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MONTREAL -- The Montreal Impact hope a pair of major signings show their intent to win Major League Soccer championships now and in the future. After inking a second designated player in Argentine midfielder Hernan Bernardello, the club boosted its central defence Friday with the acquisition of Wigan Athletic defender Adrian Lopez of Spain. Neither will be ready to play against Eastern Conference leader Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night, but the Impact are counting on the two 26-year-olds to add skill and experience for the MLS playoff run and the CONCACAF Champions League. You can see the Impact face Kansas City on TSN2 and TSN Mobile TV beginning at 7pm et/4pm pt. "These two players will be key for this year and for the future," said sporting director Nick De Santis. "They both played at the top level in Spain and England and they are very motivated to come to the Impact and to MLS." The Impact (9-5-5) are second in the conference despite a five-game winless run. They are four points behind Kansas City (10-5-6), but hold two games in hand. Sporting has won three in a row and is undefeated in six games, but its last loss was a 2-1 setback to Montreal in Kansas City on June 17. There has been bad blood between the teams this season. Coach Marco Schallibaum was ejected at half time of that game for stepping onto the field. He had also been suspended after a 2-0 loss in Kansas City in March. The Impact will have their first designated player, striker Marco Di Vaio, back in the lineup. His finishing was missed in a 0-0 draw with Dallas last week while he was attending to a family matter in Italy. Kansas City is missing its two central defenders, as Matt Besler is with the U.S. national squad while Aurelien Collin is serving a one-game suspension. "They are two good players, but the others have done good work," said Schallibaum. "They won their last match. "When a player gets a chance to show what he can do hes very motivated. Its a good team and theyre not in first place by chance." Schallibaum said it should take Bernardello and Lopez a week to 10 days of training with the team before they will play in a match. The Impact have been questioned for recruiting older stars from Europe like 37-year-olds Di Vaio and Alessandro Nesta, or 34-year-old Matteo Ferrari. The two newcomers are in the prime of their careers. De Santis said the older players have helped set a high standard and brought credibility to the team, but now the focus is on high quality players who will help in the long term. "To have two 26-years-olds in key positions, in the spine of the team, that can be the future of the team, were extremely proud, happy and excited," he said. It had to boost hopes in the dressing room as well that ownership opened the purse strings to bring in some talent and experience. "Its important that were able to bring players of a certain level and a certain age," said president and owner Joey Saputo. "These are players that can be here a while and can augment the level of the league. "That were able to do it is great. For the longest time, teams like L.A. and New York have brought in great players, so theres no reason we cant do the same." Both players hope to stay in Montreal long term, rather than to bide time before signing with a European club. Bernardellos arrival will likely allow Patrice Bernier to move into a more offensive role, although it may bump another defensive midfielder, Collen Warner, down the depth chart. Two other midfielders, Calum Mallace and Sinisa Ubiparipovic, had earlier been loaned to Minnesota of the NASL. The lanky Lopez allows Schallibaum to give Nesta and Ferrari some rest with a busy schedule in the next three months. De Santis has compared Bernardellos style of play to hard man Gennaro Gattuso, whose fierce tackling was a staple on AC Milan and Italy squads in the 1990s. Bernardello, who played three years with Almaria in Spains top division, plays a defensive midfield position, recovering balls and launching the attack. "He puts a lot of passion and emotion into every game," said De Santis. "He covers a lot of ground. Hes the link between the defence and the offence." Lopez, from Spain, played with Deportivo de La Coruna in La Liga and in the English Premier League with 2013 FA Cup winner Wigan. "I came to MLS to stay in MLS," said Lopez. "Im not thinking about going back to Europe because I think the product in MLS is going to be amazing. "In my point of view, in three years MLS is going to be a top league, so Im looking forward to staying here to be part of that project to become one of the best leagues in the world." Both will need time to find their conditioning and to adapt. Di Vaio joined Montreal midway through last season and struggled in his first month or two. "Its train hard and, when you have to play a match, try your best," added Lopez. "Its always the same, whether