Reports have been circulating the internet on Friday night saying that former Italian international and Montreal Impact defender Alessandro Nesta is set to be named as the new manager of the club as early as Saturday. Nesta is set to replace Swiss coach Marco Schällibaum whose one-year contract will not be renewed.
Nesta will become Montreal’s third coach in as many seasons following Schällibaum and Jesse Marsch before him. This move makes you wonder whether or not this incentive was part of the deal that owner Joey Saputo proposed to Nesta while trying to get him to play in MLS.
Schällibaum leaves with an MLS career coaching record of 14 wins, seven draws and 14 losses in his one season at the helm of the Impact. The move to replace him is not surprising at all seeing as though at one point this season Montreal were on top of the Eastern Conference and contending for the Supporters’ Shield before ending the season winning just one of their last nine matches.
The surprising part about this firing is replacing him with Nesta who does not have any experience coaching at this level. One of the first things that Nesta will need to do is figure out whether to bring back Montreal’s aging core of talent or replace them with some younger blood. It seems that now with Nesta on the sidelines, the first thing that Montreal will be doing is looking for his replacement on the back-line. He will also need to find a temporary replacement for Marco Di Vaio who today had two more games added onto his one-game suspension for picking up his red card late in the playoff match on Thursday against Houston Dynamo.
It will be very interesting to see how the locker room changes now that Nesta will be transitioning from player to manager. How will his former teammates respond to this new job title? We will find out in the coming months.