Friday, March 1, 2013
Sounders get set to open up 2013 against the Montreal Impact
After a month in a half of preparation, it's time to get back to business. The Seattle Sounders get set to take the pitch once again in front of their hometown crowd as they kick off the 2013 season against the Montreal Impact. Last time these two teams met was last season in Montreal on June 16th where the Impact have the Sounders a major beating as they came away 4-1. This is the first trip to Seattle for the MLS edition of Montreal. The last time we've seen a matchup between the Sounders and the Impact in Seattle was a half decade ago in the first leg of the 2008 USL Quarterfinal which Seattle won 2-1, but would eventually lose the second leg in Montreal 3-1 and losing 4-3 on aggregate thus closing the book on the Sounders USL franchise. Montreal begins their second season in Major League Soccer, while Seattle kicks off their fifth season.
Montreal Impact - Alright for the Montreal Imapact, three players are a no go for this game and I'm not gonna speculate how long these guys will be out for their club. Sinisa Ubiparipovic has been struggling with a calf injury. Maxim Tissot is out with a shoulder injury. And lastly, Nelson Rivas has a bad knee.
Seattle Sounders FC - For the Seattle Sounders, two are out and two are questionable. Patrick Ianni suffered a fractured right foot at the beginning of training camp so he'll be out for a while. Andrew Duran was given the all clear my the doctors after suffering a torn ACL during his loan stint with the Atlanta Silverbacks, but he's gonna need to work his way back into gametime form before he can make his debut for the Sounders. Speaking of that, Shalrie Joseph has a right calf strain and I don't think he'll make his debut tomorrow. He's listed as questionable. Last but not least, Adam Johansson is a gametime decision for tomorrow. He's been sidelined most of the preseason after suffering a right knee sprain during one of the preseason matches in Tucson.
Montreal Impact - None to report
Seattle Sounders FC - Unfortunately we do have a couple to report. Marc Burch is surving the last game of his three game suspension for an inappropriate gesture directed at one of the Real Salt Lake players during the playoffs. And of course, Ozzie Alonso is suspended for the opener because of the red card he picked up at the end of the 2nd leg of the Western Conference Final against the LA Galaxy. It actually occured following the final whistle of the game.
Eddie Johnson vs Alessandro Nesta - Montero may be out, but Seattle still has another goalscoring threat and his name is Eddie Johnson. Coming off a 14 goal season, EJ comes into his second season with the Sounders with high expectations. Asside from that, I expect the three-time World Cup veteran to mark him throughout the match.
Felipe Martins vs Andy Rose - With Alonso suspended, it looks like Andy Rose will fill in as a holding midfielder, just like last time when these two teams met in Montreal. Felipe is a crafty individual, coming off a fantastic year where he scored four goals and led the Impact with 10 assists in 30 appearances for the Impact. As a holding midfielder, Rose can't let him create any easy opportunties. This could be a big matchup right here.
It's definitely not going to end 4-1 Montreal like it did in Montreal last year. I don't think Alonso being suspended will hurt the Sounders that much. I think the Sounders are well prepared for the opener and are ready to come at them in full force. Like I said earlier, the Sounders had a month and a half to prepare and I don't see how they're not prepared and again I don't think the missing presence of Alonso will hurt the team. So now as I've said that, I think the Sounders will come out here and walk away with three points in front of their fans to kick off 2013.
Seattle Sounders FC - 2
Montreal Impact - 0