Nesta signs with Impact

Alessandro Nesta (Getty Images)


The Alessandro Nesta-to-MLS rumors have been swirling for weeks and months, and he finally has a club in the league to call home.

The iconic Italian centerback signed with the Montreal Impact on Thursday, the club announced on Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but what was revealed was that Nesta will not be counted as a Designated Player for the expansion Impact.

The 36-year-old Nesta brings with him a wealth of experience, having won a World Cup with Italy in 2006 and having played in the UEFA Champions League throughout his time in Europe. Nesta will give Montreal a recognizable name to sell to its fans while also providing a capable and talented defender.

In order to acquire Nesta, the Impact had to receive first priority for him from the New York Red Bulls. The Impact gave the Red Bulls allocation money to do so. (UPDATE- Sources close to the situation say the Red Bulls had initially filed a discovery claim for Nesta and, as a result, the Impact needed to acquire first priority to sign him.)

What do you think of the Impact signing Nesta to a non-DP deal? How do you see him faring in Montreal/MLS? Think his name will help sell tickets at Stade Saputo?

Share your thoughts below.

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53 Responses to Nesta signs with Impact

  1. Bobby says:

    And Montreal’s plan to build a team capable of winning the 2003 Serie A continues.

  2. Illmatic74 says:

    One of the great centrebacks of his era. Excellent anticipation and great ability on the ball. I still thought he was good enough to contribute to a Champions League team. The MLS is adding a legend.

  3. Greg says:

    Can we get some clarification as to how the discovery process played into this?

  4. SD says:

    wonder if his back will be able to deal with the turf in montreal and all the travel…i doubt he lasts past this season.

  5. Poulet says:

    It’s natural grass at Stade Saputo.

  6. Ed The Zombie says:

    what the hell are priority rights? MLS is funny man

  7. Weaksauce says:

    So, since nesta isnt a DP, can we see them signing del piero or ballack!

    That would be a deadly team!

  8. Luke says:

    Deadly like one might have a heart attack in the middle of a game?

  9. bryan says:

    seriously, i can’t believe montreal had to get the “ok” from NY to do this. absolutely ridiculous.

    anyway, great signing as a non-DP. glad to see this happen.

  10. Turgid Jacobian says:

    Luke and Bobby bringing the funny

  11. Sabella says:

    Seriously, can someone explain how the Red Bulls were involved?

  12. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    A team capable of winning Serie A in 2003 can at least compete in MLS in 2012.

  13. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    You made me do a LOL.

  14. wides says:

    They didn’t have to get the “ok” from NY, they had to trade up and take their spot in the allocation order.

    Montreal had top spot in the order (which is much like the Waiver wire order in other sports), but used their spot to claim Eddie Johnson and traded him to Seattle. That moved them to the very bottom of the priority list. So, if any of the other 18 teams wanted Nesta, they could’ve grabbed him (I believe). So to prevent this, they traded back to the top of the list.

    In other sports waiver ranking is based on current season standings. In MLS, it’s initially based on the previous season’s results, and it’s a tradable commodity.

  15. wides says:

    Oops, well, I was slightly wrong here.

    Most of that was correct, but generally is for current and former US Men’s National Team players and former MLS players.

    But NY made a discovery claim for Nesta back in December (a shrewd move) thinking he might be interested in coming to MLS this year. So, they did have first rights to sign him. And since MLS is single entity, you can’t just go sign with Montreal, he is signed by MLS as a league and allocated to a team based on the discovery or allocation process. So, NY basically owned the rights to sign him because of their claim, and traded that right to Montreal.

  16. Tony in Quakeland says:

    He visited New York on vacation in 1988. That made him a home grown player

  17. Henry says:

    discovery claims….ugggh more MLS gimmickry!!!

    when will it end?

  18. Henry says:

    allocation order ughhhh…is there no end to MLS’s stupidity?

    this is the global game not tiddlywinks!!!

  19. William Wallace says:

    MLS teams can file Discovery Claims which give them rights to a player. New York sold their rights to Montreal. Just do a Google search for MLS Discovery Player rule.

  20. Good Jeremy says:

    How do they sign a discovery claim? Isn’t that for unknown players and not so much world cup veterans and international legends?

  21. Seriously says:

    Is there no end to your complaining?

    Go follow some other league talk and watch as teams slowly decline and go bankrupt.

  22. Henry says:

    nope…it can be any player.

  23. iheartscotch says:

    ESPN reporting Bradley to Roma is happening. 3 year deal to be signed tomorrow. Little suprised they caught wind of this before Ives.

  24. Joe shmoe says:

    MLS is a stupid league

  25. Joe shmoe says:

    or PE (pulmonary embolism) LOL that’s funny

  26. Joe shmoe says:

    on he left a sh*t in Central Perk in July 1988 that’s how!

  27. Joe shmoe says:

    NY Red Balls will file D. Claims on every player around the world so they can get some change.Pretty stupid MLS rule what idiots run that geriatric league.

  28. Rlw2020 says:


  29. Rlw2020 says:

    I always thought the allocation order was to keep USNT players from returning to the MLS club they want to play for, but it can be for international players too?

    So can my club put a claim on Balotelli just in case he moves here?

  30. Rlw2020 says:

    Yes and how did NY discover him? Did they find him when they were scouting the 2006 World Cup?

