The Montreal Impact will play friendly matches against Serie-A clubs Bologna and Fiorentino on a post-season tour of Italy, the Major League Soccer club announced Friday.
The Nov. 5-17 trip will see Impact designated player Marco Di Vaio face his former team Bologna on Nov. 8. The club will travel to Florence to play Fiorentino on Nov. 15.
”This trip will give us the opportunity to extend our season by three weeks and cut down on the down time prior to the opening of training camp for the 2013 season,” Impact sporting director Nick De Santis said in a statement.
”We would like to thank the two clubs for giving us the opportunity to organize these games, despite the fact that they are in mid-season of their championships. This trip will also help us forge a stronger relationship with two prestigious organizations and could open doors for players wishing to play in North America one day.”
Di Vaio scored 65 goals in 143 matches with Bologna FC from 2008 to 2012.
”It will be an honour and a pleasure to see Marco once again and meet his new teammates,” said Bologna president Albano Guaraldi. ”For everything Marco Di Vaio meant to Bologna, the city and its team, we are very pleased to be able to spend an afternoon celebrating with him.”
The Impact have a strong Italian presence, including former national team defenders Alessandro Nesta and Matteo Ferrari. Defender Nelson Rivas, midfielder Felipe Martins and striker Bernardo Corradi also played in Italy, although all three are out with long-term injuries.
The Impact, who are eliminated from the MLS playoffs, visit Toronto FC on Saturday and end the regular season Oct. 27 at home against New England.