Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
He was only the second designated player in club history.
He only lasted eight weeks.
After joining the Impact in July of last year, Hernan Bernardello saw 285 minutes before succumbing to an ankle injury in Week 27. The Argentine would be sidelined until Week 33 before returning and playing all 90 minutes in a 1-0 loss to the New England Revolution.
Continuity and conditioning—like most foreigners who join MLS—played a role Bernardello's acclimation process. But with a full offseason under his belt with the club, the Argentine is more comfortable with his surroundings entering 2014.
Herb Zurkowsky of the Montreal Gazette has the story:
Obviously, I want to step up my game a bit more. Definitely the team is most important and I'll do all I can to help the team win. It feels a lot better this season. Last year, it was something new. Now I know the guys. I feel more comfortable and feel a lot better.
Being "comfortable" on the pitch remains key for the upcoming season.
Despite starting just eight matches last season, Bernardello had two defensive errors that led to attempts. That total was enough to rank him first amongst midfielders, tied with Sam Cronin, Adam Moffat and Matias Laba. Those three, however, had the benefit of playing double the minutes of their counterpart.
The expectations of being a designated player will only increase in 2014. It's on Bernardello's shoulders to meet them.