Montreal Impact shut out again as attack sputters without Didier Drogba

SEATTLE – Coming into Saturday night’s road clash with the Seattle Sounders, the Montreal Impact were Eastern Conference leaders with six goals in their first three matches and had become a trendy pick to chase silverware in 2016.

On Saturday, however, the Impact found themselves unable to find the back of the net for a second consecutive game, ultimately falling to the Sounders 1-0 courtesy of a 79th-minute goal off the head of Sounders forward Clint Dempsey.

And while Impact coach Mauro Biello said he was largely pleased with how his side defended on Saturday, he also acknowledged the troublesome lack of attacking firepower that proved to be Montreal’s undoing.

“I thought for the most part defensively we did well,” Biello said. “In possession we were good. We were missing a little bit that final pass. Maybe I would have liked [to see a better] final pass a little bit more. But overall, there were some good things from my team.”

The Impact are still playing without star forward Didier Drogba, who made his debut in Dallas as a second-half substitute but has largely been absent from the Impact’s gameday rosters in order to avoid an early string of games on artificial surfaces.

“Obviously Drogba is an important player on our team,” Biello said. “He brings a different dynamic to this club. With Didier up top, holding up balls for us, it makes a big difference for sure with the way we want to play and the attention he’s going to pull when he plays.

“But we’ve accepted the fact [he won’t play on turf] and now it’s about moving forward. He’ll be ready in the next couple weeks.”

Despite the loss, Montreal (2-2-0) remain in a three-way tie with the Philadelphia Union and New England Revolution for the Eastern Conference lead, a position they’ll look to maintain in next Saturday’s home matchup with Columbus Crew SC.