids lineup, and he scored five goals and added nine assists in 24 starts on his way winning 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year. This season, Powers has been forced to play all across the midfield line, but still has scored five goals and added six assists in 30 games played so far.
VILLA TRAINS UNDER KREIS
Ahead of his three-month loan spell in Australia, David Villa laced up the boots under the watchful eye of New York City FC head coach Jason Kreis on Thursday.
Villa and another set of undisclosed players practiced at Ramapo College in New Jersey, according to an NYC FC photo gallery post on their Facebook page. Villa is seen stretching, playing in a small sided game, practicing one-on-one situations with a defender, and taking shooting practice.
The Spaniard is expected to arrive at Melbourne City next Tuesday ahead of the club’s A-League season opener against Sydney FC on Oct. 11.
What do you think of this news? What do you think of Di Vaio’s retirement? How do you see the Impact replacing him? Glad to see the Rapids sign Powers to a long-term contract?
Share your thoughts below.