After an extensive search to replace Jesse Marsch, who left the club by mutual agreement last November, the Impact have appointed Marco Schällibaum as the team's new head coach.
“I am very pleased and proud to be the head coach of the Montreal Impact,” Schällibaum said in a statement. “From our very first discussion, I felt confidence with the management. The club is passionate about the game, like me, and is made up of people who are passionate as well and who want to go in the same direction.
"I watched a few of the team’s games from last season on video. We have a good roster with quality players and I saw a lot on character on the field. I will do all I can to help this team win.”
The 50-year-old Schällibaum is a veteran of the Swiss leagues, having coached top-tier sides FC Basel, BSC Young Boys, Servette FC, FC Sion, FC Schaffhausen and AC Bellinzona. His last managerial experience was with second-division outfit FC Lugano, where he served as boss through the 2010-11 season.
Schällibaum was most recently serving as a FIFA-appointed coaching instructor in Qatar, Mongolia and South Korea. The Impact hope that his experience with many different cultures will translate to the unique North American game.
“With the rest of the technical staff, we will put him in the best situation possible in order to help him adapt quickly to the reality of North America.," said sporting director Nick De Santis. "He is also very passionate about the game and is an excellent communicator that speaks a number of languages.”
According to the club, Schällibaum can communicate in German, French, Italian and English, a skill-set that more than satisfies the Impact's self-imposed policy that the team's new head coach be able to speak both of Canada's official languages.