The Quebec native becomes the Impact's seventh captain in its 21-year history.After former Montreal Impact captain Davy Arnaud was traded away to DC United in January, Impact midfielder Patrice Bernier hasn't shied away from expressing his desire to fill the leadership void.
The 34-year-old Brossard native, who began his career with the Impact nearly 16 years ago, was granted his wish on Thursday, as he was named the team's new captain for the 2014 season.
"It is with honour and pride that I wear the captain's armband for the Montreal Impact," Bernier said in a club statement. "At this stage of my career, having grown up here, this will be a very special experience for me and a new challenge that I am ready to take on.
"It's also nice to be recognized by the coaching staff for my leadership and what I bring to the team. It is now up to me to maintain the standard that was set by Davy Arnaud."
In his two seasons with the Impact, Bernier has amassed 13 goals and 16 assists in 58 games from midfield. He was named the Impact's team MVP in 2012 and was called up for the 2013 MLS All-Star game.
Newly appointed Impact coach Frank Klopas explained that Bernier ticked all the right boxes.
"Patrice is highly respected by his teammates and everyone in this organization," Klopas said. "He knows the club and the city, having started his soccer career in Montreal and he understands what it means to wear the Impact jersey.
"I think he can lead the team on the field and that he will be a great captain for our group."
Marco Di Vaio, Matteo Ferrari and Troy Perkins will be team's vice captain's.
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