Preview: Montreal open Stade Saputo 2.0 against Seattle

MONTREAL IMPACT vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
STADE SAPUTO, Montreal, Que.
June 16, 2012 (WEEK 15, MLS Game #127)
7:30 p.m. ET (TSN2/RDS; KONG/KOMO2)

The league's newest stadium built originally for soccer opens in the newest MLS city, as the Montreal Impact play host to Seattle Sounders FC in the grand opening of Stade Saputo. The Impact return to action with a two-game losing streak, coming off a 3-2 loss at the Colorado Rapids. Sounders FC are riding a four-game winless streak of their own after a 1-1 draw at Chivas USA, though they have again reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup.

REFEREE: Mark Geiger. SAR (bench): Adam Wienckowski; JAR (opposite): James Conlee; 4th: Jose Carlos Rivero
MLS Career: 96 games; FC/gm: 26.2; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 21; pens: 32

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INJURY REPORT:

  • MONTREAL IMPACT - OUT: DF Hassoun Camara (R hamstring strain); FW Evan James (nose fracture); QUESTIONABLE: DF Nelson Rivas (L knee sprain)
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC - OUT: FW Babayele Sodade (R knee ACL tear); DOUBTFUL: GK Michael Gspurning (R hip strain); DF Patrick Ianni (lower back pain); DF Leo Gonzalez (L quad strain); DF Adam Johansson (R hamstring strain); MF Steve Zakuani (R leg fracture); QUESTIONABLE: GK Josh Ford (R knee stress fracture)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: SEA: Osvaldo Alonso (through June 17)

WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: MTL: Felipe Martins, Bernardo Corradi, Sanna Nyassi, Tyson Wahl ... SEA: Fredy Montero, Eddie Johnson, Osvaldo Alonso

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME: First meeting.

  • This is the only league meeting between the clubs this season.
  • While the teams are meeting for the first time in Major League Soccer, past editions of the clubs met continuously over a decade while in both the A-League and USL First Division.
  • Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. MTL: first game ... Jesse Marsch vs. SEA: first game

MONTREAL IMPACT

The Montreal Impact return to league play with a two-game losing skid, their last match a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Rapids on May 26 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The Impact are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 12 points from 13 matches.

HIGHLIGHTS: 10-man Colorado win a thriller vs. MTL

LAST MATCH

  • The visitors struck first after just 14 minutes, when midfielder Patrice Bernier took a clever lay-off from Brazilian playmaker Felipe Martins and chipped Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens.
  • Just four minutes after Montreal's opener, Martin Rivero's through ball to Wells Thompson resulted in Thompson taking a hard shoulder from Hassoun Camara in the penalty box, and referee Mark Kadlecik pointed to the spot. Jeff Larentowicz stepped up and drilled the penalty kick into the bottom left corner.
  • Colorado regained the lead in the 39th minute. Defender Drew Moor powered an open header from a Rivero free kick service from 35 yards out to give the home side the 2-1 edge at the half.
  • But just three minutes after the second-half restart, Montreal rookie and 2012 No. 1 SuperDraft pick Andrew Wenger found the net to pull his side even, before the match again took a twist when Tyrone Marshall was sent off in the 61st minute after receiving a second booking.
  • Yet with just seven minutes remaining in regulation, Rivero served a perfect set piece to the far post that substitute Scott Palguta desperately headed across goal. Impact 'keeper Greg Sutton, who himself had come on in the second half, got a hand on it, but the ball skipped atop the crossbar and fell to Jaime Castrillon, who guided it home for the match-winner.
  • Impact head coach Jesse Marsch made three changes to the team that suffered a 2-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls at Olympic Stadium. Hassoun Camara came into the back for Tyson Wahl, and Patrice Bernier and Andrew Wenger started in place of Miguel Montano, Bernardo Corradi.
  • MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Donovan Ricketts (Greg Sutton 66) - Jeb Brovsky, Matteo Ferrari (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 85), Nelson Rivas, Hassoun Camara - Collen Warner, Patrice Bernier - Davy Arnaud (Miguel Montano 74), Felipe Martins, Sanna Nyassi - Andrew Wenger.

