Canadian midfielder Bernier signs final one-year contract with Impact

Canadian midfielder Bernier signs final one-year contract with Impact

Montreal Impact captain Patrice Bernier responds to questions after announcing that he signed a new one-year contract with the club as team president Joey Saputo looks on during a news conference Monday, January 16, 2017 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson.

MONTREAL — Midfielder Patrice Bernier has signed to play one last season with the Montreal Impact.

The MLS club announced Monday that the 37-year-old from Brossard, Que., will play this season and then become a coach in the team’s academy next year.

“I am very excited to be able to finish my playing career at home with the Impact,” said Bernier. “I am proud that this will be my 18th professional season, including nine with the Impact.

“For my last season, I will give everything for the club and the city, with a hope that we finish with the MLS Cup.”

Bernier became his pro career with the Impact in the early 2000s. He played nine seasons in Europe and returned when the club joined MLS in 2012.

He was the team’s most valuable player in its expansion season in MLS. While his playing time diminished in recent seasons, he ended the 2016 campaign in the starting lineup as the Impact went to the Eastern Conference final.

Bernier has 13 goals and 21 assists in 124 MLS games, including 92 starts. He is first in MLS club history for games played, game-winning assists (10) and penalty-kick goals (10) and is second for starts and minutes of play.

“It was important for us that Patrice finishes his career here with our club,” said technical director Adam Braz. “We’re also pleased to be able to integrate him as an academy coach starting in 2018.

“He will be the eighth former Impact player to have such a role within the club, which demonstrates a very clear philosophy when it comes to the make-up of our technical staff.”

The Canadian Press

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