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Montreal Impact relieve Nick De Santis of sporting director role


The last-place Montreal Impact have been mired in their unsuccessful ways long enough for president Joey Saputo.

In the midst of a five-game losing streak that has the club at 3-12-5 and 10 points out of the MLS playoff places, Saputo relieved Nick De Santis of his role as sporting director, the club announced on Wednesday. He will remain with the club in an administrative capacity.

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"In business, the most difficult decisions to make are those made involving emotions," Impact president Joey Saputo said in a club statement. "This is why, today, I am forced to make this decision with a heavy heart. After 20 years of being part of the technical team as a player, successful coach and GM, it gives me great sadness to announce that Nick De Santis has been relieved from his functions.

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"I want to thank Nick for his dedication. He was a key element and architect of the organization, and one of the reasons we are in the MLS today. He's acted as not only a great advisor, but was also a friend. However, we are in a results based business. Since July 2013, the results are not at the level of our expectations."

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Saputo is not, however, axing manager Frank Klopas, and has instead assured his place for the 2015 season while giving him personnel control. The Impact traded for one of Klopas' former players, Dilly Duka, acquiring him from the Chicago Fire on Tuesday.

Klopas is Montreal's third manager in three seasons in MLS. Jesse Marsch and Marco Schallibaum each lasted one season. Schallibaum led the Impact to the postseason in 2013, but after the club started 9-3-2, it slumped to a 5-10-5 mark the rest of the way and was ousted by the Houston Dynamo in the wildcard round of the playoffs.