Impact head coach Jesse Marsch explained the reasoning behind Friday’s trade of forward Mike Fucito to the Portland Timbers.
MONTREAL – After having the weekend off, the Montreal Impact returned to training Monday morning indoors at the Marie-Victorin Sports Complex on the east end of the island. Among all the familiar faces was one notable absentee: forward Mike Fucito, who last Friday was traded to the Portland Timbers in exchange for – depending on Fucito’s performance for the remainder of this year’s season - either the Timbers’ highest second round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDaft or one of their foreign spots in 2013.
“It [making the trade] wasn’t easy,” head coach Jesse Marsch explained to assembled reporters. “We had some big hopes for Mike coming in and in the end I think he thought that the combination of him not wanting to be here and him seeing that there’s a lot of competition at that [forward] position meant that he felt that his future might be somewhere else."
“We tried to keep pushing him along while he was here," Marsch added, "he was very professional with his attitude, and you know it wasn’t easy but we wish him luck.”
Fucito was traded to Montreal last February from the Seattle Sounders, along with midfielder Lamar Neagle, in exchange for forward Eddie Johnson. At the time, the Impact looked rather thin in the attack, but the later signing of Eduardo Sebrango and the addition of Italian striker Bernardo Corradi meant that the Impact would have six forwards in the lineup to compete for two starting positions.
After playing 26 minutes in the opening game against the Vancouver Whitecaps as a substitute, the Massachusetts native was never able to get time with the first team. But despite Fucito’s short-lived stay, Marsch considered himself content with what the Impact has received in return from the initial trade with Seattle.
“The chance to get both of them [Fucito and Neagle], we thought was a really good option to give us depth and without knowing exactly how the allocation lottery was going to stack up, the one thing we didn’t want to get caught with was it expiring and us not using it,” Marsch said.
“So in the end we thought that we’d leverage the way we did, and I still think that getting Lamar here has been a great addition for us, and what we got [in return for] Mike and the potential of what it could become can still help us with the future as well.”
Despite the Impact facing the Timbers this Saturday at the Olympic Stadium, Fucito’s trade includes a clause that makes him ineligible to play against his former club.