On Monday, the Montreal Impact and playmaker Ignacio Piatti agreed to part ways. The departure is disastrous for the Canadian side.
The 35-year-old is making a return to his native Argentina to play for San Lorenzo. Both parties involved agreed to terminate his contract with the Impact in order to pave the way for his move to San Lorenzo.
Piatti will go down as one the best players in the club’s history. In 163 appearances, he scored 79 goals and registered 37 assists for the Impact. His quality made him an invaluable asset to have and was often the player the club turned to when they needed results.
To illustrate Piatti’s brilliance and significance to the Impact, the Argentinian won four successive Team MVP honors from 2015 to 2018 — and likely only didn’t win in 2019 due to injury — and was the team’s top goalscorer from 2016 to 2018. He was named to MLS All-Star XI in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and was named to the MLS Best XI in 2016 and 2018. Piatti was arguably the most pivotal player to any team in the entirety of MLS.
Now that their ever-reliant star is gone, life will only get more difficult for the Montreal Impact. They face a season of both CONCACAF Champions League and MLS fixtures. Piatti would have been a crucial linchpin in both of those campaigns. They need all the help they can get in order to advance in the Champions League. Now, it is a much more difficult task.
The Montreal Impact’s qualification for the Champions League was due in large part to Piatti. He scored four goals in four appearances during the Canadian Championship, which the Impact won to secure qualification for the CCL.
More from MLS Multiplex
- Javier Milei Elected in Argentina: Potential Impacts on MLS and Signings of Argentine Players
- Orlando City and New York City FC in the Battle for Matías Arezo; Grêmio Enters Negotiations! Who Will Come Out on Top?
- USA, Honduras, Panama, and Canada Close in on a Spot in the 2024 Copa America
- De Gea Turns Down Al-Nassr’s Lucrative Offer: Speculation Points to Possible Reunion with Messi at Inter Miami
- Messi’s Magnetic Impact in the United States
Despite missing most of the 2019 season with an injury, he still showed he had what it took to perform at a high level. Heading into 2020, it seemed as though he might just have one more massive season in him to help give the Impact a boost.
The loss of Piatti gives Montreal little time to go after a player to help alleviate the absence. A summer move for a high-quality replacement may now be on the cards. Last summer’s addition of Bojan does give the club more creativity but they need someone else to look to for goals. Piatti was the primary goalscorer, not just the primary creator.
A big summer signing could be on the way, but for now, the Impact will have to make do with the squad they have. It will be an uphill battle to start to the season and new manager Thierry Henry will find out a lot about the determination of his club in the first few weeks of the 2020 campaign.
Has the departure of Piatti doomed the aspirations of the club’s Champions League chances? The answer will come very soon.