Sounders head coach will be able to greet his first opposite number of the season in his native language after Montreal Impact appointed Swiss Marco Schällibaum as their new head coach.
Schällibaum was introduced to the Montreal press by club president Joey Saputo and sporting director Nick De Santis.
The 50-year-old coached for almost 10 years in the Swiss Super League for FC Basel, Berne Young Boys, Servette FC (Geneva), FC Sion, FC Schaffhausen and AC Bellinzona. He led the BSC Young Boys and Servette FC to consecutive UEFA Cup qualifications in 2002-2003 and the following year, respectively.
Most recently in 2011 and 2012, he was appointed by FIFA as a coaching instructor, most notably in Qatar, Mongolia and South Korea. He obtained his UEFA Pro coaching certification in 2002 and speaks four languages: German, French, Italian and English.
On the club website, he said the traditional things:
“I am very pleased and proud to be the head coach of the Montreal Impact,” said Schällibaum. “From our very first discussion, I felt confidence with the management. The club is passionate about the game, like me, and is made up of people who are passionate as well and who want to go in the same direction.
I watched a few of the team’s games from last season on video. We have a good roster with quality players and I saw a lot on character on the field. I will do all I can to help this team win.”
He will reunite with Brazilian Felipe who he coached at Italian-Swiss club Lugano.
“He is a very emotional person who puts everything he has into the team,” explained Felipe on the club site.
“I think he is the right coach to help us win this year because his philosophy will fit with the players we have here. Hopefully, he can help the Impact make the playoffs.”
His first test will be at Century Link Field on March 2 where Sounders FC will seek revenge for a 4-1 loss in Montreal last year.
Pronunciation guide: Shay-lee-bowm