Montreal signs goalkeeper Kristian Nicht ahead of CCL final 2nd leg
The Montreal Impact have solved their goalkeeper conundrum ahead of the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final.
The Impact signed German veteran Kristian Nicht from the NASL's Indy Eleven on Monday night, and he is in contention to start the biggest match in club history Wednesday night in front of more than 60,000 at Montreal's Olympic Stadium. The Impact are nursing an away-goal edge on Club America after a 1-1 draw in the first leg at Estadio Azteca.
At the end of the match, goalkeeper Evan Bush received a yellow card, which ruled him out for the second leg through card accumulation. With the club's backup, Erik Kronberg, cup-tied to Sporting Kansas City, and third goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau out injured, the Impact only had on-loan FC Edmonton goalkeeper John Smits available for the second leg.
"We are very pleased to acquire an experienced goalkeeper who is having success this season and who has had success in the past," Impact technical director Adam Braz said in a statement. "We know he will integrate within the group with ease as he's spent a few weeks with us during training camp as well as for games in Mexico and Olympic Stadium."
Nicht had been on loan with the Impact for a month this winter for previous CCL knockout matches to provide cover behind Bush, so he has familiarity with the club. The 33-year-old was USL Pro's Goalkeeper of the Year in 2012 for the Rochester Rhinos, which followed a career in his native Germany in the first and second divisions.
The signing ends all speculation to the unorthodox one-game loan that the Impact were reportedly considering for the Chicago Fire's Sean Johnson.