Montreal Impact sign Didier Drogba

didier-drogba

by RYAN BRISTER
MLS Writer

Didier Drogba, a living legend for Chelsea and the Ivory Coast national team, has signed with the Montreal Impact.

In Drogba, Montreal is getting one of the best scorers in Premier League history. He amassed 104 Premier League goals for Chelsea in his nine seasons with the club, and played a key role in their 2012 Champions League triumph. Drogba’s 65 international goals make him the all-time top scorer for the Ivory Coast. He scored goals for his country at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, albeit both times in losing efforts.

Drogba has long been linked to Major League Soccer, but this is the first time they’ve been able to get his signature. His contract is reportedly worth more than $3 million a year over the next 18 months.

At 37, there are questions about what Drogba can still provide. In 40 games for Chelsea last year across all competitions, Drogba scored 7 goals, and only four of those in the Premier League. Some critics have pointed out that this move would have been a bigger deal for MLS if it had been done in 2012, when Drogba went to China instead

But for Montreal, Drogba is a star of the sorts the club has never had before. He provides them with a physical presence at the striker position, and should help them to replace the scoring prowess of Marco di Vaio, who retired after last season. Midfielder Ignacio Piatti currently leads the team with six goals, and half of his total has come from the penalty spot.

Per MLS’s “discovery rule,” the Chicago Fire held the right of first refusal to Drogba. But as the Ivorian was set on moving to a Francophone city, the Fire were eventually made to relent in their pursuit. This is the second time in two summers that the Fire have missed out on signing a big name DP. Last year, their attempts to sign Jermaine Jones were foiled by a “blind draw,” which sent him to the Revolution instead.

This time, however, Chicago received significant compensation for allowing Drogba to go elsewhere. The Impact reportedly sent $250,000 in allocation money to the Fire in exchange for his rights. Chicago quickly turned around and signed former Toronto striker Gilberto. The Brazilian scored seven goals in 28 games for TFC last year

  • redbulls rob

    As a redbulls fan, this is getting tough to take.

  • Sammy the Red Bull

    Drogba, even at his age and complete lack of mobility these days will still score in MLS, provided he gets decent service. The thing about Di Vaio was that his movement, even at 39/40 was still really good, Drogba is a completely different type of striker.

    Also the MLS “discovery rule” may be the single dumbest rule I have ever heard of.