Sounders FC (7-3-3) vs. Montreal Impact (3-7-3)
Saturday, June 16, 4:30 p.m. PT, Saputo Stadium, Montreal, Quebec
TV/radio: KONG-TV 6/16, 97.3 KIRO-FM (Ross Fletcher, Kasey Keller)
Spanish TV/radio: KOMO2, La Gran D 99.3 FM
Referee: Mark Geiger
KEY IMPACT PLAYERS
F/M Davy Arnaud — The 31-year-old veteran is the team captain and has chipped in with two goals and an assist. Has the versatility to play as a central midfielder, a wide midfielder and a withdrawn forward. Isn’t a big-time scorer, but has saved a couple goals for the Sounders in the past.
F Bernardo Corradi — A lot of attention recently has gone on another Italian forward, Marco di Vaio, one of the latest designated players to join MLS. But we learned recently that Corradi will be sticking around for the rest of the season, as well, and he has four goals in his last five games.
D Nelson Rivas — Listed as probable with a left knee sprain, so let’s assume he’ll be OK to go. The talented Colombian has clubs like Inter Milan and River Plate on his resume, which is enough to catch my attention. Dealt with some injuries at the beginning of the year, but has started the last four MLS games.
Matteo Ferrari vs. Eddie Johnson — Montreal has more than one talented center-back as the former Italian international has played the most minutes in the back for the expansion team. He’ll face a multi-tooled forward that will have some extra motivation this weekend knowing all eyes will be on him and the preseason trade that sent him to Seattle.
Brad Evans vs. Felipe Martins — With Osvaldo Alonso suspended for this one, the Sounders’ other center mid will need to assume some of that responsibility. Part of that will be keeping an eye on the Brazilian playmaker, who has played the most minutes for Montreal (1,170) and had an assist in his last game.
Home-field advantage vs. Sounders’ road form — The buzz around a stadium unveiling will be impossible to ignore. Also, this is a stadium the visitors have never seen and weren’t able to practice in Friday. Still, Seattle is 7-0-3 in its last 10 road games, the second-longest road unbeaten streak in MLS history. Something has to give there.
I talked to Evans this week and he said managing the emotions of the first 10-15 minutes will be important for the Sounders since the Impact will be sure to come out guns blazing for the home crowd.
And even while Montreal hasn’t had the best expansion seasons so far, Jesse Marsch’s team has played tough and been in a lot of games. One of their three wins was against Sporting Kansas City don’t forget.
The Sounders will be rested, so there shouldn’t be any excuses there. Montreal will be ready to go, too. I think I see this one playing evenly, in part due to Alonso’s absence in the middle.
Sounders FC 1, Montreal Impact 1
MON — Bernardo Corradi (pk) 43′
SEA — Eddie Johnson (Mauro Rosales) 49′
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What do you think? How do you see this one playing out?