The Toronto native joins the Impact from English club Queens Park Rangers F.C.
After six years abroad, Michael Petrasso is finally coming home.
Petrasso was just 16 years old when he left Canada to sign a contract with English club Queens Park Rangers F.C. The young Canadian stayed with the club for six years, while also playing for four other English clubs while on loan. Now, at 22 years old, Petrasso decided it was time to come play soccer at home.
“Coming back to play in Canada is a major plus,” said Petrasso. “Being home is very special for me, considering all my friends and family can come watch me. I’m so excited that it’s with the Impact. My mom said she was going to come to every home game, so I think they’re excited too.”
Petrasso’s path is similar in sorts to the one of another Impact player, Samuel Piette, who also developed in Europe for a few years before joining the Bleu-blanc-noir in the summer. The two Impact players have been friends since they were kids and were excited to find out they’ll be on the same team in 2018.
“We’ve been friends for a very long time, and we also played together at the U17 level for Canada,” said Petrasso. “I messaged him once the news was about to come out, and he was very excited. We’ve been hanging out since I got here.”
Piette has no doubt that his Canadian international teammate would have no trouble adjusting to MLS.
“His trajectory at QPR was good and he managed to play quite a few games over there,” said Piette. “I’ve known him for a very long time. With Team Canada, he had an excellent Gold Cup. I think he could really help this team to bring the play forward, which is something he does well. I think it’s a very good addition to the team.”
Petrasso, despite never having played in MLS, liked watching games on TV from the United Kingdom whenever he had the chance. Although he’s been told about the league’s increased level of athleticism, he thinks it’s something that fits his style of play even more.
“My style of play is direct and fast,” added Petrasso. “I’m energetic on the field and quick, and I use that as much as I can. I’m pretty sure I could keep up with the athleticism in this league, but I could see how it might be different in some respects compared to the game in England.”
With the acquisition of Petrasso, the Montreal Impact adds another layer of Team Canada to its roster. Raheem Edwards, traded to Montreal from Los Angeles FC, is also a member of the Canadian Men’s National Team, with Anthony Jackson-Hamel, David Choinière, James Pantemis, and of course, Samuel Piette, all having been called up by the national side as well.
“I think it’s good to have a lot of young, Canadian internationals playing in the same group, because obviously the more you play with each other, the more you get used to each other,” explained Petrasso. “I think it could really help our Canadian team. As you saw in our past Gold Cup experience, we’re developing fast and we’re using a lot of younger players.”