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Impact coach causes commotion

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By Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press January 22

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Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Photograph by: Paul Chiasson , THE CANADIAN PRESS

MONTREAL — Everything was a little strange for Marco Schallibaum as the Montreal Impact’s new coach ran his first workout when training camp opened Monday.

It is a new team, a new city and certainly a much colder and snowier climate for the veteran coach and former Swiss international defender, who has replaced Jesse Marsch at the helm of the club.

Schallibaum caused his first commotion when he told reporters he would review Davy Arnaud’s captaincy, only to have the team issue a statement two hours later saying the veteran midfielder will remain captain unless there is “an unforeseen turn of events.”

It quoted Schallibaum as saying: “I would like to say I’m happy with the captain we have in place. Davy was a great choice and remains one today.”

Schallibaum had said earlier he liked what he had seen of Arnaud, but that he would decide as camp went on who will wear the captain’s armband.

It would have surprised no one to see a change of captains as well, but it seems that is now settled, depending on what unforeseen events may happen before the Impact open the regular season Mar. 2 in Seattle.

For his part, Arnaud shrugged and said he was never told he wasn’t still the captain.

Schallibaum liked the pace on the first day, even if he is still getting to know the mix of 31 North American, European, African and South American players in camp.

He plans to devote the first two weeks mainly to conditioning, then begin tactical work when the club goes to Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 7 to play in the Disney Classic pre-season tournament.

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