Impact sign Canadian right back Michael Petrasso; report says Diallo to sign
Canadian right back Michael Petrasso has signed with the Montreal Impact.
Petrasso, 22, who recently left English club Queen's Park Rangers by mutual agreement with six months left on his contract, inked a two-year deal with an option for 2020, the Major League Soccer club announced Thursday.
The versatile, five-foot-six Petrasso has also played eight international games for Canada.
"After being away for so many years, the prospect of coming back and playing soccer at home, in Canada, is very exciting for me,'' the Toronto native said in a statement.
"It's a great opportunity and I'm looking forward to my new future in Montreal.''
Petrasso, who started out in the Toronto FC academy from 2010 to 2012, joined QPR's development system in 2013. Over six years at QPR, he appeared in 11 games in the Championship, England's second division, one FA Cup game and one EFL Cup game.
He had also had loan spells with Oldham Athletic, Coventry, Leyton Orient and Notts County.
"Michael joining the roster is positive because he is a young Canadian international,'' said Impact coach Remi Garde.
"His qualities allow him to play in different positions and therefore offer many options for the team.
"The room he has for improvement is very interesting for him and for the Impact.''
Petrasso made his Canada debut in 2016 against Azerbaijan. He started all four games at the 2017 Gold Cup tournament.
In Montreal, he joins fellow national team players Samuel Piette, Raheem Edwards and Anthony Jackson-Hamel.
The Impact have been going through a major overhaul since Garde replaced Mauro Biello in November.
On Thursday, French club Stade Brestois announced that it terminated the contract of Zakaria Diallo so the central defender can sign with the Impact.
The Impact have not yet confirmed the report.
"We terminated the contract we had with Zakaria Diallo that ran to June, 2018, so that he can join the Montreal Impact,'' Brestois sporting director Gregory Lorenzi told the club's website.
The French sports newspaper L'Equipe reported this week that Diallo received a two-year contract offer from Montreal.
Diallo, 31, played 37 matches over the last season and half for the Ligue 2 club but got into only two games this season, drawing a red card in one of them.
The French-born Senagalese player previously played in Ajaccio, Dijon and Beauvais and in Belgium for Charleroi.
The Impact were thin in the central defence since trading veteran Laurent Ciman to Los Angeles FC for two fullbacks.
The club also waived defenders Wandrille Lefevre and Deian Boldor.
Lefevre, a native of France who has Canadian citizenship, played 48 games over five MLS seasons.
He won Canadian championships with the Impact in 2013 and 2014.
Boldor joined the club late last season on loan from Bologna FC and played five games.
The Impact had previously announced that the two players would not be kept on for 2018.