MONTRÉAL IMPACT vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
OLYMPIC STADIUM, Montréal, Que.
March 23, 2014 (WEEK 3, MLS Game #18)
4 p.m. ET (RDS; JoeTV-Sea, Root Sports NW Alt)
The Montréal Impact will once again open their home campaign in front of a large crowd when they meet Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday afternoon at Olympic Stadium. The Impact return home looking for a first point on the season, suffering a second consecutive loss at the Houston Dynamo last weekend. Sounders FC hit the road for the first time this year, coming off a 2-1 defeat by Toronto FC last week.
REFEREE: Armando Villarreal. SAR (bench): Corey Parker; JAR (opposite): Craig Lowry; 4th: Mathieu Bourdeau
MLS Career: 30 games; FC/gm: 24.0; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 12; pens: 10
SUSPENDED: MTL: Marco Di Vaio (through March 22); Andres Romero (through March 22)
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (2 meetings): Impact 2 wins, 5 goals … Sounders FC 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 0
AT MONTREAL (1 meeting): Impact 1 win, 4 goals … Sounders FC 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 0
LAST YEAR (MLS):
3/2: SEA 0, MTL 1 (Arnaud 35)
- This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
- The Impact have won both all-time meetings between the teams, a 4-1 win in Montréal in 2012, and a 1-0 win in Seattle to open the season a year ago.
- Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. MTL: P3 W0 L2 D1 … Frank Klopas vs. SEA: P7 W1 L1 D5
The Montréal Impact suffered a second consecutive defeat on the road to open the 2014 season, falling 1-0 to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening. The Impact are in a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 0 points from 2 games.
- The game's lone goal came in the 40th minute. From a throw-in, Giles Barnes laid the ball off to Will Bruin, and after settling it, his shot deflected off defender Eric Miller’s foot and over goalkeeper Troy Perkins but under the crossbar.
- Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall made four saves on the night for his second shutout in as many matches.
- Impact head coach Frank Klopas made one change to the team that suffered a 3-2 loss to FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium. Patrice Bernier came into the side in place of Sanna Nyassi.
- MONTREAL IMPACT (4-2-3-1): Troy Perkins - Eric Miller, Matteo Ferrari, Hassoun Camara, Jeb Brovsky - Hernan Bernardello (Calum Mallace 85), Patrice Bernier (Blake Smith 72) - Collen Warner (Santiago Gonzalez 86), Felipe Martins, Justin Mapp - Andrew Wenger.
- The Impact have lost their opening two matches of the season for the first time in three MLS seasons. They started 2013 with four consecutive victories.
- "The goal was unfortunate and it’s obviously disappointing anytime you lose. We made big improvements on things we worked at training," said Impact head coach Frank Klopas. "We were very compact and made it difficult for Houston to play against us. Those are positives. I see improvements with every game. The effort by everyone was fantastic and we should have walked out with a result."
- With Sanna Nyassi sidelined with a knee injury, Collen Warner started wide on the right of the Impact midfield, and Patrice Bernier came into the center of the park.
- “I felt we did a good job,” Klopas said. “Collen worked very hard defensively, and I think that we were able to lock them down. And then with Patrice [Bernier] coming in, I think his ability with the ball and the quality he has, it gives us a lot more possession and the ability, in the final third, to see that final pass. I felt that what we needed to do in that game, we did it.”
- For Bernier, it was his first appearance after undergoing offseason knee surgery. “I was pleased to step back on the field and contribute,” said Bernier. “It was a frustrating game because we showed a lot of effort but couldn’t take a point. We created several scoring chances and played well defensively against a team that is hard to beat at home. We are progressing and we want to continue in this direction next week at home.”
- Justin Mapp was shifted from the right side of the midfield to the left with Warner’s move to the opposite flank. “It was a tactical choice we made to neutralize their left side,” Impact assistant coach Mauro Biello said. “And I think Warner did very well, because we were able to be better than them in possession and create chances.”
- Nyassi is expected to miss at least a couple of weeks after suffering the injury midway through the second half of the FC Dallas game.
