Montreal Impact vs. Seattle Sounders FC | 2017 MLS Match Preview
Montreal Impact vs. Seattle Sounders FC
2017 MLS Regular Season
Stade Olympique – Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Saturday, March 11 – 7:00 pm ET
WATCH: TVA Sports (Canada) | MLS LIVE (USA)
Two teams considered MLS Cup contenders in the preseason forecasts will look to ensure they don’t lose their second straight match to start the season.
After a dull outing in their opener, the Impact should get a boost from the 35,000-plus home crowd expected at Olympic Stadium, where the wider field and unique artificial surface have unsettled visiting teams in the past. But the defending champion Sounders tasted victory in their only previous visit to the stadium in 2014 and this time they also enjoy the advantage of having an insider scouting report on the Impact (more below).
In recent seasons the Impact have been a team that has alternated lifeless performances with inspired ones. So fans shouldn’t read too much into their Week 1 shutout loss in San Jose, where they failed to register a single shot on goal for only the second time in club history.
There is likely to be a sense of urgency around this match for Montreal given that their next three matches are on the road. Plus, the Impact’s playing style is also suited to replicate what Houston did to beat Seattle in Week 1: capitalizing on turnovers with deadly counterattacks.
- Suspended: Hassoun Camara (red card suspension)
- Int’l Duty: N/A
- Injury Report: QUESTIONABLE - M Andres Romero (hamstring injury)
Projected Starting XI (4-3-3, left to right): Evan Bush — Ambroise Oyongo, Lauren Ciman, Victor Cabrera, Chris Duvall — Hernan Bernardello, Marco Donadel, Patrice Bernier — Ignacio Piatti, Matteo Mancosu, Dominic Oduro
Notes: Victor Cabrera (hip) and Wandrille Lefevre (concussion) return from injury at the perfect time with Hassoun Camara forced to sit out due to suspension. One of them will presumably slot in for him at center back.
- New process for quicker access to Olympic Stadium
- WATCH: Sportsnet Central Montreal panel discusses Impact's start to 2017
- Duvall gives Impact a new option at right back
- A history of Impact opening matches at the Big O
- Montreal Gazette: Impact must revive attack in home opener
- Montreal Impact 2017 MLSsoccer.com Team Guide
Seattle Sounders FC
The Sounders admitted to being less than sharp in their 2017 debut in Houston, where they were guilty of multiple untimely turnovers and were exposed on the Dynamo counter in a 2-1 loss. A strong second-half showing and the 90-minute return of a goal-scoring Clint Dempsey after a long layoff will have the team hopeful of a bounce back.
It remains to be seen if Sounders attacking midfielder Harry Shipp, who just four months ago called Montreal home, will get to face his ex-team. Whether or not he takes the field, he’s already helped Seattle with “a little cheat sheet of things [Montreal] discussed tactically” during the 2016 Eastern Conference Championship and he’s helped the buildup with a statement Montrealers surely won’t forget.
- Suspended: N/A
- Int’l Duty: N/A
- Injury Report: OUT - D Brad Evans (left calf strain); M Aaron Kovar (groin surgery)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, left to right): Stefan Frei — Joevin Jones, Chad Marshall, Roman Torres, Gustav Svensson — Ozzie Alonso, Cristian Roldan — Alvaro Fernandez, Clint Dempsey, Nicolas Lodeiro — Jordan Morris
Notes: Oniel Fisher could be back in the running to compete for the right back starting spot with current Brad Evans fill-in Gustav Svensson, who hadn’t played at the position in years before starting and going 85 minutes in Week 1 against Houston.
- Seattle's Alonso doesn't care about infamous reputation
- Shipp eager to face former club Impact
- SoundersFC.com: Seattle try to put opening loss behind them
- Seattle Sounders 2017 MLSsoccer.com Team Guide
The Impact lead the series 3-2-0, but the Sounders won on their only visit to Olympic Stadium in 2014 (2-0 on goals by Lamar Neagle and Obafemi Martins). There has never been a tie in the series:
2016: April 2 @ CenturyLink Field – Sounders 1, Impact 0
2015: July 25 @ Saputo Stadium – Impact 1, Sounders 0
2014: March 23 @ Olympic Stadium – Impact 0, Sounders 2
2013: March 2 @ CenturyLink Field – Sounders 0, Impact 1
2012: June 16 @ Saputo Stadium - Impact 4, Sounders 1
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell (bench side), Brian Poeschel (far side)
Fourth Official: Geoff Gamble
DOWNLOAD: Official MLS Game Guide