Soccer

Impact lands Nelson Rivas

The Montreal Impact have made former Inter Milan defender Nelson Rivas their first player under contract for the jump to Major League Soccer.
Nelson Rivas, left, reportedly signed Monday with the Impact as a designated player. ((Massimo Cebrelli/Getty Images))

The Montreal Impact have made former Inter Milan defender Nelson Rivas their first player under contract for the jump to Major League Soccer.

The 28-year-old Colombian joined Inter from River Plate in 2007 on a 7.5-million euros (C$10.5 million) transfer. He made 28 appearances for the Serie A side, helping the club to two Italian league titles.

He and Inter mutually agreed to end his contract on Aug. 31.

Rivas was loaned to Italian club Livorno in 2009-10 and spent time on loan to Dnipro of Ukraine this year. His last game for Inter was Jan. 12 against Genoa in Italian Cup play.

"This is a big challenge and new reality for me to join a league that is becoming more important worldwide," Rivas said in a statement.

Salary details were not announced. However, a team spokesman said he will not be a designated player, or one who is allowed to earn more than the league's salary cap for an individual player.

Montreal is set to join Major League Soccer in 2012, becoming the third Canadian team in the league after Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The Impact also hired former Seattle Sounder Preston Burpo as goakeepers coach, bumping Youssef Dahha to coaching the keepers of the team's under-21 development squad.

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