Montreal Impact decline option on veteran Camara, pick up options on 10 others

Montreal Impact decline option on veteran Camara, pick up options on 10 others

Main pic: Montreal Impact forward Didier Drogba, right, and New York Red Bulls defender Damien Perrinelle compete for the ball during the first half of an MLS soccer match Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, in Harrison, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez).

MONTREAL — The Montreal Impact have declined the contract option on veteran defender Hassoun Camara.

Camara played for four seasons in Montreal, but was limited to nine Major League Soccer regular-season appearances after missing much of the season with a knee injury.

Camara made 89 career MLS appearances, including 82 starts, with the Impact. The native of France started all 32 MLS games for Montreal in 2013.

The Impact also declined the option on forward Kenny Cooper. Once a prolific striker, Cooper barely got the chance to play for Montreal after being claimed off waivers from Seattle. Cooper suffered a season-ending knee injury in his first Impact start — a May 13 Amway Canadian Championship game against Toronto FC.

Cooper has 75 goals in 175 MLS games, but his production has declined since scoring 19 goals with the New York Red Bulls in 2012.

The Impact exercised options on goalkeepers Evan Bush, Eric Kronberg and Maxime Crepeau, defenders Donny Toia, Wandrille Lefevre and Eric Miller, midfielders Kyle Bekker, Eric Alexander and Maxim Tissot and forward Anthony Jackson-Hamel.

Midfielder Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare and forward Dominic Oduro have also signed new deals with the club.

The Impact’s core stars — defender Laurent Ciman, midfielder Ignacio Piatti and forward Didier Drogba — are already under contract for 2016.

Veteran midefielder and captain Patrice Bernier along with defender Ambroise Oyongo, midfielders Marco Donadel, Calum Mallace, Nigel Reo-Coker, Andres Romero and Johan Venegas and forward Romario Williams are also under contract.

“We are very pleased to confirm that our club will be able to count on the core and depth that brought us a lot of success in 2015,” said Impact technical director Adam Braz in a statement. “We are nonetheless continuously looking to improve our roster.”

The club said it is in contact with out-of-contract forward Cameron Porter and that midfielders Justin Mapp and Dilly Duka have both received new offers from after their contracts expired at the end of the 2015 season.

The club said is also in discussions to try and bring back defender Victor Cabrera, who was on loan with the Impact last season from Argentine club River Plate.

The Canadian Press

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