Impact replace head coach

Less than 24 hours after losing its opening match in the 2009 Nutrilite Canadian Championship, the Impact de Montréal has replaced its head coach. John Limniatis is out while former assistant Marc Dos Santos is in as the Impact’s new interim head coach. Mr. Dos Santos begins his duties immediately and makes his coaching debut this Friday 15 May when the Impact host the Charleston Battery at Stade Saputo in United Soccer Leagues First Division action.



“It’s an honour for me to become interim head coach for the Impact,” said Marc Dos Santos. “I am ready today to take on these new responsibilities. It’s a great challenge in my coaching career and it’s a mandate in which I will invest myself fully.”

Less than 24 hours after losing its opening match in the 2009 Nutrilite Canadian Championship, the Impact de Montréal has replaced its head coach. John Limniatis is out while former assistant Marc Dos Santos is in as the Impact’s new interim head coach. Mr. Dos Santos begins his duties immediately and makes his coaching debut this Friday 15 May when the Impact host the Charleston Battery at Stade Saputo in United Soccer Leagues First Division action.

“It’s an honour for me to become interim head coach for the Impact,” said Marc Dos Santos. “I am ready today to take on these new responsibilities. It’s a great challenge in my coaching career and it’s a mandate in which I will invest myself fully.”

Mr. Dos Santos will make his Nutrilite Canadian Championship head coaching debut next Wednesday 20 May when the Impact host Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Both the Impact and Whitecaps FC lost their opening games to Toronto FC. Both sides are pointless after one game compared to Toronto FC’s perfect six points in two games.

Interestingly enough, this marks the second year in a row that the Impact has released its coach after just one match in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship. In 2008, the Impact released Nick De Santis after an 0:1 loss to Toronto FC at Stade Saputo. Coach Limniatis was then in place before the Impact’s 2:0 win over Whitecaps FC a few weeks later.

Mr. Dos Santos surely hopes he can have the same affect on next Wednesday’s Nutrilite Canadian Championship match.

“After having analyzed the situation over the last few months, we have realized that the team was not playing to its level,” said Mr. De Santis, now the Impact’s technical director. “The positive results were not there.”

Mr. Limniatis, of course, set high standards in his one year as Impact head coach. He led the Impact to a first-place finish in the 2008 Nutrilite Canadian Championship, thus winning the Voyageurs Cup and securing a spot in 2008-09 CONCACAF Champions League. He then surprised many outside of Canada by taking the Impact to the quarter-final stage, the highlight of which was a 2:0 victory over Mexican club Santos Laguna at Stade Olympique. The victory came to the thundering applause of 55,571 Montréal fans.

One week later, everything changed as the Impact lost its quarter-final stage in heartbreaking fashion. Mere minutes away from a spot in the semi-final stage, the Impact gave up two goals in injury time to fall 5-4 on aggregate to Santos Laguna.

The Impact has also started the 2009 USL-1 season winless in four games (0-1-3), including a 1:2 loss in its home opener at Stade Saputo this past Saturday.

Mr. Dos Santos had been the Impact’s assistant coach since last June when he joined the staff with coach Limniatis. He previously coached the Attak de Trois-Rivières Attak, the Impact’s reserve team. Starting this Friday, Mr. Dos Santos will work with Andrea Dipietrantonio (assistant coach), Mauro Biello (player-assistant coach) and Youssef Dahha (goalkeeper coach).

Said Mr. Dos Santos, “I will do everything I can for the team to be successful again.”

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