MONTREAL — The Montreal Impact boosted their attack with the acquisition of Uruguayan midfielder Alejandro Silva on Monday and are expected to make at least one more signing soon.
Silva, 28, arrived on a free transfer from Club Atletico Lanus of Argentina. Montreal used targeted allocation money to sign the attacking midfielder to a three-year contract, which avoided using their one remaining designated player slot after midfielders Ignacio Piatti and Saphir Taider.
The club is also chasing French central defender Rudy Camacho, who is reportedly in Montreal. The 27-year-old has agreed to a deal with the Impact but is awaiting a transfer agreement between the Major League Soccer team and his club Waasland Beveren, according to the Belgian team's website.
The Impact found themselves short on defence when, after trading Laurent Ciman to Los Angeles FC, his replacement Zakaria Diallo ruptured an Achilles tendon days before the regular season opener in Vancouver. Second-year defender Kyle Fisher is also our four months with a fractured left shin.
Silva adds experience and talent to another thin spot at midfield, where he can play on the right side or in the middle.
"Alejandro is an attacking player who will bring his experience to the team and increase our options in the last third," Impact head coach Remi Garde said in a statement. "His passing qualities and his speed will contribute in improving our play. His high work rate also makes him an option as a midfielder."
Technical director Adam Braz said Silva "will add a different dimension to the attack and will help improve the overall quality and depth of the team.
"His versatility on the field is very positive in that he can also play as a central midfielder. We are in discussions with other clubs regarding specific players that Remi has identified and we are hopeful that we can conclude certain moves in the not so distant future."
In their first three games under Garde, the Impact (1-2) have used Canadian Raheem Edwards and 20-year-old Chilean Jeisson Vargas at right midfield. Each has scored an impressive goal, with Vargas providing the winner in a 1-0 victory on Saturday over defending MLS champion Toronto FC.
An option would be to use Silva in the middle and have Taider drop to his more natural position at the back of the attack, with Piatti on the left side.
Silva is expected to see his first action when Montreal resumes play on March 31 in Seattle after this week's international break.
Matteo Mancosu was the striker in Montreal's first two games, but sat out on Saturday with an undisclosed injury. Anthony Jackson-Hamel returned from a pre-season hamstring injury and was a late substitute against TFC.
In the same match, 36-year-old Rod Fanni looked solid in his Impact debut. The former Marseille central defender signed a three-month deal on March 5 that can be extended if needed.
The club has been using fullback Jukka Raitala alongside Victor Cabrera in the central defence.
Silva had 10 goals and eight assists in 58 games for his Argentine first division team, where he played for most of the past five years. He began his career with his hometown club Centro Atletico Fenix in Montevideo and also played a season on loan to Uruguayan club Penarol in 2014-15.
He played four times in the Copa Libertadores, the South American club tournament, reaching the final with Olimpia of Paraguay in 2013 and Lanus in 2017. He has also played four times for Uruguay's national team, including friendlies against Ireland and Italy last June.
He will join the Impact when he receives his international transfer certificate and after passing a medical exam.
Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press