The Seattle Sounders will be playing their fourth match of the 2016 MLS season this Saturday at CenturyLink Field against the Montreal Impact. This will be their third home match of the season and the Sounders are still looking for their first point(s) of the season.
Both Teams Coming off Losses
The Sounders are coming off a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Whitecaps. Both goals that were scored by Vancouver came on at least one questionable penalty called by referee Mark Geiger. The second could have gone either way, but the Sounders were left scratching their head and wondering what they need to do in order to collect a point(s) on the season.
The Impact are coming off a 2-0 defeat on the road against FC Dallas. The loss at Toyota Stadium was the Impact’s first of the year. Didier Drogba saw his first action of the year in that loss, but was unable to conjure the magic he had during the 2015 MLS season when he arrived after the summer transfer window. Don’t expect to see Drogba suit up for this one as he does not like to play on turf. If he does suit up, it would be a major surprise and treat to all the fans in attendance.
This will be the fifth time that these two teams will have met since Montreal joined the league during the 2012 MLS season. The Sounders have only one win against Montreal and that came on the road at Olympic Stadium back on March 23, 2014. They won that game 2-0 on the heels of a goal from Lamar Neagle in the 8th minute and an Obafemi Martins goal in the 58th minute.
Montreal is one of the few teams that is unbeaten against Seattle at CenturyLink Field, granted they have only played in Seattle once. In the 2013 MLS season opener, Montreal won 1-0 on a goal from Davy Arnaud in the 35th minute and that was all that would be needed. Montreal was able to confuse and frustrate the Sounders all night long.
Last year, the Impact beat the Sounders 1-0 on a goal scored by Laurent Ciman in the 88th minute after it looked like the Sounders might escape with a tie. Ciman would have none of it and was able to head in the game-winning goal to sink the Sounders.
Sounders Need Three Points
The Sounders need to win this game. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. Sure a tie will finally get the Sounders some points, but if they want to stay close to the rest of the Western Conference, they must get a full three points. They will need Clint Dempsey to finally break through and end his MLS goal scoring drought. The Sounders have only scored two goals in three MLS games so far.
Montreal Needs to Keep Doing What they are Doing
Even without Drogba for the first two games of the season, the Impact didn’t miss a beat. Ignacio Piatti stepped up and filled the role of goal scorer in Drogba’s absence. He currently has three goals in three games played. Dominic Oduro has two goals and Anthony Jackson-Hamel has one goal.
It’s hard to imagine the Sounders starting the season without a win in four games, but it is highly possible that it might just happen. Montreal is an extremely dangerous team even without Drogba on the pitch. If by some miracle Drogba decides to play, the Sounders midfield and backline will be in for a long night. The Sounders will also need more from their midfield on the attacking side of the ball. They need to get Dempsey, Nelson Valdez and Jordan Morris involved more frequently. These three players must take advantage of their opportunities as Montreal will not give them too many.
The sun will be out and the Sounders supporters will be in full voice to cheer on their boys in Rave Green. Saturday will be the day that the Sounders get their first points of the season. That’s right, points. Dempsey and Morris will both score their first goals of the season and goalkeeper Stefan Frei will secure the Sounders first shutout of the season.