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Impact acquire striker Paponi on loan from Bologna

The Canadian Press

4/19/2013 5:09:05 PM

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Impact added more Italian flavour on Friday by adding striker Daniele Paponi on loan from Bologna FC.

The first-place Major League Soccer club announced that Paponi, who has been on trial with the Impact, was officially loaned pending receipt of his international transfer certificate.

The 25-year-old is a former teammate of Impact forward Marco Di Vaio and midfielder Andrea Pisanu.

"He is a player that can add a lot of offensive depth to our roster," Impact sporting director Nick De Santis said in a statement. "He has qualities and a profile that differ from (forwards) Marco Di Vaio and Andrew Wenger.

"He plays well with his back to goal, he's very intense and possesses many characteristics required to be an MLS player. He is still very young and could become an important piece of this team in the future."

Paponi was a highly regarded teenager who played four times for Italy's under-20 squad, but who struggled for playing time in the top professional leagues.

He appeared in only 18 games in three seasons with Bologna, including three league matches and one in the Coppa Italia in 2012-13.

The six-foot native of Ascona, Italy, started as a 17-year-old with Parma in 2005. He had one goal in 16 Serie-A games, two goals in seven Serie-B games and two more goals in six UEFA Cup matches over three seasons with the club. He also played 36 games in Serie-B with Cesena and Rimini.

Paponi scored the lone goal in Bologna's 1-0 win over the Impact in a friendly match in November when the team was on a post-season tour of Italy.

He should feel at home on a team with a heavy Italian presence that, as well as Di Vaio and Pisanu, has former Serie-A defenders Alessandro Nesta, Matteo Ferrari and Nelson Rivas. De Santis, team president and owner Joey Saputo and assistant coach Mauro Biello are Canadians of Italian descent.

Multilingual Swiss head coach Marco Schallibaum as well as Brazilian midfielder Felipe Martins and Swiss defender Dennis Iapichino also speak Italian.

The Impact (4-1-1) are in a bye week. Their next game is Wednesday in Toronto for the start of the Amway Canadian Championship. Their next league match is at home April 27 against Chicago.