- “With a guy like Sanna that you can bring in or start, he’s always a threat because of his pace and his ability in the final third,” said Klopas. “He’s a guy that we miss, for sure, but that’s why you have a team. Other guys get opportunities, and they have to step up.”
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC completed their season-opening homestand with a .500 record, suffering their first loss of the season, 2-1 to Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC are in fifth place in the Western Conference with 3 points from 2 games.
- Toronto FC took the lead in just the 17th minute. Jonathan Osorio sprung Jermain Defoe with a slick through ball up the center of the park, and Defoe took one touch before rifling a low shot from about 16 yards that beat Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
- TFC and Defoe each had their second just seven minutes later. Under pressure, Sounders midfielder Marco Pappa sent a loose pass toward his own goal which was picked off by Defoe, and he unleashed a virtually uncontested shot from some 20 yards out just inside the right post.
- Sounders FC finally pulled a goal in the 67th minute. Lamar Neagle freed a charging Obafemi Martins on the right flank, and he eventually found Clint Dempsey at the top of the penalty area, who escaped a defender and pounded a shot inside the near post to make it 2-1.
- Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made one change to the team that got a late 1-0 win against Sporting Kansas City at CenturyLink Field. Clint Dempsey came into the team in place of Kenny Cooper.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-2-3-1): Stefan Frei - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Chad Marshall, Dylan Remick - Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans (Gonzalo Pineda 29) - Lamar Neagle (Chad Barrett 79), Clint Dempsey, Marco Pappa (Kenny Cooper 64) - Obafemi Martins.
- After splitting their two games of the season, both at CenturyLink Field, Sounders FC will now face four of the next five games on the road.
- “I thought the majority of the game we carried the game. Their danger was off counters or off steals, but we hurt ourselves because we created those opportunities by playing too many square passes when we needed to go forward with it. Too many passes went back and it put us in a hole. We had enough chances in the second half to equalize the game,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. “ … All we can do is create chances and try to convert the chances you create. I think we created chances, enough chances to win the game, but you're happy that there is some good soccer that we played, but unhappy with the turnovers we gave.”
- After setting up the game-winner vs. Sporting KC the week before, Clint Dempsey netted his first MLS goal of 2014 in the loss to Toronto FC. A year ago, after his return to MLS, Dempsey had 1 goal in 9 appearances (6 starts) with Sounders FC.
- “I keep going out, working hard and trying to get as many goals as possible. Every game out I'm trying to score. Whether I score the game before, I'm always wanting to score or create chances and trying to put other people on to goals, get assists, and stuff like that,” said Dempsey. “We just have to keep moving forward. So far I'm happy with the first two games in terms of getting a goal and an assist, but I have to keep pushing and there is more to come."
- Sounders FC were forced into a change before the half-hour mark when Brad Evans had to be substituted and Gonzalo Pineda made his MLS debut.
- “It was very special to me to get back on the field and play a game again after all the sufferings, all the pain, for me, for my family,” Pineda said. “It was hard, but I am very happy to be here, so I am trying just to get better each day and contribute to the team. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
- If Evans is unable to feature in Montréal, Pineda could make his first start in a competitive match in nearly a calendar year, since playing for Queretaro in Mexico’s Liga MX.
- “He’s a very good possession player,” Schmid said of Pineda. “That’s the reason I came with him. We had possession of the ball against [TFC] and had space to play so I wanted him in there. You lose the other things that Brad gives you, which is somebody that becomes an additional man in the box on some of those crosses, gets forward and looks for balls that drop around the 18 to shoot or gets into things that way. [Evans] is a little bit more goal dangerous.”
- Lamar Neagle and Marco Pappa again filled attacking roles out wide, and both came off for second-half substitutions.
- “We felt that we could get the ball forward so we went with (Marco) Pappa in that slot on the right hand side, and we felt that (Lamar) Neagle could stretch their defense on the left because he has the ability to do that,” said Schmid. “ ... There were too many times when we got the ball behind their midfield line, but we didn't get the ball behind their back four. That's when we went back to square instead of going forward, and that's something we will work on and get better with.”