MONTREAL —Ignacio Piatti wanted to set the record straight on the first day of the Montreal Impact training camp. He is in Montreal and will stay put, for now.
“I’m here, I’m under contract with the Impact,” Piatti said. “All is well.”
Speculation swarmed over Piatti’s future after the Argentine snubbed the Impact’s end-of-season media day in October. He had a conversation with sporting director Olivier Renard where he was informed the club would exercise his option for the 2020 season. The club then informed the media the midfielder had left and would not participate in the end-of-season media day.
“When we finished talking, I left because I had other things to do and I forgot that there was a media day so there’s no problem,” Piatti said. “This year is a new year and I’m here.”
“Since I have a contract here, I’m here”
Piatti admitted 2020 will not be an easy year for him on a personal level. His wife gave birth to his second child and has moved back to Argentina. Despite this, Piatti has reported to camp and intends to start the season with the Impact.
“My family is over there,” Piatti said. “It’s a difficult year but since I have a contract here, I’m here.”
The Argentine did not want to speak about his future, but stressed, for now, he is focussed on the Montreal Impact.
“I don’t know what will happen in the future, but for now I am here and my head is here,” Piatti said. “I can’t say what will happen tomorrow or the day after.”
“For now, I am here, I’m happy to see all the players again,” Piatti said. “I’m happy to see [Thierry] Henry because I was here when he was at the [New York] Red Bulls and I watched him on TV before that. He’s a great player and now he’s my coach.”
Henry is also pleased to be able to count on Piatti to start the season. He added the star player was among the team’s top tier in last weekend’s physical testing.
“He’s good mentally, he’s good physically as well. We did the physical tests and he was around the top,” Henry said. “I heard a lot of noise about Nacho since I came in and even before, I think that there will always be noise because he’s an exceptional player. We will always be talking about him, no matter what. For me, he’s here, he’s very much present, that’s what’s most important. We’ll see what happens after that but for now he’s here.”
Piatti: “We need more players”
The Designated Player also admitted, in his view, the club needed an influx of players heading into the Concacaf Champions League. The Impact are set to clash with Deportivo Saprissa on Feb. 20 in the Round of 16.
“We’re playing in the Concacaf [Champions League] in one month and we need players too because we’re playing two competitions,” Piatti said. “We’re playing the Champions League and MLS and we don’t have a lot of players. It’s not my area, but we need to bring in players for these competitions.”
“On the defensive front, we will maybe look to add for two, three position if it’s possible.”
The club can only count on four defenders with MLS minutes: Rod Fanni, Jukka Raitala, Rudy Camacho and Jorge Corrales.
“We’re going to make sure to have a structure and see what we can add to the team,” Henry added. “In terms of numbers, yes, we’re gonna make sure that we can add a bit more at the back.”
The Impact will spend one more day in Montreal before flying to Orlando, Fla. for the first part of their training camp.