Competition: Major League Soccer – Montreal Impact vs. Seattle Sounders
Venue: Olympic Stadium – Saturday, March 11 – 19:00 ET (00:00 GMT)
Match Odds: Montreal 13/10 – Draw 11/5 – Seattle 2/1
Montreal Impact welcome Seattle Sounders to Olympic Stadium on Saturday evening, with both sides looking to bounce back from disappointing losses on opening weekend in what should be an intriguing matchup.
Montreal now have a home opener to look forward to and will look to put their 1-0 loss in San Jose behind them by beating the reigning MLS Cup champions.
The Impact were the only side in MLS to not register a single shot on target last weekend. That has to change for them to get anywhere this week. They also need to get Ignacio Piatti involved as he was a passenger in California on opening weekend.
The home crowd should ensure that the Impact up their performance last week and a win here would represent a solid enough start to the campaign in the East. But a loss would set off some early alarm bells for a side that was a really dangerous attacking unit last year.
Seattle had an early season wake up call in Houston last Saturday, as the Dynamo beat the champs 2-1 to remind us all of just how unpredictable this league is, with the Sounders looking at full strength.
The Sounders’ only goal came from the returning Clint Dempsey, and he should get better and better each week as his match fitness continues to improve. But he needs others around him to offer the same energy they did on their way to winning the title three months ago.
Starting the season with back-to-back road games is tough for any side. But it’s even worse for the team with a huge target on their back labelled ‘MLS Cup holders’. Seattle need to prove they can handle that pressure by getting a result in Montreal here.
The only regular season meeting between these two sides last year saw the Sounders win 1-0 at CenturyLink Field, thanks to a Clint Dempsey strike 11 minutes before the end. However, the Impact have won three of the five previous MLS meetings in total.
Seattle remain without Brad Evans and Aaron Kovar, while Oniel Fisher is listed as questionable as a result of concussion. Clint Dempsey should start alongside Jordan Morris and Nicolas Lodeiro in attack once again.
Montreal’s form: L
Seattle’s form: L
Key Stat: Montreal Impact are unbeaten in their last nine regular season home games against Western Conference opposition (W7 D2). Their last home defeat to a Western side came in May 2015 (2-1 loss to Portland)
Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – The Impact playmaker had an ineffective game last weekend on the left side of midfield, which is unlike him. But you can expect him to rise to the occasion in Montreal’s home opener. If he is on song, it will be very difficult for the Sounders backline to come away with anything.
Montreal Impact 1-1 Seattle Sounders – Neither of these sides showed anything of note last weekend but should improve here after a full week’s training to put things right. That said, there is a strong chance they will cancel each other out. That’s how we see this one panning out, although expect both sides to create plenty of chances in what should be a good contest.