May 12, 2012; Montreal, QC, Canada; Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan (10) and Montreal Impact defender Nelson Rivas (2) during the first half at the Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Impact sign Nelson Rivas to new contract

Frank Klopas’s Montreal Impact have signed defender Nelson Rivas to a new contract extension, despite not playing the entire 2013 regular season. The 30-year old Rivas missed all of 2013 with a knee injury but did start in their playoff match with the Houston Dynamo which they lost, 3-0.

“We are extremely happy to have Nelson back next season,” said sporting director Nick De Santis. “After the retirement of Alessandro Nesta, it was important to have another center back on the roster. We know he has not played a lot in his first two seasons but he has been healthy for months now. We have to do everything in our power to help him stay healthy going forward.”

“Nelson is still at a good age and is a player with power and strength. He also brings that intimidation factor on the field. He is very motivated and wants to prove that we have not made a mistake by signing him and that he can be a very good player in MLS.”

Meanwhile, right back Eric Miller was a player that L’Impact were looking at but they needed to get ahead of the Vancouver Whitecaps. So a trade needed to be made, where they got the No. 5 pick and FC Dallas received the 10th, allocation money and a 2014 international roster spot.

“If you look at Vancouver, Y.P. Lee retired and they needed a right back, but it wasn’t only Vancouver and they didn’t talk to us,” De Santis told’s Olivier Tremblay. “But we knew they did need such a player. And three teams also told us that he was their first pick as well.

“Looking at our team, we wanted a very versatile player in defense with good technical and physical attributes. He’s quick and he has a good soccer IQ. Was it a costly deal? No; he’s a Generation adidas player, and we think he’ll be a very good player in this league.”

“I’m not too sure what they expect of me at this point, but I expect to go in right away and contribute, try and work hard, earn minutes or at least be on the bench,” Miller said of being selected by Montreal. “If not, I’m going to be working hard every day to improve myself as a professional, and hopefully be able to contribute to the club.”

Tags: MLS Montreal Impact

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