FLORENCE, Italy – The Montreal Impact reconvened Monday afternoon in the quiet of the Florentine countryside for the fourth training session of the team’s postseason camp. Before facing Fiorentina later this week, the Impact will take on the Viola’s academy side on Tuesday, and Impact Academy head coach, Philippe Eullaffroy, is expecting a good challenge against one of the better academy set-ups in the Italian peninsula.
“We expect a good game,” Eullaffroy told Goal.com. “We expect our players to want to prove themselves. To get to play against players of the same age they’ll be able to see where they’re at. Fiorentina have one of the very best youth setups in Italy and we hope to be able to play at their level.”
Five academy players - Mircea Ilcu, Zakaria Messoudi, Wandrille Lefevre, Maxime Crepeau and Maxime Tissot - have made the trip with the Impact, and Eullaffroy explained that though these youngsters will be hoping to get a contract with Montreal's first team sometime in the near future, they have to prove themselves in training beforehand.
“It would be great for these guys to get a contract next year," he said. "For sure these guys are very close, and they can start training with the pros. For us, the next step is for these players to be able to train with the first team, like Karl Ouimette and Wandrille Lefevre have done.
"If we see that they can play with the pros then we take things from there.”
Along with the team’s academy players, the Impact are expected to feature a young lineup against the Fiorentina academy, which will likely include the likes of Ouimette, 2012 MLS SuperDraft No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wenger, Dennis Iapichino, Bryan Arguez, Jeb Brovksy, and Evan Bush.
Also expected to feature at some point in the Impact’s friendlies this week are midfielders Nicolas Cordova (Brescia), Henrique Cornelio Bem (SC Kriens) and Andrea Pisanu (Bologna), as well as forward Oussama Essabr (Crotone), all of whom have recently joined the team on trial.