2013 Mar 2

Sounders lay an egg in season opener

Seattle Sounders FC  0 - 1  Montreal Impact

CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA

35' MON: Davy Arnaud (Felipe Martins)

Seattle: Michael Gspurning; DeAndre Yedlin, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez (Servando Carrasco 84'); Mario Martinez, Brad Evans, Andy Rose (Alex Caskey 62'), Steve Zakuani (Sammy Ochoa 69'); Mauro Rosales, Eddie Johnson.
Substitutes not used: Marcus Hahnemann, Dylan Remick, Djimi Traore, Eriq Zavaleta.

Montreal: Troy Perkins; Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Alessandro Nesta, Jeb Brovsky; Davy Arnaud, Patrice Bernier, Justin Mapp (Sanny Nyassi 46'), Felipe Martins; Andrea Pisanu (Calum Mallace 69'), Marco Di Vaio.
Substitutes not used: Evan Bush, Dennis Iapichino, Andres Romero, Collen Warner, Andrew Wenger.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

In the 2013 season opener, the visiting Montreal Impact shut out the Seattle Sounders FC attack, winning on a counterattack goal by Davy Arnaud.

Making an impressive debut at right back was Homegrown Player DeAndre Yedlin, who was very active on defense and on offense. Yedlin got the start with Adam Johansson recovering from a minor injury.

Eddie Johnson earned three good chances in the first half hour. He curled the first one wide of the far post, poked a rolling cross from Steve Zakuani a foot wide of the near post, and from Mauro Rosales' pass curled a shot right to goalkeeper Troy Perkins.

Montreal had their early chances, too. Marco Di Vaio received a pass to his foot as he sped in front of goal and fired his shot just over the bar. Arnaud's 20-yard hard shot forced Michael Gspurning's first save.

35' MON: Arnaud (Felipe). The lone goal came when Di Vaio checked back to the center circle to playmake. He fed an open Felipe and made a forward run that opened space for Arnaud. Felipe chipped the ball to the arc for Arnaud, who saw Gspurning off the line and chipped a shot over the keeper and under the bar. 1-0 Montreal.

Late in the first half Mario Martinez had a chance with a 30-yard Sounders free kick and sent it right into Perkins' bread basket. Zach Scott got his head on a corner kick service but couldn't get enough power on it. Another corner kick was headed by Scott to Johnson close to goal, and the shot was blocked wide.

Montreal were the better side immediately after intermission. Yedlin did well to head away Di Vaio's shot that came after Gspurning went down at the top of the box to block ex-Sounder Sanna Nyassi's running chance. Matteo Ferrari had a chance to head a corner kick in but missed the goal. Arnaud nearly had a brace when he made the near-post run onto a cross, dove for the header, and saw it bounce hard off the turf, then the crossbar.

Seattle finally showed some life at 66' when Brad Evans received a drop pass from Johnson and hit the base of the right post hard from the top of the arc. At 81' Evans returned the favor, receiving a cross from Leo Gonzalez and sending a short pass to Johnson for a try from the 6-yard line with only Perkins to beat. Johnson hit the crossbar and could not believe that he missed the golden chance.

Six minutes were added, but Seattle were unable to break down Montreal's defense.

          SEA   MON
Shots:     15     9
Saves:      3     3
Corners:    9     3
Fouls:     10    11
Offside:    4     4

17' SEA: Evans cautioned for a tactical foul
64' MON: Pisanu cautioned for a tactical foul

Referees: Silviu Petrescu; Darren Clark, Kevin Duliba; Alejandro Mariscal

Attendance: 38,998

Post-Match Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

On the game: "Obviously we're disappointed because we always want to win when we're at home. I thought we had bits and pieces in the first half, and I don't know how connected we were. I thought it was better in the second half - I thought we had a good opportunity when Evans hit the post. Eddie had a pretty open shot that he hit off the crossbar. Close on a couple corners, a couple of scrambles in there. At the end of the day I think we can play better, but hats off to Montreal. I thought they did a good job defensively. They made it tough. They compacted the middle. We didn't get wide enough, especially the left hand side in the first half. I thought it got a little bit better in the second. At the end of the game I thought we carried the game. They caught us on a counter. They could have maybe had another counter on us where they almost caught us again. Obviously they forced us to carry the game, which we tried to do, but we weren't as sharp as we needed to be."

On the lineup: "I thought DeAndre played well in the preseason and based on where we were injury-wise and everything, he was the logical choice to play there. Again, Rosales up front. We didn't have a lot of options with guys being out injured, so those were the choices that we made. I don't think it was so much a matter of those choices. It was just a matter of maybe we thought because we had gone undefeated that it would just keep going, because we won the Desert [Diamond] Cup it would just keep going. We all got to look at it and say, 'Hey, we need to come out a little hungrier, a little sharper.'"

On why David Estrada and Lamar Neagle were not in the 18: "David Estrada was not available due to an ankle injury because he turned his ankle. Lamar Neagle was not able to play because that was one of the conditions of the trade."

