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Cassar: 'This is the opportunity of a lifetime'
by Paul Kennedy, December 19th, 2013 11:32PM

TAGS:  mls, montreal impact, real salt lake


[MLS 2014 COUNTDOWN] New Real Salt Lake head coach Jeff Cassar, who had the unanimous support of senior RSL players to replace Jason Kreis, said he starts to cry just thinking about the opportunity he has been given.

“This is the opportunity of a lifetime,” Cassar told Salt Lake City media at his first press conference on Thursday. “I don't think it's quite set in for me just yet, but every time I start to think about it, I really start to cry.”

Cassar joined RSL as a goalkeeping coach in 2007, but he took on more responsibilities in recent years, working with the club's young players. That association was a key factor in the decision of RSL management to stay in-house rather than bring back former assistant Robin Fraser, now an assistant at New York.

“I believe in these guys,” Cassar said. “I believe in the core group of players that we have. The leadership. The character. It's unbelievable. I believe in the young talent that we have on our team. The future is very bright for RSL.”

IMPACT RETURNS 21 PLAYERS. New Montreal Impact coach Frank Klopas will begin work with a nucleus of 21 players retained for the 2013 team that reached the MLS playoffs

The Impact announced on Thursday that they have exercised the contract options of 15 players to add to the six already signed for next year. Five of the six players already signed for next season were starters in the play-in game against Houston: Marco Di Vaio, Hassoun Camara, Jeb Brovsky, Hernan Bernardello and Andrew Wenger.

Among the players not back will be captain Davy Arnaud, traded to D.C. United and  defenders Alessandro Nesta and Nelson Rivas. Loan deals involving Daniele Paponi and Andrea Pisanu (both Italian club Bologna) and Andres Romero (Brazilian club Tombense) end at the end of the year.

2014 Impact:
Evan Bush
Maxime Crepeau
Troy Perkins

Jeb Brovsky
Hassoun Camara
Matteo Ferrari
Adrian Lopez
Karl W. Ouimette
Maxim Tissot

Patrice Bernier
Hernan Bernardello
Wandrille Lefevre
Calum Mallace
Justin Mapp
Zakaria Messoudi
Sanna Nyassi
Blake Smith
Collen Warner
Marco Di Vaio
Andrew Wenger.

PRESEASON AT IMG. Six MLS teams -- Chicago, Columbus, D.C. United, FC Dallas, New England and Toronto FC -- will use IMG Academy as an Eastern hub for the 2014 preseason, training and competing in a series of friendlies beginning in late January and continuing through the end of February. A new state-of-the-art facility, the 5,000-seat IMG Academy Stadium, has been opened.

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