MONTREAL – After almost five months of waiting, Montreal Impact fans will finally get a chance to see Marco Di Vaio lace up for the Impact Wednesday night at Stade Saputo against Toronto FC.
“It will be emotional for me,” said Di Vaio in training this week. “For my first game, I hope to play well within the group. I’ve watched the team’s last few games, and I feel comfortable with the system. My goal is to do everything I can to help my team win on Wednesday.
“I’ve been working really hard these past few weeks to be ready for this match.”
The former Bologna striker has trained for almost two weeks with the side, and head coach Jesse Marsch confirmed on Tuesday following practice that Di Vaio would be getting the start on Wednesday, though he doesn’t yet know whether the Italian striker will be fit to play the entire match.
“He’s moved himself along fitness wise and he has gotten sharper since he’s been here,” Marsch said. "I think he will fit in right away with the group on the field. Soccer wise, he is really smart. He’s got a great eye around the goal for scoring or setting guys up. Having him here has been good in every way."
Di Vaio is one of Serie A’s most prolific forwards in league history, scoring 142 goals in 342 matches.
With a 4-1 win against the Seattle Sounders last week and a 4-2 victory over the Houston Dynamo last Saturday, the Rome native joins the Impact just as the team's own attack is clicking as well.
“We are all excited for him being here,” said midfielder Justin Mapp. “His experience in the top leagues is invaluable; he's played a high level for a long time. As a midfielder, we have to put him in dangerous positions around the goal. He’s scored a ton of them in his career, so we just have to get him in good spots.”
The Impact sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, two points out of the fifth and final playoff spot.