Impact captain Biello to retire
Montreal Impact captain Mauro Biello will announce his retirement Thursday, Radio-Canada Sports reported Tuesday.
Biello, 37, had given himself three months to consider his future with the team following its victory against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Oct. 17 to claim the championship of the United Soccer Leagues' First Division.
A news conference is planned for 1:00 p.m ET Thursday at Saputo Stadium. Impact president Joey Saputo, technical director Nick De Santis and head coach Marc Dos Santos are expected to be present.
The decision isn’t altogether surprising. The night of the team's victory, the crowd at Montreal’s Saputo Stadium gave Biello a lengthy standing ovation when he stepped on to the field in the 80th minute of play.
"Having been lifted up by the guys, the USL cup in his hands, at home, in front of his fans — it is a dream situation," Dos Santos said following the championship game. "After the ovation, Mauro told me that he played the last 10 minutes with tears in his eyes."
The veteran of 16 seasons with the team had been considering retirement for some time — a first step having been taken with his being named a player-coach this season.
Dos Santos said Biello has played an important role of leadership on the team.
"He is close to the players, he loves the team. He brings light and positive energy everywhere he goes."
At the age of 18, Biello was drafted by the Montreal Supra. He joined the USL with the Impact in 1993. In his 372 USL games — 344 with the Impact and 28 with the Rochester Raging Rhinos — Biello scored 80 goals.