French center back Zakaria Diallo joins Impact

Diallo communiqué

He was named to the Ligue 2 Team of the Year in 2016-17

MONTREAL - The Montreal Impact announced on Saturday that it has come to terms on a two-year deal with French center back Zakaria Diallo. His acquisition will be confirmed after he receives his international transfer certificate and undergoes his medical.

“The goal with Zakaria’s arrival is to strengthen the team in central defence,” said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. “I am pleased with his recruitment because he has the athletic and technical profile I was looking for.”

“We are happy to have agreed on a two-year contract with Zakaria,” said technical director Adam Braz. “He was considered one of the best defenders in Ligue 2 last season. His experience and quality make him a welcome addition to our defensive line.”

“I’m very happy to join the Montreal Impact,” said Diallo. “It’s a dream come true for me because I’ve always wanted to play in MLS. I’m excited for this new challenge in Montreal.”

Diallo, 31, spent the most of his career in Ligue 2, appearing in 135 games, including 125 starts, and 11,176 minutes of play in six seasons, from 2012 to 2017. He successively played with Dijon FCO, AC Ajaccio and Stade Brestois. He was named to the Ligue 2 Team of the Year following the 2016-17 season with Brest, scoring three goals in 35 games, including 33 starts, and 2,985 minutes.

Born in Équemeauville, France, from Senegalese descent, he was developed at Havre AC and made his professional debut in 2009-10 with Beauvais in the Championnat National, France’s third division. He then played six games with Charleroi in the Jupiler Pro League, Belgium’s top division, in 2010-11.

He started three games in Ligue 1 with Dijon FCO in 2011-12, and remained with the team in the second division after its relegation. He recorded three Ligue 2 seasons with at least 33 starts and 2,800 minutes of play, in 2013-14 with Dijon, in 2015-16 with AC Ajaccio and in 2016-17 with Brest.

He also started 15 Coupe de France games and appeared in six Coupe de la Ligue games.

Transaction: The Montreal Impact has come to terms on a two-year deal with center back Zakaria Diallo.

Position: Defender
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 196 lbs
Birthdate and birthplace: August 13, 1986, in Équemauville, France
Citizenship: France
Last club: Stade Brestois (France)
Date acquired: January 20, 2018