MONTREAL -- A day before heading to Florida to continue training camp, the Montreal Impact picked up a new captain and a new striker. Veteran midfielder Patrice Bernier will be a popular choice to replace the departed Davy Arnaud as captain, not only because he is a local player and fluently bilingual. "Hes always very positive in his attitude around the team," sporting director Nick De Santis said Thursday. "And even in difficult times, you never see the pressure get to him. These are important things." And Santiago Gonzalez, a 21-year-old forward from the Sud America club in Uruguay, who was signed under Major League Soccers special discovery rule, could be a nice addition to a club that is thin up front. The Impact ended their first phase of camp indoors at Marie Victorin College and now move onto grass fields and warm weather in Orlando, Fla., to defend their title in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, a pre-season tournament. Bernier, of Brossard, Que., was hoping to get the captains armband after Arnaud, their skipper for their first two MLS seasons who left for D.C. United. New coach Frank Klopas picked veterans Marco Di Vaio, Matteo Ferrari and Troy Perkins as Berniers assistants. The 34-year-old Bernier began his pro career with the Impact, then played nine seasons in Europe before returning for the clubs MLS expansion season in 2012. "Its another step in my career and a new challenge in terms of my personality and what I have to do, not just on the field, but how to interact with my teammates," said Bernier "I started off here and hopefully I end here. Now, to have the armband, its a great show of respect." Luring Bernier back from Europe was one of the Impacts most important moves while moving from the second tier NASL to MLS. It gave them a high quality midfielder who understood North American soccer but who could also relate to the many European, especially Italian, players the club brought in. Bernier has 13 goals and 16 assists in 58 games over the last two seasons. He was named the Impacts player of the year in 2012 and played in the MLS all-star game last season. Arnaud arrived with the experience and credentials to make him the logical pick as the teams first MLS captain, and Bernier was the obvious pick to succeed him. Even while Arnaud wore the armband, Bernier was the teams most visible player in the media and out in the community. "Maybe now Ill be looked upon as the reflection of the team in what I say and what I do," he said. "Ill be the same guy as before, but maybe you have to stand out. "Its something special. In soccer, the captain is the first one to step onto the field, the first one that people see, that the referees go to for explanations or rectifications or whatever. So I cant just think of my own bubble anymore." Star striker Di Vaio had a little fun when asked about Bernier as captain. "I dont agree. I wanted to be captain," he said, before smiling and adding "No. Its good for us and its good for Patrice. Its the best thing for the team. We know that Patrice is going to be a good captain for us, for the club and for the fans." Bernier has been unable to join his teammates on the field since the first day of camp as he heals from surgery on Dec. 11 to fix loose cartilage in his right knee. He expects to resume full training in Florida. Also on the pitch in Orlando will be Gonzalez, who was in Montreal and was to make the flight with a team after undergoing a medical exam. De Santis said that as a special discovery player, the club can amortize the five-foot-eight forwards costs over several years, so that his salary cap hit stays between $125,000 and $150,000. He is also not a designated player, which leaves one DP spot open for a future signing. Di Vaio and Argentine midfielder Hernan Bernardello are the teams DPs. "Hes going to bring a new dynamic to the team," said De Santis. "Theres a question of adaptation because its the first time he leaves his country to play professional soccer, so we need to be patient with him. But hes got a lot for good qualities." De Santis also denied reports from Italy that Pablo Piatti of Valencia and Stefano Mauri of Lazio would be joining the Impact, saying hes had no contact with either club. He said he may still sign another player "if we can add an important piece to get you to the next level." Wholesale Real Nike Zoom
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. -- Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf has been suspended two games for his hit from behind on Kevan Miller of the Bruins.San Antonio, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Brandon Jennings raced down the court following a San Antonio turnover and made the game-winning shot with 0.1 seconds left, lifting the red-hot Detroit Pistons over the Spurs, 105-104, on Tuesday. The Spurs left the door open after going 4-of-8 from the foul line over the final 1:52. The Pistons pulled within 104-103 on a pair of Jodie Meeks free throws with eight seconds remaining. Following a 20-second timeout, Tim Duncan threw the ensuing inbound pass behind Patty Mills and Jennings made a bank shot at the other end. Jennings ended with 13 points and seven assists for the Pistons, who have won six in a row. Andre Drummond had 20 points and 17 rebounds, D.J. Augustin tallied 19 points and Greg Monroe contributed 17 points and 11 boards. Just a great team win. We showed a lot of resiliency, said Monroe. Everybody stayed the course. We stuck together, came in and beat a really good team. Jeff Ayres finished with 16 points for the Spurs, who had a brief two-game winning streak snapped. Duncan and Danny Green donated 15 and 13 points, respectively. San Antonio point guard Tony Parker played just 13 minutes in his return from a five-game absence due to a hamstring injury. He ennded with three points.dddddddddddd He is healthy. He wanted to play, but I was being conservative, said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. He had 13 minutes and that is good after resting as long as he did. I wanted to make sure he didnt reinjure it. The Spurs led 37-20 after one quarter and held a 54-36 edge late in the second. However, Detroit ended the first half on a 13-4 run to get within 58-49. The Pistons then scored the first six points of the second half to make it a three-point game. Detroit outscored San Antonio by a 33-19 margin in the third quarter to grab an 82-77 lead. Detroit went ahead 101-100 on Kentavious Caldwell-Popes running bank shot with 2:12 to play. Boris Diaw had a chance to put the Spurs in front, but missed two free throws. Caldwell-Pope was called for an offensive foul after Jennings missed a layup. The Spurs, though, struggled from the line and could only build a 104-101 lead with 10.8 seconds left. The final frame featured 10 lead changes and four ties. Game Notes San Antonio had won four straight as the host in this series ... Duncan was issued a technical foul with 5:31 remaining in the third quarter ... The Spurs went 23-of-34 from the foul line. ' ' '