Montreal signs Ciman to extension through 2018

Montreal Impact's Laurent Ciman. (Graham Hughes/CP)

Impact sign defender Ciman to contract extension

The Montreal Impact knows they have a good thing in Laurent Ciman.

The Belgian international was a key member of a Montreal side that reached the Eastern Conference semifinals last season and was named Major League Soccer’s defender of the year for 2015. He was also selected to the MLS Best XI, and featured in the mid-season All-Star Game against Premier League side Tottenham.

Little wonder, then, that the Impact on Friday announced the signing of Ciman to a one-year contract extension, tying him to the club through the 2018 MLS campaign.

"We are very pleased to have extended Laurent's contract for an extra year," Impact technical director Adam Braz said in a news release.

"Laurent and his family indicated that they felt great in the city and in the club. There was a mutual desire to extend his time with the club."

Terms of the deal were not announced, but it’s likely Ciman received a raise. The Belgian’s salary for 2015 was listed as $401,666.67 US on the MLS players’ union website.

Ciman, 30, hardly looked out of place in the centre of the Impact’s defence during his debut season in MLS. Montreal conceded 44 goals in 2015 with the Belgian quarterbacking the defence, compared 58 the year before his arrival.

In total, Ciman scored two goals and added two assists in 27 regular season appearances, logging 2,405 minutes of playing time. He also started all three games for the Impact in the MLS playoffs.

Locking up Ciman was a smart move by Montreal. Quality central defenders are hard to come by in MLS, especially ones who are comfortable in possession and can spray passes out from the back such as Ciman, who joined Montreal from Belgian club Standard Liege.