MONTREAL – The snowy weather made the Montreal Impact wait 24 extra hours for a chance at a dream start at home.
That dream melted as quickly as the snow did.
As the sun shined outside Olympic Stadium, the visiting Seattle Sounders took only eight minutes to open the scoring – off a Troy Perkins own goal – condemning Montreal to a 2-0 defeat Sunday afternoon and a 0-3-0 record to start the season.
And understandably, it took slightly longer for head coach Frank Klopas to step on the podium for his postgame press conference after the defeat. Yet he still found positives in his team’s build-up play.
“When you look at the game overall in terms of possession and our ability to get in good spots and get quality crosses in, and you come away with nothing, it just seems a little bit like we’re not getting any little breaks,” Klopas said. “But the guys, I felt, pushed all the way to the end and they worked extremely hard.”
Montreal did, in fact, outshoot Seattle, 25-9, with six of those on goal. And the possession numbers favored the Impact, as well.
“Every time you play balls to the middle, you’ve got to have guys that are moving off [Wenger],” Klopas said.” And we talked about it before the game: finding the gaps between the lines when you play balls to him. Then you’ve got to have midfielders that move in so you lay balls off. It’s very difficult to have a guy on your back that’s 200 pounds and holding balls off.
“So he definitely moved at the right moments, but we needed to give him more options so we could play it quicker and get the ball out wide where we had success.”
But as center back Matteo Ferrari pointed out, Montreal must not only find a way to score, but also to manage results.
“We have to work hard in defense; but it’s not just the four from the defense,” Ferrari told reporters, “it’s the attitude of the team. We already [gave up] six goals, but they're too much. We can't handle it like that.”
Ferrari did note that it is still only three weeks into the season. And there is a silver lining despite the dismal start: For next week's trip to Philadelphia, Montreal will get back star striker Marco Di Vaio along with forward Andrés Romero, who have been suspended for the season’s first three games after last season’s incident in their MLS Cup playoff game against the Houston Dynamo.
“We have to work hard, but I want to stay positive,” Ferrari said. "The coach knows what to do. Let’s forget about the standings right now and keep working.”
Olivier Tremblay covers the Montreal Impact for MLSsoccer.com.