its the middle of the season or the start." The Impact needed help in the central defence because Colombian Nelson Rivas bad knee has been slow to heal. He has yet to play this season. To maintain their 11 roster spots for foreign players, Rivas and Maximiliano Rodriguez were placed on injured reserve this week. Rob Gronkowski Patriots Jersey . Ancelotti says Ronaldo has recovered from a hamstring injury but "but he doesnt feel comfortable yet so we wont risk him." Madrid is third in the Spanish league, six points behind leader Barcelona, going into Saturdays game against Valladolid. Andre Tippett Youth Jersey . He just needed to be his best twisting, turning acrobatic self. "I didnt need to be anybody else, I just needed to be myself and be aggressive," said Burks, who scored a career-high 34 points to spark the Utah Jazz to a 118-103 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night. http://www.shoptheofficialpatriots.com/Elite-Steve-Grogan-Patriots-Jersey/ . -- On the field, it was business as usual for Jameis Winston and No. Drew Bledsoe Patriots Jersey .J. -- Pitcher Carl Pavano is retiring after 14 major league seasons. Irving Fryar Womens Jersey . -- Matt Rupert scored once in regulation and again in the shootout as the London Knights extended their win streak to nine games by defeating the Owen Sound Attack 4-3 on Friday in Ontario Hockey League action. NEW YORK -- The two young guys will be under center for the New York Jets preseason finale.Coach Todd Bowles announced that probably both second-year quarterback Bryce Petty and rookie Christian Hackenberg will play against Philadelphia on Thursday night, with backup Geno Smith sitting out.Bowles had said on Monday that he wasnt sure if Smith would also play, but ultimately decided he wanted to give the inexperienced quarterbacks game action. Smith, a former starter for the Jets, is expected to back up Ryan Fitzpatrick for the second straight season.Id like to see more of the other two guys, Bowles said during a conference call Tuesday. Playing Geno would hinder that chance, so I wanted to see the other two guys play a full amount of time. This should be a perfect opportunity to do it.The coach had not yet determined if both Petty, a fourth-rounder last year, and Hackenberg, a second-rounder this year, will each play a half.Ill try to even it out, Bowles said. I want to see who is kind of running the ball more. Id like to get them a couple of passes in, but Ill try to even it out as best I can.The Jets have entertained the idea of going into the regular season with four quarterbacks on their roster, something that is not very common because of the restrictions of having only 53 players in the regular season.But both Fitzpatrick and Smith are likely to become free agents after this season, and Petty and Hackenberg are considered projects who need some time to develop.All four are good football players, Bowles said. We can keep all four. Its just a matter of battling with the other positions, so thats still up for grabs and well have to wait until after this game to see how that plays out.Petty was considered the likely odd-man out going into training camp, but he has had some good moments in camp and in the preseason.dddddddddddd The former Baylor star has played in all three games, going 28 of 50 for 394 yards with two touchdowns and an interception that was returned for a score by the Giants last Saturday.Hackenberg didnt play in the first two games, but had an up-and-down NFL debut against the Giants. He capped his first drive with a touchdown pass, but also threw an interception on a tipped toss that led to the go-ahead points in the Jets 21-20 loss.Because hes the No. 4 quarterback on the depth chart, theres a chance Hackenberg might not play in a game again until next preseason. Hes not thinking that way, though, especially when he sees fellow rookie Dak Prescott, a fourth-rounder, in line to start for the Cowboys after an injury to Tony Romo.You look at the situation down in Dallas right now, youre two snaps or three snaps away from playing, Hackenberg said. For me, whatever happens, happens and its out of my control, but I still need to stay in that mindset and mind frame where Im preparing the best that I can each week.Game notes Bowles said there is no concern about WR Brandon Marshalls sore hip, which kept him out against the Giants. He also hasnt practiced since last week. ... Bowles acknowledged that the Jets could keep all three of their promising rookie wide receivers: seventh-rounder Charone Peake and undrafted Jalin Marshall and Robby Anderson. I mean, its possible, the coach said. Theyve all had their flashes in games. Its possible. ... WR Quincy Enunwa was without his red no-contact jersey on during practice, so it appears he has fully recovered from a concussion.---AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL ' ' '

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