Montreal Impact coach Jesse Marsch said excitement is building at the MLS expansion club as they begin to announce player signings.
As he tried to plan around November’s expansion draft, Marsch explained that he asked the club to keep information guarded because he did not want other Major League Soccer clubs to have an idea of the players he was aiming to sign.
Montreal used their first pick to select Brian Ching from the Houston Dynamo, while they have also added LA Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and Philadelphia Union midfielder Justin Mapp.
“I wanted to be smart about not letting teams know what we already had in our arsenal,” Marsch told Goal.com.
“What it meant is that some of the enthusiasm over player signings was put back until we had the draft.”
“Now that the draft has passed, we’ve been able to announce more about players and you see the momentum and excitement building.”
Marsch fully expects the Impact to be competitive in their first MLS campaign. While he acknowledges that the club will continue to be aggressive in trying to sign marketable players, he stressed that he wants to build a well-rounded team.
Marsch’s strategy was apparent during the expansion draft when he declined to take a big name such as the Union’s Freddy Adu and focused mainly on strengthening his defence and players with the potential to develop their game significantly.
“We are focused on the process of becoming a good team,” said Marsch. “The energy and the work we put in every day, that’s what’s going to make us a good team. Not who we sign.”
“You can’t cut corners and think that if you bring in certain guys and do something here and there, that you are automatically a good team. It takes time. I have sworn to honour that process.”
One area where Marsch has taken a little criticism is in the team’s lack of known Canadian-born players.
He said that some of the team’s current Canadian players will remain in the squad and team president Joey Saputo has focused on developing young local talent.
“As an organisation, we want to honour the community,” said Marsch. “That includes Quebec players and Canadan players.”
He stated the three Canadian clubs – the Impact, Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps – have a responsibility to help improve the country’s national team.
“We want our talented young players to develop here,” said Marsch.
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