MONTREAL — Samuel Piette said he achieved his goal to “stay in Montreal” on Wednesday.
“My decision wasn’t only on the financial side,” Piette said. “The fact that my partner will be able to keep her job here and not have to move, to be able to visit my parents once or twice a week, to have dinner with my friends and family. All of these factors are priceless. When I received the Impact’s offer, it wasn’t a rushed decision. I had to discuss it, but there were many priceless things attached to it.”
Piette and the Impact started negotiating an extension in July. He admitted uncertainty floating around the CBA negotiations made both parties slow down the contracts talks.
“There were talks and a lot of question marks with the CBA negotiations,” Piette said. “[Sporting director] Olivier Renard wasn’t there yet and we didn’t know who the coach would be in 2020. I think that there were a lot of question marks that made us stall the contract talks and wait for the right moment.”
For Piette, the length of his contract was important. His new deal links him to his hometown until 2022 with an option for the 2023 season.
“That was one of my conditions,” Piette said of his three-year deal. “To have guaranteed years here in Montreal. To know that my long-term future was secure. I just turned 25 so I’m not necessarily old, but to know that I will be here for another three years at least is really good for me.”
Interest from other club kick-started extension talks
The Canadian international admitted interest from other clubs sped up negotiations on the Impact front. Piette mentioned offers from both Europe and within MLS were presented to him. Vincent Destouches of TVA Sports tweeted the Vancouver Whitecaps were among the clubs interested in Piette’s services.
“One of the main reasons [that kick-started contract talks] was that there was interest from other clubs. That put some pressure on the club without having them making me an offer as quickly as possible,” Piette said. “The fact that other interesting offers were presented to me, I think that on the Impact’s side they wanted to get something done with me. It was also the same feeling on my end so it accelerated the process.”
Piette said he “didn’t want to leave at all cost” if the club didn’t offer him a new deal. He added he was ready to honor the option year for 2020 that was part of his initial contract.
“The emotions that I lived with the club in my short stay made me realize that I wouldn’t be able to live the same things elsewhere,” he said. “I think about the Canadian Championship, those are the best feelings I’ve had in my career. I think that winning a Canadian Championship with Toronto, Vancouver or somewhere else, I wouldn’t have the same feeling. [Montreal] is home to me.”