Marco Di Vaio scored in his final professional soccer game to help the Montreal Impact to a one-all draw against D.C. United at Saputo Stadium Saturday Afternoon.
But few will remember the score. Few will remember that Fabian Espindola scored a wonderful goal in the 86th minute to tie the match. Few will remember that Calum Mallace was cautioned in the 40th minute or that D.C. United out shot Montreal.
No, this night, or afternoon – heck, why not give him a whole day – was Marco Di Vaio’s.
The 15,242 fans in attendance who stuck it out on a miserable, rainy day will remember Di Vaio walking off the pitch, one last time, to an incredible ovation.
His substitution in the final minute of second half stoppage time was symbolic of a passing of the torch in the Montreal Impact organization.
The 38-year-old Di Vaio, with his 230 career professional goals in 500+ games, gave way for Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare, a 19-year-old midfielder whom the Impact signed from the youth academy earlier this season. Some speculate the Gagnon-Lapare could be the future of the Montreal franchise.
The fans and television audience who tuned in to celebrate the outstanding career of a world-class player and individual will definitely remember the goal.
It was a typical Di Vaio strike and was actually made possible by the poor weather.
Firstly, United defender Chris Korb slipped on the wet pitch and his pass was intercepted by Issey Nakajima-Farran. Farran pocked the ball forward, where it took a weird bounce off the grass and another United defender sent a weak header straight to Dilly Duka.
Duka one-touched it through for Di Vaio, who was already on his horse and gone. There were numerous cries for offside from D.C., but the flag stayed down. As fans all over the world have seen him do time and time again, MDV out-paced his man and slotted a calm finish into the bottom corner.
Fittingly, it was #9’s ninth goal of the year.
Since he announced his retirement, we’ve been saying it time and time again, the man can still play.
Frank Klopas had this to say about his now former striker after the game.
Oct 25, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Impact forward Marco Di Vaio (9) poses with fans after the game against D.C. United at the Stade Saputo. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
“It was an emotional game, but we wanted to come out and end the season in a positive way and finish off with a win,” said the head coach, who now has the tough task of trying to replace Di Vaio. “The guys gave everything out on the field and Marco scored a great goal, so in the end it’s a special and sad day.”
Grande Marco agreed with his manager;
“It was a lot of emotions for me to share this goal and game today with my parents, family, colleagues, staff and the fans. It was incredible for me and I am very happy that I scored and that we played well
In the end, I think I speak for Montreal Impact fans and soccer fans the world over when I say;
Thank you Marco.