MONTREAL — Former goalkeeper Greg Sutton was named the third name to feature on the Montreal Impact’s wall of fame.
The former Impact, New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC goalkeeper will join former teammates Nevio Pizzolitto and Gabriel Gervais. The celebration will be held during the halftime break of the Impact’s game against Minnesota United on Saturday night.
“This club holds a special place in my heart,” Sutton said. “I’ve played with a bunch of different club but this is probably the club that I owe the most to.”
Sutton has accumulated 77 wins, 75 clean sheets and still holds the all-time club record for goals against average. He recalled the Impact’s win in the 2004 USL final at the club’s former home Centre Claude Robillard as his most cherished moment.
Un troisième joueur sera intronisé au Mur de la renommée de l’Impact de Montréal.
— Impact de Montréal (@impactmontreal) July 4, 2019
“I remember when I was first here there was maybe 2,000 people in the stadium,” Sutton said. “To be able to build thanks in most part to (owner Joey Saputo), to have a record crowd at Claude Robillard and to be able to put on a good show that night and hoist the trophy. It was something that was memorable to me and to all of us. It’s something that I will never forget.”
Part of both Impact eras
Sutton is not only the first goalkeeper on the wall of fame but the first to feature in both Impact eras. After stints with Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls, he rejoined the Impact in 2012. The Hamilton, Ontario native remembered how much he wanted to be part of the Impact’s inaugural year in MLS.
“Obviously you don’t know how long your career will last but it was always something that I was keeping my eye on,” Sutton said. “I learned a lot going through the Toronto FC experience so I tried to pass along the information […] and give them the idea of what it’ll take to join MLS and enter that first season.”
“I looked at it as an opportunity to give back in a way. To be able to hang up my shirt here was important,” he added.
A defensive wall of fame
Team owner Joey Saputo wanted to highlight the club’s pre-MLS history with the first three wall of fame entries. The owner also wanted to showcase the Impact’s defensive prowess in its earlier days. With two defensive players in Gervais and Pizzolitto, Sutton’s name adds to what Saputo wanted fans to remember.
“If you take a look at the teams that we had in the past, especially in the year that Gabriel, Nevio and Greg played, we knew that if we scored a goal the game was over,” Saputo said. “The push was more on the defensive because that was who we were.”
One wall of fame entry per year
Saputo confirmed that the Impact organization would be announcing one wall of fame entry per year. Announcements may include more than one name at a time. Players as well as a head coaches could find themselves on the wall.
The criteria for the Impact wall of fame include: Individual statistics, trophies won and not having been a part of the organization for at least five years.