MONTREAL — The Montreal Impact signed former Arsenal and Manchester City right back Bacary Sagna for the rest of the 2018 season, with an option for 2019, the MLS club announced Wednesday.
Sagna, 35, played 10 seasons in the English Premier League. The French international was named to the Professional Footballers’ Association team of the year in 2007-08 and 2010-11.
“I’m very happy of Bacary’s arrival,” Impact coach Remi Garde said in a statement. “He’s a player with a great career who’s still very motivated to come and help the Impact defy its end-of-season challenge.
“His personality, experience, and overall game will be a plus for our team.”
Sagna played seven seasons for Arsenal, helping the London club win the FA Cup in 2013 and 2014.. He joined Manchester City in 2014 for three seasons, finishing runner-up in the league in 2014-15 before winning the League Cup in 2015-16.
At the international level, Sagna earned 65 caps with the French national team. He appeared in the 2010 and 2014 World Cups and the Euro 2016, in which he played every minute including the final against Portugal.
He spent the second half of the 2017-18 season with Benevento in Italy.
The Sens, France, native began his pro career with Auxerre in 2004.
Before signing Sagna, the Impact acquired an international roster spot from the Portland Timbers for $50,000 in general allocation money. Undisclosed future considerations could add $40,000 to the total.
Right back has been a trouble spot for the Impact this season that Sagna’s talent and experience could fix. With Zakaria Diallo about to return from an Achilles heel injury, the club will be deep on defence with centrebacks Rod Fanni and Rudy Camacho as well as left backs Daniel Lovitz and Jukka Raitala already in place.
The Impact also acquired forward Quincy Amarikwa from the San Jose Earthquakes for little-used striker Dominic Oduro and added defensive midfielder Micheal Azira from the Colorado Rapids for a 2020 fourth round draft pick.
Azira, a Uganda international, has his U.S. green card and does not need an international roster spot. The 30-year-old has played five seasons in MLS with Seattle and Colorado, appearing in 91 regular season games.
Amarikwa, 30, has two assists in 14 games this season. The American has 24 goals and 19 assists in 190 MLS regular-season games, including 91 starts. He has also played for the Colorado Rapids, Toronto FC, and the Chicago Fire.
He was nominated for the MLS comeback player of the year award in 2017, after suffering a serious knee injury in 2016.
Oduro, 32, played four seasons with the Impact, posting 15 goals and six assists in 89 regular-season games. He stood out especially during the Impact’s run to the Eastern Conference final in 2016.
However, he was out of favour with Garde from the outset and was used sparingly this season.