Three Key Match-ups: at Montreal Impact

Sounders FC vs. Montreal Impact

MLS Regular Season
Sunday, March 23; 1 pm PT; Olympic Stadium in Montreal
TV/Radio: JOEtv; KIRO Radio 97.3 FM; ESPN Deportes Seattle

Sounders FC and the Montreal Impact have met just twice in MLS play, so have seen very little of each other head-to-head.  Here are three matchups to watch, including two that have been beneficial to the Impact in those first two meetings and another that could be helpful for Seattle.

Lamar Neagle vs. Eric Miller

FC Dallas had plenty of success pressing Montreal from the wings and while most of that success came through the offensive right side against Jeb Brovsky, the matchup of Neagle and Miller could provide for some opportunities for Seattle.  With Clint Dempsey unavailable it leaves for the potential for more of Seattle’s attack to be built from the outside midfielders.  Neagle picked up an assist in a 2-1 loss to Toronto FC last week and has been a threat in the attack through the first two matches.

Justin Mapp vs. DeAndre Yedlin

Mapp is in his 13th MLS season and is in top form.  He finished the 2013 season with two goals and eight assists, including a goal in the season-opener against Seattle, for his best season since 2008.  He has plenty of speed and is best when he has a chance to run at his defender.  That is where Yedlin comes into play.  The second-year right back and 2013 MLS All-Star likes to get forward and will need cover on some of Mapp’s outside-in runs, but he has the speed to keep up with Mapp and may force him to do some extra defending.

Patrice Bernier vs. Osvaldo Alonso

Two years ago at Saputo Stadium, Bernier had three assists in a 4-1 rout of the Sounders.  The 34-year-old Canadian controls the midfield and has 13 goals and 16 assists in 59 matches with the Impact, so it will be up to Alonso to contain him in a big park at Olympic Stadium.  He will have his hands full with Bernier and Felipe Martins, but Alonso has proven to be up to the task.