Sounders FC 0 : 1 Montreal Impact
by Michael Ligot
Davy Arnaud scored the only goal of the game to consign Sounders to a home defeat just as he did in 2009 when Kansas City sent the MLS Sounders to their first ever loss. In doing so, he became the first player to score against Sounders in Seattle for more than one club in Major League Soccer.
The veteran midfielder’s goal against the run of play stood up for an hour, and the Montreal Impact ruined the Sounders’ home opener 1-0 Saturday night.
Chris Wondolowski has four in Seattle, all for San Jose; followed by Chris Pontius with three, but only Arnaud has done it in more than one strip.
Well into a cautious first half where the little firepower came from opening-ceremony pyrotechnics, Felipe Martins chipped a ball near the arc. Arnaud left Leo Gonzalez in to the space and lobbed it over an onrushing Gspurning.
It was one of the few coordinated attacks by Montreal, which went offside three times and earned nary a corner.
The game got chippier in the second half, with Montreal showing more offensive initiative and players not afraid to slam into each other. Andy Rose suffered a left elbow contusion at the hour mark, necessitating a hasty entrance of Alex Caskey.
Seattle needed a while to get going into the second half, but came within inches of tying the match. Brad Evans beat Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins cleanly, but the ball rebounded off the post, and Mauro Rosales couldn’t shift positioning in time for the rebound.
They continued to press desperately, especially in the six minutes of injury time, but the packed Montreal defense denied attacks. Alessandro Nesta notably broke up a late goalmouth pass, and Eddie Johnson hit the crossbar after a superb supply from Caskey.
“We weren’t wide enough,” conceded Sounders Head Coach Sigi Schmid.
Hassoun Camara also needed assistance off the field late, in the game when a Sounder shot rebounded off his face; he did not return.
Before that, Camara and Johnson also featured in a pushing match, when Johnson tried to pull up a hurt Camara off the ground to speed up the restart, and Impact keeper Troy Perkins pushed him away.
Despite the loss, the Sounders looked like they’ve uncovered a gem in their first Homegrown Player, DeAndre Yedlin.
Starting at right back due to Adam Johansson’s injury, he 19-year-old broke up a number of plays, including a clean penalty area tackle of Alessandro Nesta, and contributed a number of offensive rushes. He especially shone after the introduction of Sammy Ochoa allowed Rosales to return to midfield where he was able to provide a target for Yedlin’s skills.
Still, the Impact came away with their first opening day victory since 2004, when they were still in the second-division United Soccer Leagues. The longtime rival of Seattle also maintained a perfect record against the Sounders in MLS, having whupped them 4-1 in their only meeting last season in Quebec.
The Sounders next play at Mexico’s Tigres in the CONCACAF Champions League Wednesday and the next Tuesday; they don’t return to MLS action until Saturday March 16, hosting Portland.
1) Montreal, Arnaud (Felipe) 35′
Shots: Seattle 15, Montreal 9
Shots on Goal: Seattle 3, Montreal 5
Saves: Seattle 4, Montreal 3
Corner Kicks: Seattle 9, Montreal 3
Offsides: Seattle 4, Montreal 4
Fouls: Seattle 10, Montreal 11
Cautions: Seattle (Evans 17′) Montreal (Pisano 64′)
Seattle Sounders FC – Michael Gspurning, DeAndre Yedlin, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez (Servando Carrasco 84), Mario Martinez, Brad Evans, Andy Rose (Alex Caskey 62), Steve Zakuani (Sammy Ochoa 69), Mauro Rosales, Eddie Johnson.
Substitutes Not Used: Marcus Hahnemann, Dylan Remick, Djimi Traore, Eriq Zavaleta.
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Johnson 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (three players with 1); FOULS: 10 (Evans 4); OFFSIDE: 4 (four players with 1); CORNER KICKS: 9 (Rosales 6); SAVES: 3 (Gspurning 3).
Montreal Impact – Troy Perkins, Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Alessandro Nesta, Jeb Brovsky, Davy Arnaud, Patrice Bernier, Justin Mapp (Sanny Nyassi 46), Felipe Martins, Andrea Pisanu (Calum Mallace 69), Marco Di Vaio.
Substitutes Not Used: Evan Bush, Dennis Iapichino, Andres Romero, Collen Warner, Andrew Wenger.
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Di Vaio 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Arnaud 3); FOULS: 11 (Bernier 3); OFFSIDE: 4 (Di Vaio 3); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Martins 3); SAVES: 3 (Perkins 3).
Officials: referee Petrescu, referee’s assistants Clark and Duliba, fourth official Mariscal.