  31. Eugene says:

    NY got paid something for essentially nothing, since Nesta wasn’t our player. I’m impressed that NYRB front office has gotten savvy enough to do these kinds of deals in MLS. I hope that allocation money goes towards acquiring a key forward or attacking mid… let’s say a certain DP attacking mid…

  32. United fury says:

    NY put in a discovery claim on Nesta and decided not to sign him. Montreal wanted him and bought his discovery rights. I’d call that more good fortune that Montreal wanted him than savyness by the Red Bull FO. Smart move to put a claim on him but I don’t think they planned this exact scenario in their heads.

  33. Henry says:

    only in McMLS does this discovery claim, allocation, DP nonsense exist.

    single entity needs to end and we need free agency. Until these two things happen MLS isn’t a real league.

  34. kunta kinte says:

    all i’ve seen is you complaining in the whole post… use your daddy’s money and start up you’re own free spending league

  35. Soccer Rules says:

    LOL! Good one.

  36. RBNY says:

    There’s a sucker born every minute… Thanks for the $$$$ Montreal

  37. Marcus says:

    They haven’t proved your point yet…

  38. elgringorico says:


    There’s been tons of info on here about it. It’s just hit weird snags/delays. Everyone knows it’s happening.

  39. Helium-3 says:

    Didn’t Montreal do the same with Etienne Barbara and impeded his transfer to Vancouver?

  40. Cabrito says:

    If Montreal is already having difficulty selling tickets in their first season, that’s hugely disappointing.

  41. soccerroo says:

    Yaeh how do you put a discovery claim on a World Cup winning player? Did they do that back in 1996 when the league started? This is like Christopher Columbus sailing from Spain to Rome and saying I discovered Italy it is now apart of Spain!

  42. The Imperative Voice says:

    Well he apparently disagreed because in a backhanded compliment to MLS he said pre-transfer, paraphrasing, the Italian and European game is too fast for him now. And FWIW ACM has been looking into its options for years dating back to the Gooch signing.

  43. The Imperative Voice says:

    Rangers is looking for a league…

  44. The Imperative Voice says:

    Yes, so it evens out “kinda.” Montreal drafted Ching in expansion, took E. Johnson in allocation, and discovery claimed Barbara. Factually speaking, none of those 3 started the season with the Impact. Editorially speaking, debatable roster strategy, same could be said of their Older Italian penchant. 5-11-3 so far.

  45. The Imperative Voice says:

    In their limited defense, Marsch’s team already will not be as bad as expansion Chivas or 2001 Tampa Bay, the historical lows. And they are arguably not even the worst team in Canada. But TFC needs to keep getting results to avoid that fate….

  46. The Imperative Voice says:

    Montreal “technically” has an average attendance of 30K still because of the Olympic Stadium games. But 2 of the 4 Saputo games have been in the 12K range while the other two were like 20K (Saputo opener) and 14K (TFC). If you like irony it would amuse you that the smaller two crowds would have fit in the pre-expansion Saputo. But in their defense unlike Houston they didn’t get to open in the new stadium which means some of the initial buzz might have been muted by expansion reality before they got into the new home.

    Also, FWIW, a 14K average would still be higher than LAC, Dallas, Columbus, DC, NE, and SJ, and in the neighborhood of Chicago and Colorado. But probably not the Toronto-esque loyalty I think MLS expected….this is running roughly what they would have drawn in the minors just the same (give or take some for the Olympic effect).

  47. Party Pat says:

    MLS has just clarified the Nesta signing. In order to cut down on the number of older players coming to MLS to go into semi retirement being signed as Designated Players, MLS has created a new player designation: RP. Nesta is apparently the first player signed under this new Retirement Player designation.

  48. The Imperative Voice says:

    Re non-DP status, if you are a half-season “rental,” so you only make half your theoretical annual salary, do they pro-rate it to determine, or can you evade the DP rule by picking up the player in July where maybe they only earn $299K for the rest of the season, so to speak?

    To me the low salary suggests either he really wants to play here, or he’s deteriorated enough where he couldn’t command anything.

  49. curmudgeon says:


  50. brian I says:

    Simple yet hilarious…the best kind of funny, made my day after my early morning work day.

  51. DCLee says:

    Tampa joined the league in 1996 and was supporter shield winners so you not sure who you are thinking of as there wasn’t an expansion team in 2001. Tampa and Miami contracted after that season. Perhaps you are thinking of 1998 Miami?

  52. The Imperative Voice says:

    By “expansion Chivas or 2001 Tampa Bay” I meant the expansion version of Chivas and the 2001 pre-contraction version of Tampa Bay. My understand is the final Tampa team before contraction was the worst points in a season in league history followed by the first Chivas team. Both had 4 wins which means however mediocre Montreal is, they could lose the rest and still turn out better (5 wins). I do find questions with their choices — I haven’t seen either the Serie A or the “forward squatting” strategies really work much — but their choices will not have historically-bad results so that is some solace to their fans.

    And at least time being, still better than TFC.

  53. Neal says:

    As a former Mutiny season ticket holder (and current Rowdies) must jump in here. MLS canceled the last few games of the regular season due to terrorist attacks. So, maybe they could’ve scraped out a few more points to close out the season.
    But, yes, that 2001 team was retched…