MONTREAL – David Estrada’s broken foot is definitely not the news the Seattle Sounders wanted to receive three days before they face the Impact in Montreal’s Stade Saputo (7:30 pm ET, TSN2 in Canada, MLS LIVE in the US). But to Montreal, the absence of their opponent's leading scorer is hardly earth-shattering news – they know all too well of Seattle's strength in depth.
And for Impact defender Tyson Wahl, who was a Sounder for close to three years before being traded to Montreal, it is nothing new. He has been impressed by the younger guys stepping up for injured or suspended veterans out in the Pacific Northwest, and sees this as a symbol of the quality that has been flowing through the entire Sounders roster ever since their first MLS season in 2009.
“They’re a deep team, and they have been for the past three years,” Wahl told reporters earlier this week. “We just have to make sure that we’re organized on the wings, because they're pretty dangerous out wide. They’re a pretty professional team, so we’re expecting a good game.”
In order to counter the likes of Mauro Rosales, Álvaro Fernández or possibly Alex Caskey on the flanks – plus fullbacks Marc Burch and Zach Scott – Montreal head coach Jesse Marsch might just force them inside to meet their opponents by further tweaking his three-man central midfield experiment.
Despite the Impact's last result, a 3-2 loss in Colorado, the Montreal boss appreciated numerous aspects of the work trio Patrice Bernier, Felipe Martins and Collen Warner put in and is keen to see them together again.
“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.”