SEATTLE -- The Seattle Sounders conceded a second-half goal to Jeisson Vargas that proved to be the difference, eventually falling 1-0 to the Montreal Impact in the cross-conference matchup between the sides at CenturyLink Field on Saturday.
The contest was scoreless in the first half, but the Sounders were dealt a crucial blow when starting right back Kelvin Leerdam was issued a 40th-minute red card for making contact with the face of an opponent, forcing the Rave Green to play down a man for the duration of the match. Seattle were ultimately unable to overcome the one-man deficit, as Impact playmaker Ignacio Piatti managed to break free in the Sounders penalty box and set up Vargas with a tap-in finish to pace the visitors to the road victory.
RED CARD REPEAT
A game after forward Clint Dempsey was sent off against FC Dallas, the Sounders shot themselves in the foot once again with Leerdam’s first-half red card. On the positive side, Seattle hung with Montreal pretty capably aside from the goal and seemed to have more clear chances before and after Leerdam’s ejection. But it was also the third straight game a Sounders player has seen red to start the season, so cutting out the mental mistakes will have to be a top priority as the team gets back on the training ground.
BRUIN AND LODEIRO RETURN
If there was another positive from Saturday’s match, it’s that Seattle did regain the services of two of their key contributors. Striker Will Bruin made his return to the Starting XI after he suffered a concussion in the Sounders’ CONCACAF Champions League match against Chivas de Guadalajara on March 14, while star midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro also started and played all 90 minutes after he was held out of that CCL second leg and the match against FC Dallas with a foot sprain.
SKC UP NEXT
It’s been a tough start to the 2018 season for the Sounders and their next match won’t be an easy one, as Seattle will head to Children’s Mercy Park to take on Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, April 15. They’ll have time to heal up some nagging injuries before then and a positive result in that contest could provide a big morale boost as the team tries to right the ship. It’s a long season and it’s just getting started. Get ready for the ride.