MONTREAL - The Montreal Impact will have their top scorer back next season.
The Impact announced Tuesday that they will exercise the contract option on designated player Marco Di Vaio, and that the star Italian forward has agreed to return with the club in 2014.
"I am very pleased to be back with the Impact in 2014," said Di Vaio in a statement. "After discussions with my family, it was clear that I wanted to keep playing and I am happy to be in Montreal for another season."
In his second Major League Soccer season, Di Vaio leads the league in scoring with 19 goals. He also tops the league in shots on goal and is tied for second with five game-winning markers.
"We are extremely pleased that Marco decided to stay with us," said Impact president Joey Saputo. "He is a player that has lived up to the expectations we had when we brought him in as our first ever designated player."
Di Vaio, who has four multiple goal games this season, is one of just six players to have recorded a hat trick this season, a feat he accomplished May 25 against the Philadelphia Union. He also took part in the MLS all-star game.
Before joining the Impact, Di Vaio was a star in Italy's Serie A, where he scored 142 goals in 342 games with several teams, including Lazio and Juventus.