Before signing the player, the Impact were able to see Paponi showcase his skills in a two-week trial period in Montreal. Sporting director Nick De Santis also saw Paponi at work in November, when the Impact played Bologna in a post-season friendly match in Italy, where Paponi scored the only goal in 1-0 win for the hosts.
De Santis said on Friday via an Impact press release that Paponi will be able to bring a different dimension to the Impact’s offense.
“He is a player that can add a lot of offensive depth to our roster,” De Santis said. "He has qualities and a profile that differ from Marco Di Vaio and Andrew Wenger. He plays well with his back to goal, he’s very intense and possesses many characteristics required to be an MLS player. He is still very young and could become an important piece of this team in the future.”
The native of Ancona will join the Impact on loan until Dec. 31. As per Bologna FC's website, the deal also includes a purchase option so that the Impact may acquire the player indefinitely in 2014.
From 2005 to 2012, Paponi played 16 games in Serie A with Parma and Bologna, as well as 36 games in Serie B with AC Cesena and AC Rimini. He also featured in six games in the 2006/2007 UEFA Cup where Parma was knocked out in the Round of 32 by Portuguese side Braga.
On the international scene, Paponi had four caps with the Under-20 Italian national team.