On the play of DeAndre Yedlin: "I thought he played well. I thought for a young man making his debut at home there could have been a lot of pressure. He could have not handled that well, but I thought he handled it well, I thought he played well, and it thought he had a good game."

On if they suffered because of lack of player availability: "Leo has been playing left back for us, so Burch being out, it wouldn't have changed our lineup. Ianni being injured, Johansson being injured, Estrada being injured, Neagle not being available. Those definitely affected things in terms of our lineup and our lineup choices. This group has played together. They played together against Veracruz, as well. I think they know and we know we have to be better. Our quality of crossing wasn't very good today. We hit too many people with crosses. Every time we were looking to cross the ball, it seemed we hit somebody instead of getting the ball around them or past them. Against a team like Montreal that likes to pack the middle, you have to get behind them and you gotta have quality service in behind them, and we didn't do that often enough. Finally at the end, Sammy Ochoa slid into one, and that was one of the few balls that got behind their back two."

On the play of the defense: "I thought we did alright, except in a game like this when you're a defender, you get caught making one mistake and then it becomes a punishment. We got caught on the counter and it was sort of like everybody was in sixes and sevens on that play - a couple of deflections. It started with a cross that we hit that got blocked. Some of the guys thought it was a hand ball, obviously it wasn't called so it wasn't a hand ball. Then we got caught a little bit disorganized and gave up a goal."

On what the team can learn from the loss: "Anytime you get slapped in the face like this in a game, hopefully you rise from it and you become a little more determined and motivated - a little more focused. That's something we certainly have to be in the Champions League and that's something we certainly have to be in our next league game. It's important how we finish, and it's not so important how we start. What's really important is how we finish things, so this maybe is a good little wakeup for all of us."

On starting slow in the first half: "Montreal came in with a very defensive game plan. That was their plan, so it was a bit tough to break them down. I didn't think we played with enough width early on, especially on the left as I said earlier. We didn't play with the energy that we played with in the second half, so we need to make sure we bring that energy from the very beginning. That may be a little bit from when you have a good preseason, you're maybe a little complacent."

On the injury status of Andy Rose: "Okay. I think it's an elbow, but I haven't talked to the doctors yet."

On bouncing back before the Tigres matchup: "This team will bounce back. There's enough quality in that locker room, there's enough pride in that locker room. It's a difficult opponent, it's a difficult place to play in Monterrey, but we're a proud team. There's a lot of proud guys over there that are disappointed today and we'll come back."

On buying out Christian Tiffert's contract earlier today: "It's a situation of we're still looking to add a player up front. With that situation, we couldn't carry it with our cap reasons and everything else. We couldn't carry those amounts of DP's, so we had to make a decision as to who we were going to carry and who we weren't. That was the decision."

On what parting ways with Tiffert had to do with his on-field performance: "No. I thought Christian did well for us, it was just more situational and where we were at cap-wise and we really had to go from three DP's to two. I know Shalrie is a DP in name, but he's not a DP in terms of how he hits the cap, and we really needed to go from three DP's to two. We decided we were going to Mauro. We decided that we needed to add a DP forward, so that takes care of your two DP's and we had to make a decision."

Steve Zakuani

General thoughts: "We really wanted to go out and put on a good performance for our fans. We didn't do that and that is really what hurts right now. This is a very long season and we have plenty of time to make things up and do things right. I am confident in this team and I am confident in the group we have and we are going to figure it out not too long from here. We didn't play very well today, but we had a couple blocked shots that could have given us something from this game. I am very disappointed, but we have to bounce back from this tonight and go from there. You don't want to overreact and panic because of this game. We didn't become a bad team because of this game. We just have to stay confident and stay on course."

On good shots being some sort of consolation: "Of course. I mean we didn't play well. We didn't play well at all. I don't think anyone is going to look at this game and say that we did. The energy wasn't where it needed to be. It is a long season and it is hard to bring it every night, but you have to bring it on opening night. We still hit the crossbar, we had some blocked shots, and I think that if you look at it from that perspective you can see that once we do figure it out we are going to get some good results and do some good things this year. It is a very long season. I don't have to go through the list of all the teams who lost their first game and still went on to have great seasons. A couple years ago we lost the first game to LA and the second game to New York and we still had a really good year."

On the play of DeAndre Yedlin: "He did well. He is a very confident player. He is one of those guys who just goes out and plays football. He is fearless and has fun when he is out there because he is playing with his friends. He did well. I am very proud of him and very happy for him. He is only going to get better."

Andy Rose

On the defensive battle: "We knew it was going to be a tactical battle. With a European coach we knew that they were going to throw a 4-1-4-1 look at us and try to capitalize on the counterattack. We had some good spells of possession, but we always have to be aware of their two attacking midfielders. A lot of our possessions were very good. I think that there were definitely some positives."

On DeAndre Yedlin: "Making your rookie debut is always a very emotional and fun night and thought he played really well. He was very cool and composed with the ball and he connected his passes. He really played to his strengths. He is a very good player."

On the injury you sustained: "It's fine. I don't really know what happened, but I think that I got rocked by Zach. I felt that maybe I could have come back on, but it is definitely alright now."

