2004 Sep 13
From today's Sounders news release:
(Seattle, Wash.) - - The Seattle Sounders play the Montreal Impact in the A-League Championship Match on Saturday, September 18th in Montreal, Quebec. After upsetting the top two teams in the Western Conference the Sounders get the chance to play for the franchise's third league championship. The championship match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports World, kickoff is set for 4pm PST from Montreal's Claude Robillard Sports Complex.
The Sounders and Impact have played 15 matches, mostly from 1994 to 1996. They have not met since the 2001 season. The Sounders own the overall head-to-head record 10-4-1 (W-D-L), counting shootouts as draws. The Sounders have outscored the Impact 25-7. These two teams have never met in the post-season. The Impact won the A-League title in 1994 while the Sounders won back-to-back titles in 1995 and 1996.
After getting knocked out in the first round of the 2003 playoffs, the Impact responded by posting the best record in the Eastern conference this season 17-5-6, 57 points, just one point shy of the regular season title. The Impact defense allowed just 15 goals in the regular season, the fewest in the league. As the top seed, the Impact eliminated both the Rochester Raging Rhinos and Syracuse Salty Dogs in the playoffs to reach the championship match. Five members of the Impact were selected to all-league teams.
After posting a five-match winning streak in the month of August the Sounders squeaked into the post season as the fourth seed. The Sounders were able to upset the top two teams in the Western Conference including the second seed Vancouver Whitecaps with a 2-1 aggregate score in the Western Conference finals. In the post season, goalkeeper Preston Burpo has recorded two shutouts and has allowed just three goals in four playoff matches to help the Sounders reach the league championship match.
The Sounders leave Thursday, September 16th for Montreal. The championship match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports World at 4pm. The match will also be broadcast live on Sounders radio 1150-AM KKNW, coverage starts at 3:40pm.
The Sounders may have to battle the Impact without the team's leading scorer. Welton, who scored 10 goals in the regular season and two goals in the post season, was issued two yellow cards in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday, September 12th in Vancouver. Welton was sent off in the 71st minute after a unique set of circumstances involving an attempted Sounders substitution. The head official believed Welton, just feet from the sideline was delaying the match and issued Welton his second yellow card. Welton's first yellow card of the match was issued in the 69th minute while battling for position on a Sounders corner kick.
Welton is to serve his one-match league imposed suspension on Saturday, September 18th for being sent off with a red card on Sunday. The Sounders have appealed Welton's ejection and are waiting for a response from the league.
Unlike the previous two playoff series, the A-League Championship match is a one-match final that could extend to 30 minutes of overtime and FIFA penalty kicks to decide a winner.
The Sounders train on Tuesday, September 14th and Wednesday, September 15th this week in preparation for Montreal. Training begins at 10am at Starfire Sports in Tukwila, Wash. Training is open to the public and media. Please call Marc Kostic at (206) 622-3415 before attending training as times and facilities may change.