MONTREAL, Quebec – After a three-week break from Major League Soccer action, the Sounders FC looked uncharacteristically disjointed in their first meeting with the expansion Montreal Impact.
The result was an equally uncharacteristic road loss as the Sounders suffered their first road defeat since July 30, 2011, falling 4-1 to the Impact in the opening of the newly renovated Saputo Stadium.
“We are a good road team. Nothing that happened today is going to change my mind on that,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “But, obviously when you give up four goals, that’s an issue. That’s not what we are all about and we’ve got to change that the next game.”
Seattle gave up early goals in the first and second halves, but the game truly turned on a red card issued to Jhon Kennedy Hurtado in the 56th minute. Montreal took a 3-0 lead moments later and even as the Sounders picked up their play, the deficit proved too steep and they suffered their worst loss of the season.
“They were just better than us tonight,” defender Zach Scott said. “It’s frustrating. It’s not indicative of the team we are. It’s embarrassing to lose like that.”
After a slow start for Seattle, Felipe Martins got Montreal on the board in the 18th minute. Patrice Bernier got the ball into the left corner and cut it back into the box before delivering the ball to Martins at the top of the box. He took a touch to his right, then shot inside the far post for his second goal of the season and a 1-0 Impact lead.
That score held into the halftime break, but the Impact came out on fire to start the second half.
Bernier fed the ball to Justin Mapp on the left side and Mapp dribbled across the top of the box, then shot across his body and inside the left post for his second goal of the season, putting the Sounders down 2-0 in the 51st minute.
In the 56th minute, Hurtado came in on a tackle near Montreal’s bench and was shown red, for Seattle’s first ejection of the season.
Montreal quickly took advantage as Brenier picked up his third assist of the night, springing Andrew Wenger into the box up the right side and Wenger put it inside the near post for his third goal of the season and a 3-0 lead.
“We need to play much better than what we did tonight,” Schmid said. “I didn’t think our pressure was good enough on their third goal. We made three mistakes on one play. We have to eliminate that.”
Seattle pulled one back in the 61st minute when Fredy Montero led Eddie Johnson with a through ball up the middle, leaving Johnson 1v1 with Impact goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts. Johnson drew Ricketts off his line, then chipped the ball over him as went to the ground, finding the net for his fourth goal of the season to cut the lead to 3-1.
However, Seattle couldn’t find another goal and former Sounder Lamar Neagle scored his first goal of the season for the Impact in the 87th minute to play add-on, giving Montreal the 4-1 victory.
Seattle will host Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday at CenturyLink Field as they look to end their five-game winless streak against one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
Sounders FC – Eddie Johnson (Fredy Montero) 61.
Impact – Felipe Martins (Patrice Bernier) 18; Justin Mapp (Patrice Bernier) 51; Andrew Wenger (Patrice Bernier) 58; Lamar Neagle 87.
Sounders FC – Jeff Parke (caution) 22; Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (ejection) 56; Eddie Johnson (caution) 70; Fredy Montero (caution) 76.
Impact – Shavar Thomas (caution) 79; Nelson Rivas (caution) 85.
Sounders FC – Bryan Meredith, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch, Mauro Rosales (Cordell Cato 71), Andy Rose, Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez (Alex Caskey 62), Fredy Montero, Eddie Johnson (Servando Carrasco 82).
Impact – Donovan Ricketts, Zarek Valentin, Matteo Ferrari (Shavar Thomas 32), Nelson Rivas, Jeb Brovsky, Davy Arnaud, Patrice Bernier (Bernardo Corradi 77), Felipe Martins, Collen Warner, Justin Mapp (Lamar Neagle 62), Andrew Wenger.