Michael Gspurning

On his thoughts on the game: "It's tough. We had a bad game and we noticed it. The only thing we can do now is look to the future and continue with hard work. Maybe it's a good warning for us that preseason is over. We got slapped in the face today and we have to go to work and pedal through it. Of course it's tough because it's the home opener and everybody is expecting to win - the fans, the players, everybody and then you lose. That's soccer and we just have to look ahead to the future."

On what happened on the goal: "The guy in the middle was really free. I thought maybe he'd stop the ball or I have to do something to close the distance to him. The guy made a perfect goal I have to admit. He kicked it perfectly over me. We know that we left open space in the middle, and there were a couple of other chances when Montreal was dangerous. We know the defense we have to work on and to look on what everybody has to do."

DeAndre Yedlin

On how was it to make his debut in front of a home crowd: "It was good. Obviously a loss is never the result you want, but it's good to get a game under my belt and see what it's like to play with the first team and get to start. It was definitely good for my experience."

On what was his mentality going into the game: "Just to try to relax. Steve Zakuani told me to play simple, build your confidence and go from there."

On if it was the game plan to spend as much time forward as he did: "Yeah, I tried to get forward more, especially after they scored. I just tried to get a goal back, but unfortunately it didn't happen."

On how important is it to have a guy like Steve Zakuani in the locker room: "It's very important. He's kind of my mentor back there and kind of my backup if something goes wrong so I'm definitely fortunate to have him behind me."

On when did he know he was going to start: "During the week I had a picture of it because I was practicing with the first team more and more. I was officially told yesterday."

On if he was excited or nervous before the game: "I think it was a combination of both, a good balance. I try to get that balance."

On if he had a lot of people here for him: "Yeah, I had 10 people here for the game."

Montreal Impact

Marco Schallibaum - Head Coach

On what Davy Arnaud brings to the team: "A lot of things because this is a new position and he's very good with the team. To score the goal is very important to go up 1-nil. He's a very good captain also to guide the team on the field. I'm very happy with him and with the rest of the players."

On Troy Perkins: "Very stable. He's very good for the defenders when you have a goalkeeper like him behind."

On the midfielders interchanging on the attack: "I wanted the midfield to go deep and there was the perfect timing of Felipe and Davy to score the goal."

On the older players' experience and what that means to the team: "You saw tonight what Troy brought in the goal and Allesandro was like a wall. They bring a lot of experience. It's nice to have no goals allowed."

On feeling fortunate about Seattle's near misses: "Yeah, but that's part of the game. It was lucky in this situation because you're going against a very good team. We also had two or three chances to make it 2-0 and we also hit the post. So that's the game and it was a little bit of luck to have here because Seattle is a good team. And when you have 40,000 in the stadium, it's not easy to play."

Troy Perkins

Returning nearly a full squad from last year: "Even in preseason it was smooth. No one had to get used to each other. We're all very comfortable playing with the guy next to us."

One goal being enough to win: "With this team, yes, I think it's a great confidence builder, to go on the road and being able to win a game like that, 1-0."

Is it more special to win in Seattle, as a guy with Northwest history: "Always, they've got a great thing going here, and deep down it always feels good to get a result."

Starting the season with a shutout...) "It's a great confidence booster for us. It's a feather in our cap to say that we can go on the road and get a result, 1-0."

As a Canadian, can Canadian clubs make a bigger impact this year: "I think so, Vancouver did a lot of building in the offseason, and they had a decent side to begin with. We got basically the whole team back that we finished with last year, so we can make a run at it."

Davy Arnaud

On scoring the first goal here in 2009 and scoring here again: "I've had some pretty good luck here. It's a agreat stadium to play in and a great atmosphere. It's a big win for us"

On the goal: "Felipe timed the ball really well. I knew he saw me running and he played a great ball. I wasn't sure who was to my right but I figured I wouldn't have a lot of time so I had to hit it pretty fast after I took my first touch."

On Gspurning closing out fast on the goal: "He's a big boy. He's a very good goalkeeper, but I just reacted to the situation so that was it."

One goal being enough for the win: "Scoring goals on the road is tough, and especially against them. They score a lot of goals here at home, but I think this year in preseason we've been really solid defensively. If we can continue to score one goal and get points on the road, we're going to be OK."

On captaining a very internationally influenced team: "I don't think it changes too much. Americans, French, Italians, whatever. It doesn't really matter, my role doesn't changed to much. I think we have a good group of leaders and veterans who've played in some really big games so for me, not too much changes."


On the confidence in the team: "Of course we played a lot with our hearts. It was a tough game but I think we did a good job. We scored in the first half so after that they came back a little bit, but in the end we got the three points and that's the most important thing."

On closing games, something Montreal struggled with last year: "Yes, it's tough too because they closed back, but I tried to do my best and the important thing is the team got the three points and I'm very happy because it's a hard field to play at."

On some tape and ice on him after the game: "I got stretched a little bit in the first half but you know, it's a good game so you just want to continue to play and finish the game."