TEAM NEWS

Video Tour: Stade Saputo 2.0

  • The Impact have lost back-to-back games for the first time since losing three in a row from March 24-April 4.
  • "We have to start to learn from our mistakes," said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. "We are playing well but we shoot ourselves in the foot. We should have won this game a hundred ways but we walk out with no point. We are a better team than this. Our mistakes kill us."
  • The three goals allowed by the Impact were the most since a 5-2 loss at New York on March 31.
  • "It's difficult to accept because we scored two goals away from home and when you score twice you should get a better result," said team captain Davy Arnaud. "We played well, we moved the ball and we created chances but if you give set piece goals like that, you are going to get punished."
  • Montreal have now allowed four goals from free kicks this season - tied with New England for most in MLS. They have also conceded a league-high four penalties.
  • "If you take out the free kicks and the penalty, they maybe created one chance," Warner said. "It's just disappointing when it happens like that because it's something that's preventable."
  • Making his first professional start, Andrew Wenger, the No. 1 selection overall in this year's SuperDraft, scored his second goal of the season in Montreal 3-2 loss at Colorado on May 26.
  • "It's disappointing because we worked hard, we came back in the game, we scored nice goals but we allowed goals that should have never happened," said Wenger.
  • Wenger was lined up as the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 scheme, which featured Felipe, Warner and Bernier in the heart of the midfield - who had only played 17 minutes together before the Colorado game.
  • "The coach had mentioned putting us out together, but that time hadn't come," Bernier said. "I'd been thinking about this for some time, and today, the way we played in the midfield, it went really well. We controlled most of the game. We'll see as the season goes along, but those two guys I get along well with and we showed some good things despite the result."
  • "I think we have adjusted things a little bit. We've talked all along about finding ways to have Patrice, Felipe and Collen on the field at the same time," Marsch said. "I think that it has looked good when we've done that and it's something that we've spent some time looking at and thinking about here in those three weeks. I think there's a good chance that we move forward with that, but also knowing that whenever we tilt the formation a little bit, we still try to stick to all the things that we've established in our group already and just know that we can tilt things a little bit to get the best out of different guys."
  • Donovan Ricketts, who had played every minute of every league match, was forced from the field in the 66th minute with an injury to his left foot and was replaced by Greg Sutton.
  • Then, in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match vs. Guatemala, Jamaican international Ricketts suffered a lower body injury off the ball and had to come off after just 17 minutes.
  • "Donovan's fine; it was precautionary more than anything else," Marsch said. "He gets back late Thursday night, so we have to evaluate where he's at and also decide whether he'll be ready to go or we go another direction and call on Greg [Sutton] or Evan [Bush]."
  • Marco Di Vaio, the club's newest signing, joined the club in training during the week in advance of the opening of the secondary transfer window. The club on Thursday then announced Bernardo Corradi will be remaining with the club through the end of the season.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

Seattle Sounders FC return to league play with their winless streak now at four games, coming off a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA on May 26 at The Home Depot Center. Sounders FC are in third place in the Western Conference with 24 points from 13 games.

HIGHLIGHTS: Chivas, Seattle finish all even

LAST MATCH

  • Chivas USA took the lead in the 57th minute. Fullback James Riley whipped in a cross and Juan Agudelo leapt over Seattle defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado to head home his first goal for the club.
  • But Seattle equalized just four minutes later. Alex Caskey fired a bounding ball down the left flank that caused center back John Valencia to whiff, leaving David Estrada all the time in the world to beat goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made three changes to the team that suffered a 2-0 loss to the Columbus Crew at CenturyLink Field. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado came into the back for Adam Johansson, and Mauro Rosales and Andy Rose came back into the team for Osvaldo Alonso and Eddie Johnson.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Bryan Meredith - Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch - Mauro Rosales, Andy Rose, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez (Alex Caskey 61) - Fredy Montero (Eddie Johnson 73), David Estrada (Cordell Cato 78).

TEAM NEWS

Sounders Scouting Report: at Impact

  • Sounders FC extended their road undefeated streak to 10 games, dating back to Aug. 6 of last season. It's the second-longest road unbeaten streak in MLS history, behind FC Dallas' 12-game streak from May 1 to Sept. 25, 2010.
  • "We feel very confident on the road, we feel we're going to do well ... we don't change how we play all that much," said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. "(Against Chivas) we changed a little more than normal, I think we played a little more defensive than we normally play on the road just because it was the only option really for us, we needed to keep the ball in front of us. But we always feel very confident on the road."
  • After scoring four goals in the first two games of the season, David Estrada hit the back of the net for the first time with the equalizer at Chivas USA. "It was good for him because he hasn't scored since the second game of the season," Schmid said. "David always works hard. He made some good, hard runs in the box."
  • But Sounders FC this week learned they will be without Estrada for 6-12 weeks after he suffered a broken foot. "He's had a great impact on us this year," Schmid said. "He always gives you that tremendous work rate when he's on the field and we're certainly going to miss that until he gets back onto the field. We just keep plugging away. I try not to dwell on the injuries and just focus on what we need to do."
  • Fredy Montero assisted on Estrada's goal; he now has 4 goals and 3 assists for the year, all over the last seven games, and has a goal or an assist in each of Seattle's last seven goals in MLS play.
  • With Adam Johansson sidelined again, forced off after 61 minutes of the match vs. Columbus, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado returned to the back four to partner Jeff Parke in central defense - who has now started 10 consecutive league matches after not starting the first three. "Those guys had to do yeoman's work," Schmid said.
  • After coming off the substitutes' bench in back-to-back matches, Andy Rose returned to the starting lineup and played the full 90 minutes.
  • "If you look at the record, we still have seven wins and we're still in third place in the West. I don't think it's any moment to think we're in a crisis," said Rose. "Obviously we need to get back to winning ways. It's just a matter of getting back to scoring goals early and finishing teams off. And getting back to defending really well like we can."
  • Mauro Rosales also returned to the first team after coming off the bench for the Columbus game at midweek.
  • Sounders FC were without Osvaldo Alonso, serving the first of a two-game suspension following a decision by the MLS Disciplinary Committee.
  • "I just play hard to the ball. In that moment, I lost my mind and made the tackle too hard," Alonso said. "MLS saw the video and I'm suspended two games. It's just the game. I try to play hard every time I go to the field."
  • Since the last league match, Sounders FC have advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup in impressive fashion as they try to become the first club ever to win the title four consecutive years.
  • In their third-round tie, Sammy Ochoa scored two second-half goals and Andy Rose, Osvaldo Alonso and Alex Caskey also scored as Seattle rolled to a 5-1 win against the NASL Atlanta Silverbacks.
  • "It's hard when you're not playing week-to-week, but you have to keep working during the week to keep that mentality when you get that opportunity," Ochoa said. "Right now, all the forwards are scoring and it's good for the team. We're making it hard on Sigi to decide who plays."
  • Here's the Sounders FC team: Bryan Meredith, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch, Cordell Cato, Osvaldo Alonso (Servando Carrasco 72), Andy Rose, Alex Caskey, Sammy Ochoa (Roger Levesque 70), Eddie Johnson (David Estrada 46).
  • Then in the fourth round, Sounders FC put an end to the Cinderella run of amateur side Cal FC, cruising to a 5-0 victory. Osvaldo Alonso and Fredy Montero each scored twice, with the fifth coming from Andy Rose.
  • Here's the Seattle team: Bryan Meredith, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch, Cordell Cato, Osvaldo Alonso (Servando Carrasco 75), Andy Rose, Alex Caskey, Sammy Ochoa (Roger Levesque 73), Fredy Montero (David Estrada 81)
  • "Ozzie is an important player to our team, so it's great to have him out there for that. He's had great Open Cup experiences, so that's good as well," Schmid said.